Richard Bogren, Kirk-Ballard, Heather
LSU AgCenter Horticulturist
(05/08/20) If your mother is anything like mine, then she practically lives in the garden. A gift for her garden is sure to make her happy this Mother’s Day. Speaking as a mother, I am always pleased with plants, flowers or any new gadget or tool for my garden.
Even though we are still under restrictions for the pandemic, local garden centers, flower delivery and other larger stores and online retailers are still open. Don’t let this Mother’s Day go by without showing your wife, mother, aunt or sister just how much appreciate them. You can’t spell hero without her.
Here are several ideas of how to shower your mom and the other mothers in your life with love this Mother’s Day.
Most gardeners have a plethora of tools. I’ve inherited many of my tools, but I always appreciate a good new one. Well-maintained garden tools will last a lifetime (or longer). Consider those tools that make gardening easier. Here are some ideas for the mother in your life’s toolkit:
— For working in the soil: Garden spade, digging fork, rake and shovel.
— For planting: Garden claw, bulb planter, hand trowel and hand fork.
— For removing weeds: Weeding hoe, garden weasel and a great pair of gardening gloves.
— For pruning: Hand pruners, garden scissors, herb snips, long-handled pruners, hand saw and loppers.
— For watering: Watering can, hose, watering wand, a rain barrel, irrigation timers, automatic irrigation timer, soaker hose and home irrigation kit.
— For tool maintenance: A tool tote or carrier. You can also put together a garden tool maintenance kit including linseed oil to prevent wooden handles from drying out, a wire brush for cleaning dirt from metal blades and tines, and a silicon-carbide whetstone to maintain a sharp edge on the blades of tools.
— For a little comfort in the garden: A garden kneeler to protect her knees when kneeling, a seat or scooter (one that is on wheels that they can pull along with a handle is even better), a gardening cart and a good old-fashioned wheelbarrow.
— For those who love cut flowers: Nice shears, a cut flower carrier, vases, seeds to grow or plants that make great cut flowers.
You can’t go wrong with a good pair of gardening gloves, hats, garden clogs or rubber shoes. For those who have rough hands, consider a nicely scented hand scrub or gardeners hand lotion.
Any gardener always has room for pottery or ceramic pots. These days, you also can find lightweight plastic and galvanized metal containers. There are so many to pick from. Some of the glazed ceramics are just gorgeous. For a homemade look and inexpensive gift, build her a box or container from leftover wood.
Build her raised boxes for a raised bed, or you can get creative and used galvanized sheet metal. Old barrels and horse watering troughs also make great raised beds.
For those who love wildlife, consider a hummingbird feeder, birdseed feeder, squirrel feeder or bird bath. You can also purchase a bee house or cute toad habitat. The options are endless.
You could also buy her a fountain or water feature, wind chimes, cement sculpture, tikis or any other type of garden sculpture. Or give her a beautifully designed trellis for her vining plants.
For our environmental advocates, consider a composting bin, a rain barrel, recycled plastic pots or gardening tools made from recycled materials of any sort.
For the readers in your life, try a gardening book. All sorts of books are out there, ranging from arranging cut flowers, growing a vegetable garden, sustainable gardening practices, the history of gardening to landscape design. The LSU AgCenter online store offers many publications that can help mom keep her garden looking great year-round. The Get It Growing calendar is still available, with gardening tips specifically for each month in the garden and other gardening information.
Last, and most important, buy her flowers. I am a fan of both cut flowers and those that we can continue to grow, year after year. Any flower or plant will do. If you are on a budget, you can simply make her a bouquet of flowers from the field or your own landscape. It’s the thought that counts. Don’t let this Mother’s Day go by without letting her know she’s your hero.
A birdhouse adds an attractive element to a garden. Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter
A water feature creates a calming background sound in any garden. Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter
A bee house and hummingbird feeder add interest to a landscape. Photo by Heather Kirk-Ballard/LSU AgCenter