I heard cardinals out in the garden yesterday, singing their spring song. It was only one degree above zero when I woke up, but the sun was sparkling at mid day, and there are nasturtiums in bloom, in little jars and vases in the kitchen windows.
For the past couple of years, just before the first really hard frost, I have taken cuttings from the nasturtiums in the garden. They root in water within a few days and begin to bloom very soon thereafter. They can be trimmed back if they grow lanky, which they inevitably do, but it's nice to let them ramble a bit along the windowsills: their leaves turn so strongly toward the light that they press themselves up against the windowpanes, pushing their luck.