If you are already feeling cabin-feverish from an overdose of ice and snow, you might consider growing a carrot-top garden. In my family, we usually waited until the last dismal weeks of February. I haven't had a garden in several years, due to the rat problem. Feeling the grimness of winter sinking in too far, too soon, I used the ends of the carrots from my holiday chicken pie to start one on Boxing Day. It's already starting to flourish. It is like bargain instant bonsai.
All you need is a saucer, some carrot tops, and water. You can dress it up with miniature buildings, or china turtles, or plastic water buffalo, but the main point is to have something green springing up in defiance of the season outside. House plants are fine, but carrot tops have a certain joie de vivre a potted fern cannot hope to emulate. Carrot tops are incorrigible optimists. They quickly sprout tiny elm trees of shoots and leaves that grow remarkably tall, despite the near-complete absence of the carrot. Indeed, if you are of a less optimistic nature than the carrot tops, you might find the whole thing sort of horrific, like a talking severed head, or a crawling hand.
I, myself, am hardly an optimist, but after a lifetime of growing carrot-top gardens on a regular basis, I am now immune to the horror. This tradition is a legacy from my mother. Possibly she encouraged the carrot-top gardens as a way to keep us from messing in her fragile moss terrarium. Or it may have been her atonement for telling my sister she could grow lollipop trees from lollipop sticks, and allowing me to believe that the white beans in the pantry could grow into magic beanstalks. Unlike the beans and the lollipop sticks, the carrot tops really work.
We used a shallow, 8" diameter, pleasantly green plaid saucer every year. You could use a pie plate, but pick something you like to look at. Make something with carrots for dinner (I mean normal old carrots, not those silly baby carrots that come washed and polished). Cut the tops off saving about a fourth to a half inch of thickness. Much thicker than that, and you'll get bigger trees, but they'll be sitting on these strange orange termite mounds. That could be part of the aesthetic, though. You have to experiment to see what you like. Put the carrot tops cut-side down in your chosen dish, and fill with water. Then decorate to taste.
We had an assortment of little ceramic pieces - two Japanese bridges, a pagoda, a tower, and a lively carp - that we dug out from some drawer in my father's workshop every year, and placed a bit willy-nilly among the carrot tops. That the bridges could only be approached by the imaginary users sloshing knee-deep through water past a fish the size of a great white shark didn't bother us. There are no rules in fantasy gardening. Right now I have an almost too perfect Venetian canal bridge sitting in the middle of my flooded saucer, but previously I have sited tiny Victorian mansions in the midst of an overgrown carrot swamp, when I couldn't find my dinosaurs.
If you want to do this whole thing the the Dogpatch way, you will let the carrot tops grow until they are so tall they topple over, at which point you will give up providing water, and leave them there in front of the kitchen window to shrivel up and collect dust for two years before you finally take them out to the compost heap and give them a decent burial. Or you could be sensible, and clear them out in March to make room for your tomato seedlings.
In the meantime, as your saucer bonsai are growing, the carrot tops will be sucking up a lot of water, so the garden needs daily attention, just like a real one. But there is no weeding, no pest infestations beyond a few drowned fruit flies, and nothing else to do but contemplate the determination of the carrot tops to become carrots again.