Remember last year's endless winter, when it snowed not only in April but in May too? That was hard on all of us, gardeners definitely included. The planting season was delayed and painfully short, and this season so far isn't looking a lot better. Those itching to get digging in the dirt well before the weather cooperates could do worse than a visit to Mother Earth Gardens in Minneapolis, either the longstanding Longfellow store or the newer one in Northeast. Both locations offer free seminars during the winter to get us thinking spring, on topics such as attracting birds with native plants, growing microgreens, and starting seeds indoors. The two shops are filled with lovely gifts and garden accoutrements, but the real reason Mother Earth stands out is the quality of its plants and seeds. Many are organic, sustainably raised, local, and/or come from small family or cooperatively owned businesses. The Earth-friendly vibe and beautiful plant displays are convincing evidence that you don't need a bunch of chemicals and genetically engineered plant varieties to create a gorgeous garden.