My mother loved gardening. So when Mother’s Day rolled around, I wouldn't pick up the phone and dial the local florist. I’d head out to a nursery and buy a new rose bush or a flat of annuals and head over to mom’s house to help her plant them.
No matter what the occasion, if you asked my mom what she wanted
most for the holiday, it wasn't anything material. “I’d love to see
you,” she’d say.
What she wanted most was our time and our company. Spending time with her children was always my mother’s greatest pleasure.
Don’t get me wrong. She loved getting flowers from out of state
relatives. She would often have bouquets in her home from her sisters or
my out of town siblings.
But for me, who always lived within driving distance of my mother,
ordering her a cut bouquet to be delivered by someone else would seem as
impersonal as having a Thanksgiving dinner delivered for her to sit and
So I’d head to her house and borrow a pair of her gardening gloves
and we’d go outside together and plant some memories. We’d share the
time planning and digging and planting and for weeks or months or years
(depending on the plants) those were always “our” plants. She would call
me to rave about the beautiful blooms or we could sit and idly weed
together on one of our weekly visits.
I have a lot of memories of my mother that are all wrapped up in gardening.
One of the earliest is when I was a very young child and had picked a
bouquet of “wildflowers” and taken them to her when she was still in
bed on Mother’s Day. My mother was always highly allergic, and my plant
choices had her sneezing before she even got out of bed that day.
The truth is that my mother is probably never far from my thoughts
when I am in a garden (and its not just because I am usually wearing a
pair of her old and well-used gardening gloves). Mom loved nature and
gardening and she loved sharing that beauty with others, especially her
kids. In fact, when I am outside digging in the dirt and idly weeding my
flower-beds, I often think how lucky I am that I “inherited” that hobby
So this mother’s day, before you drop a card in the mail or
speed-dial a florist, think of what mom really wants. She really wants
some of your time. Whether it’s a nice long call or a personal visit,
take the time to plant some memories. Some day, on some future mother’s
day, you’ll be glad you did.