The days are getting longer and perhaps a little warmer, if only in your imagination. If you dwell in the north, you're likely to be still buried in snow, but if you live in a warmer climate, you're enjoying the first bulbs popping out of the dormant winter ground, and you're just starting to see the first buds on the early blooming trees. This means spring is near, and for gardeners, it can't come soon enough. Every green thumb anxiously awaits digging in the dirt, de-winterizing and putting it all back together. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do in the days before the soil is finally warm enough to plant in. It's time to order your seeds, and one of the greatest pleasures for many gardeners is poring over the seed catalogs. Now is also a great time to assess your gardening tools and to get them into working order. Remove rust spots and oil hinges, and replace the ones that are irreparable. Once that first chore is complete, read on for more late winter gardening projects.
Self-heals have simple leaves with prominent veins and resemble snapdragons blooming in the summer. They are good ground cover in wild gardens and shady areas along walkways, rock gardens, and under taller plants.
Perennials are distinct from annuals in that they return year after year, eliminating the need to buy and plant flowers every spring. Perennials generally bloom only one or two seasons per year. Learn about perennials.