Tag Archives: garden

Mother’s Day 2021

Last year Mother’s Day came during a pandemic when everything was upside down and turned around and shut down. Instead of my usual trip to a flower store or nursery or garden center I went to the Friendly City Food Co-Op. There I found a beautiful hanging basket with geraniums and trailing flowers and decided it would make a perfect shortcut to creating mom’s outdoor planter, my annual Mother’s Day gift.

Last year, as I extracted the plant contents from the hanging basket into the urn, mom noticed through the window. When she realized my planter-arranging hack, she decided she actually would prefer a hanging basket. I fished the discarded plastic hanging container from the trash can behind the house and returned the entire arrangement to the original pot. It hung on the porch and flowered beautifully all season and into the fall.

Mom during a fall photo shoot in September, 2020, with her Mother’s Day hanging basket in full bloom.

I returned the several perennials from years gone by (removed to accommodate the large arrangement) to the planter, and added red geraniums to make it pretty. These coordinated with the ones on the porch. It became a two-for-one deal, but that’s also my mom, always extra.

Each year when Mother’s Day rolled around, we kids asked what she wanted. Her response always the same, Happy Children!  Our reply equally the same, No really! What’s something we CAN give you?

Oh, Mama, we miss you.

This year is the first Mother’s Day without Mom. I am not a happy child. I am a grieving one. When I think back to last Mother’s Day, it feels surreal that we were laughing about replanting a hanging basket. She was so surprised and delighted with the change. We had no idea what loomed on the horizon.

The perennials returned again. Heavy-hearted, I wonder what to do. The planning and planting excitement of years past is not there. There’s no need to hide or surprise. I pick up a pot of lavender in bloom and bring it over one afternoon.

Perennials begin to grow in Mom’s planter each spring.
Lavender waiting to be planted.
Lavender planted in Mom’s planter.

Hastily shoving it into the pot, I wonder how it will do. Will it thrive or barely survive? I will eventually add something trailing but not today. For right now, this is enough.

My thoughts are scattered, words lost as I try to finish this. I have already cried copious tears and way over-thought the neglect of my blog these past months, even though my mind has so much to say. I really should write about that.

Silence.

Sometimes there are just no more words.

I just miss my mom on this first Mother’s Day without her.

Productive Stillness

I seize a moment when the clouds part and sun shines to run outside to the strawberry patch. The ground, softened by days of rain, offers up its weeds with no resistance, though an occasional tiny berry is mixed in and sacrificed to their twisted, choking growth.

Extracting myself from the tasks at hand inside is a challenge, but sunshine, fresh air, and moist soil draw me to the present, and white flowers beckon me to notice them. I stop and breathe, accepting the invitation to a bit of productive stillness.

strawberry plants

This is where it started, the inspiration to write for a blog outside of my own, in the strawberry patch. Each year reminds me of that. That, and a number of other things, like the fact that the strawberries were planted by my firstborn when she was still a teenager at home, and the first plants came from my dear friend’s yard before her life took a traumatic turn, exiling her from that home and yard.

There is a fence around the strawberries now. It is a nod to trying to keep the dog from trampling them, but it’s not working very well. Dewey has no problem in leaping with excitement over the low barrier if one of his doggie friends happens to be passing by or if he feels a need to defend his turf.

strawberry patch

It is so imperfect, the place that calls me back each year, rising from the ashes, defying proper gardening techniques. Each year I think, I’ll do better at tending this patch and putting it to bed when the season ends. Then I don’t do better. Each year strawberry grace meets me again.

I don’t know what this year’s yield will be or when we will eat our first shortcake or if there will be an attempt at jam. That remains to be seen. What I do know is that today I was met in the strawberry patch with kindness and grace and hope.

Father’s Day Planter 2014

Inquiring minds may want to know about the Father’s Day planter I assembled for Dad this year. Following is a step-by-step explanation of plants chosen and how they were placed.

First, the planter was emptied of all weeds by my mom. I was surprised to find a clean slate!

I chose a Coral Bells plant, 4 Dragon Wing Begonias, 3 white Scaevola Diamonds, and 3 Sweet Carolines. They are in the box alongside the planter.IMG_1117In went the Coral Bells.

coral bells

Next, 3 Dragon Wings. The remaining one will find a home in the back flowerbed.

dragonfly begonia

Time for the Sweet Carolines and Scaevola Diamonds.

zip, zip, zip

And zip, zip, zip . . .

Father's Day 2014

It’s the Father’s Day 2014 planter. Also, the Welcome Home, I’m glad you’re still alive and can talk and laugh with me one.

Dad watched as I put it together.

Afterwards, we walked out back and planted the remaining Dragon Wing next to the Foxglove. 

dragon wing begonia

Then Dad went inside to rest.

resting

What a difference a week makes!