Mother’s Day Gift
Mother's Day is on the way. This column is
written for those who truly love their Mother and want her
to remember them fondly every day of the year.
Whether you live close to your Mother and see
her often, or whether she lives hundreds of miles away as
was the case with my Mother, I have an idea for a gift that
will be lasting and loved. I know this gift will be appreciated
because I gave my Mother one and she loved it more than anything
I could have done for her. Even if your Mother is in a retirement
community or is confined to a bed, this Mother's Day gift
will be cherished above all. So forget the short-lived flowers
and the fattening candy. Those of you who care will give your
Mom a planting bed this year.
I am a great believer in the positive therapy
which growing plants can have on the elderly because of the
wonderful effects horticulture had on my grandmother. When
I was in high school, she and her husband were in their late
80's. They were not in the best of health, and, being elderly,
the winter months were the hardest on them. This lady was
prone to strokes even though she had developed a strong body
during her earlier farming life. Each winter, doctors would
say she had grown her last tomato. But when the first robins
appeared in the spring, this little, old, bedridden lady would
come alive and bloom like a dormant tulip bulb.
Both she and her husband were too weak to garden
alone, but together they made an Olympic-class gardening team.
Once the garden was planted and growing, my grandmother seemed
to grow stronger, healthier and happier by the day. I witnessed
a garden literally perform a miracle on these two elderly
citizens who, for several years, doctors had said would never
leave the house again.
This pattern of life ended when her husband
became ill, and she was placed in a nursing home. The winter
of illness was not followed by the spring of renewal. Soon,
crippling inactivity followed. Next, the inevitable occurred.
I remember my last visit with my grandmother
because of the tears we shed together as she reminisced and
longed for her garden, and I tried to relate the joy of gardening
that I had found because of her example. She was the grandmother
who helped make me what I am today, and if I had the chance
again, she would be looking out of her bedroom window into
a small garden or at a container of her favorite flowers.
I DON'T have that chance, but maybe you STILL do.
So let's get to the Mother's Day gift that
will mean something --not just be convenient or easy. If you
want to plant a container, simply get a large container (whiskey
barrel size), fill it with potting mix after drilling holes
in the bottom to insure good drainage, mix Osmocote, slow-release
fertilizer pellets in the potting mix and get ready to plant.
For a more complete description of making a successful container
If you have a larger area and really want to make Mom happy,
construct a raised bed garden for her. Once you have the planting
bed, it is time to choose the correct, long-lasting plants
for the location where you’ll plant. Some require a
planting site which receives sunlight and hot weather all
day, while some prefer the shade. Let her make the choice
from the selections described at:
You will have demonstrated, once-and-for-all,
how much you really love your Momma!!