For early color pansies can be planted now. Today most pansies are greenhouse grown, therefore frosts can discolor the foliage, but it will not kill the plants.
Perennials can also be planted now, however most are dormant and if greenhouse grown are slightly susceptible to frost damage. Ask at the nursery when purchasing plants this time of year.
Planting seeds indoors to get a jump on the season and saving money on buying plants is fun and frustrating at times. I think sometimes people start too early. Now is a good time to start peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage broccoli, and cauliflower. Remember to gently harden off plants by putting them outside in a semi-shaded spot during the day when the plants are big enough.
Planting in the garden is usually dependent on the soil and the weather. The soil needs to be dry enough to work. This year the soil is drying out nicely so the target date of April 15th for Peas is right on. This is also a good time to plant seeds of lettuce, spinach, and other greens. Root crops such as radish, beets, carrots etc. can also be sown as soon as the soil can be worked. Members of the onion family can be planted early also.
If you prefer to set out plants of any of these early vegetables, around the 1st of May is a good time. they can take a few light frosts. Remember vegetables such as Tomatoes Peppers and Eggplant really need the soil to be warm and they do not tolerate frosts. Don't be fooled by a warm early spring. We often get our last frost during the last full moon in May.
If you love the bloom and scent of Sweet Peas, now is the time to plant the seed for this hardy little annual. Other flowers that tolerate light frost are Snapdragons, Petunias, Verbena, Million Bells, Osteosporum, Allyssum, Nemesia, and Diasia.
A quote from The Gardeners Bed Book, "When the Maple begins to leaf and you can plant outdoors once more, thank God that you've lived to enjoy another Spring" Enjoy!!!!