So the fall frost came, the garden was put to bed, and then the winter from hell followed!
We got 55 inches of snow just in February and it was the most snow that fell in Philadelphia since snowfall records were kept (1860's!) The winter we moved to PA from California was the previous all time worst, so this just seems amazing. Bertie needed a tunnel dug to even get off the deck-the snow depth was about even with the tips of his ears! But he was able to hear (and pounce on) voles or other varmits deep beneath the surface of the snow, and his nemesis the neighbor cat was unable or unwilling to saunter over and torture him by meowing on the other side of the gate. But with that February snow (and then the most ballyhooed "snow a cane" which began while I was in DC with a Garden Club Conference, and which necessitated many early departures from that meeting) came the eventual promise of Spring. Valentines Day is my traditional time to start the pepper seeds in flats. We celebrated the day with a romantic dinner with my 89 year old mother in law, and I have since started 12 varieties of peppers from Fish, and Explosive Embers, to Pepper on a Stick, Gypsy and Carmen. The first tray is already up.
Tomato seeds will follow in a week or two-I always buy a lot of seeds at the Philadelphia Flower Show-I usually volunteer and it provides shopping opportunities galore. This year I also bought a worm farm along with a variety of garden doodads including a hoop house to lengthen the garden season; I started a windowbox of mesclun and arugula to put inside that when it comes!