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A Mothers Day Garden

Updated on May 4, 2011

Mothers' Day

I have never been fond of giving people cut flowers as a gift unless they were from my own garden. This way I knew how the flowers had been grown and knew they were treated with care and concern for the environment.

Live plants were another matter and both my mother and my sister regularly received them as gifts on birthdays and Mother’s Day.

Now giving flowers from my own garden is not possible on May 8 which is Mother’s Day. It s way too early here and just about anywhere I have lived to grow flowers, at least outdoors, at that time of the year.

About 25 years ago, in late April, I was thinking about a gift for my mother. She was ill and had not been able to garden in about two years. I often dropped by the family home and tended her garden. My sister did the same.

I was in the backyard looking at a few early bloomers when it hit me; why not give my mother a garden as a Mother's Day gift. I could hire a landscaped designer to create it, in consultation with Mom of course or I could do it myself which was much cheaper but a bigger time commitment.

I opted to do the work myself. I was living fairly close to my parents’ home so it could not be a problem travelling back and forth and I was already cutting the lawn and doing other outdoor maintenance chores so this would add a bit to that work and that was manageable.

My mother loved fresh cut flowers for the dining room table and fresh tomatoes. My father had taught me about compost and growing tomatoes, so I decided on a mixed garden combining some vegetables with cut flowers. I talked it over with Mom on Mothers’ Day and she loved the idea. I maintained this garden for the next eight years until they moved.

Their new home, an apartment, without a balcony, was in a city about two hours away so that plan was no longer workable.  While thinking how I could still see Mom got fresh flowers in season, I decided to create a mixed planting bed, a small one in my own garden, and when I visited her I’d bring whatever was growing. The vegetable and flowers were often accompanied by a box of chocolates which she seemed to like more and more as the years passed.

She had been gone for a few years now but each growing season I think about those years with fondness. These memories encourage my passion for growing things no matter how small the space that is available.


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