Yesterday was one of the nicest days we have had in a long time. I spent an hour outside after work, mostly cutting down the ornamental grasses and picking up the last of the winter dog poop. Green things are popping up all over the place: daffodils, hyacinth, daylilies, iris. Today is supposed to be warmer but windier. Hopefully, more yard cleanup will ensue.
Last fall I dug up a pepper plant and brought it inside. The peppers that were still on it hung there all winter until I ate the last of them. Now the plant is blooming. Not sure if I need to hand pollinate it to get fruit. The rosemary is blooming as well.
Regarding ErinFromIowa's comments about calendula, judging from the number of cabbage butterflies I saw last summer in my yard, I must already be providing them a healthy breeding and feeding environment. My "meadow" is not that far from the vegetable garden, and the butterflies just float across. If I decide to grow any brassicas, I will have to enclose them somehow.
It just occurred to me that last year I did not see any tomato worms or hornworms, so maybe their parents prefer the meadow to my vegetable plants? Or the birds eat them? If I were retired, I would sit in the garden all day long and observe what goes on.