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I wandered out into the back yard this morning after I finished delivering both girls to school. The sun was starting to come out and the morning air had a slightly balmy feel to it. I needed a little reminder of how much work remains before I can do any planting. But I made a wonderful discovery: The lilac bush has begun to bloom! It always sneaks up on me, with the flowers showing up on twigs that each year look like they have been killed by the winter frosts. And it smells SO delicious! Even in our temperate climate, the lilacs give hope that spring is truly on her way.

I went a little bit nuts at Miner’s Hardware Store on Tuesday. I went with a simple mission, actually — to buy a blooming dish to take to Mom at the cemetery. And I found a beautiful big bowl overflowing with purple and white pansies. It was designed to be a hanging bowl, but popping off the hanger was a piece of cake, and now it will sit on her headstone without blowing over in the wind.

That was the easy part. Then I came to a screeching halt in front of the flower and vegetable seeds. The whole rack was the Botanical Interests brand, all non-GMO, non-treated seeds. There were SO many choices that I ended up putting back several envelopes into the rack. But I chose Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas, in hopes that Olivia will want to eat them right off the vine; Little Finger Baby Carrots; heirloom Summer Squash (Patty Pan Blend) and Black Beauty Zucchini. I will have my work cut out for me when we get back home from our little adventure next week, as the snow peas and carrots are cool-season veggies and need to be planted already (and the garden beds are nowhere near ready).

I saved the flower seed selection for last, and finally pared my stash down to two packages: A Knee-Hi Blend of Sweet Peas and a Water-Wise Mix of twenty annuals and perennials that should bloom from spring through the first frost of fall. Again, the sweet peas needed to be planted yesterday, but the others can wait another week or two. In my mind’s eye, of course, they have sprouted and are bursting into bloom, right along side the Iris and Lavender that are already growing in the front garden bed. And when they really do, I will share pictures.