Sunday, May 6, 2012

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Mother's Day Gifts for Gardeners

Mother's Day is fast approaching. Visit any garden center next Saturday and you'll be sure to see several very harried fathers with their kids in tow, shopping frantically for Mom. If you're one of these non-gardeners, you could fall back on that old standby -- a rose bush. But if you want to give something a little more special this year, here are a few suggestions.

-- A make-it-yourself garden stepping stone.

This requires a bit of advance planning/shopping but it will be worth it. I would have loved one of these when my son was growing up. Alas, now he's practically grown up and my chances of getting one of these -- well, I might as well wish to actually get the car on a Saturday night.

 -- Great garden clothing.

Who says you have to wear dowdy, grass-stained clothes when gardening? That's just so Medieval!

Boots and clogs now come in all sorts of wonderful colors and patterns. Just be sure to know Mom's shoe size before you go to the store.  And if your Mom is a hat person, well, you're in luck! There's no better way for a gardener to keep the sun off her face and neck!

-- A cool looking birdhouse. Invite the birds to join your mother in the garden. You could buy one at your favorite neighborhood garden center. There also are kits available. Just don't leave it plain. Dress it up with your own special style!

-- Garden statuary. Depending of the size of your budget, a statue, fountain or wall hanging might be something to consider. Does your Mom love frogs? There are lots of those available. Garden gnomes and decorations you can hang on a wall or gate are also awesome!

-- A colorful garden accessory. Pots, chairs, globes and other goodies for the patio come in a lot of exciting colors these days. Of course, clay pots do have their place. But if your Mom just wants to have fun, something lime green may be just the ticket.

-- Containers planted with flowers. You can buy them ready made or, if your Mom is more a do-it-yourself-er, get her a gift certificate for her favorite nursery.

-- Good hand tools.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will reiterate a suggestion I made just before Christmas. Practically every gardener would like some high-quality tools, Alas, these generally aren't something we generally buy for ourselves -- not when we need more plants for the garden.

-- The usual suspects. These include a membership to the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Morton Arboretum or another public garden near you. Gardening books, especially those on a topic near and dear to your Mom's heart. Gloves, but only if they're not too big. (Save the receipt.)

-- The best gift of all. This is spending time in the garden with your mother. Help pulling weeds or picking up the same is very, very much appreciated! It's right up there with turning the compost pile, planting annuals or hauling bags of topsoil to the back yard.

Here's hoping you all have the happiest of Mother's Day!!!
By Karen Geisler

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