My next-door neighbor Marie is hard at work tending to her garden, pointing out the lettuce she has in the ground. Me? I'm way behind schedule. Typically, I already have 2-inch-tall lettuce and spinach seedlings started in the house. Not this year.
So, lazy me, I went to Effinger Garden Center in Belleville and bought some four-packs of lettuce and spinach ($1.49). Then I wandered all the way to the back of the nursery to see what was in the greenhouse there: beautiful rows of basil, peppers, tomatoes and more. I was so tempted to bring some of each home, but I'm holding off for another couple weeks. (Single basil and vegetable plants are $2.98.)
Non-edible items I had my eye on there: $7.98 Wonder Grip gloves made of nylon knit with nitrile palms (XS to L).
Another reason to think about your garden: Effinger Garden Center is holding a free seminar on Easy Landscape Design at 11 a.m. Sunday. It's a hands-on event, so bring your photos and sketches and get one-on-one advice.
Make your plans now for next April 13, when Sandy's Back Porch in Belleville hosts its annual Spring Open House, with free seminars and specials. Stop by at 10 a.m. for the Turn My Yellow Thumb Green. At 11, it's Square Foot Gardening. And the 1 p.m. seminar is Introduction to Beekeeping.
Owner Sandy Richter said to stop by now and check out her very popular big lettuce pots, which hold four varieties and cost $11.99. You can eat out of that pot all summer. Also, Kudos to Sandy, who was recently featured in Grower's Talk, a well-known greenhouse trade publication.
At Rural King in Swansea, you can get your lawn mower blade sharpened for $5. You can bring in the whole mower or just the blade. Chainsaw sharpening is $6. Also, if you need markers for your garden, a 25-pack of tall white ones is just $3.99 (located on an end cap near the garden tools).
Head to downtown Lebanon from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday for Sip & Shop, a fun ladies retail therapy night. Ten great stores will be open and serving wine or other beverages, along with an appetizer. By visiting all 10 stores and getting your Sip & Shop Passport stamped, you earn a chance to win a $150, $75 or $50 Brick Street Shopping Spree.
Oh so attractive for entertaining any time of year are the variety of coasters from Pier 1 Imports in Fairview Heights. From woven and beaded to painted glass, they're $3.50 each. They're almost too pretty to cover up with a drink!
Feeling wonderful? A Wonder Woman lunchbox is $14 at Francesca's at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights. It would make a quirky yet fashionable replacement for a handbag.
At Fuego at the mall, kids will get a kick out of wings they can attach to their sneakers. Called Schwings, they lace onto shoes and come in silver, black or leopard. Cost: $6.80.
Don't forget to check out more of my shopping finds on Sundays in the BND magazine.