May brings on memories of Mother's Day.
First off, I’m a girl from the flat plains.
In Chicago, we lived half a block down slope of Ridge Avenue, elevation--about 4.5 percent. Every Mother's Day was welcomed by manicured lawns and lilacs galore.
Last month we moved from our rental in Colfax Meadows to the hills north of Mullholland. This uproot is especially exotic to us because the slope in Laurel Canyon can be up to 45%. And let me say, huffing and puffing, that is just fine by me, the girl from flatland.
I’m going to think of our rent increase here in the hills as a birthday present.
This year my birthday falls on Mother’s Day. It's not the first time this has happened, but it is the first time since my mother left the planet.
The month of May is filled with overlapping memories of the garden--lilacs dripping with rain, robins, lily of the valley, dandelions and Mother’s Day gifts of flowery costume jewelry.
Who stops to think that Mothers Day has an expiration date?
For me now, it's other people get to have Mothers Day.
Over the past few years, I’ve planted things in the garden that remind me of my mom. Like-- Mrs. Banks’ roses...Banks being my maiden name. I still can see my friend Mopsy standing next to my mother’s prize peony bushes and calling through the screen door “Hi, Mrs. Banks.”
I, who love the pale blooms, broke down a few years back and planted electric orange Mardi Gras rosebushes. Mainly because my mom was no shrinking violet when it comes to color. And she bought me my first Mardi Gras rose.
So to those of you lucky enough to celebrate Mother’s Day with your moms, here’s some garden gift ideas from reaches as near as Ventura Blvd. to somewhere farther in cyberspace:
Anything goes in an elegant glass terrarium. Emerald Forest on Ventura Blvd. has them in two shapes at about $80 each. Hang it on a sturdy string and fill it with greenery. The shop also carries a glass hummingbird feeder by the same company for around $45.00
Fairy Gardens are catching fire. Think dollhouses with a garden theme. Sheridan Gardens Nursery in Burbank has all the supplies you will need from miniature garden benches to tiny plants including baby tears and sedum. Fairy gardens can use any type of container for its base inclluding a wicker basket, a glass bowl, an unused birdbath topper. It is said there are three types of plants to buy: thrillers--the showstoppers (dwarf myrtle); spillers--those that hang over (such as creeping fig); and fillers--hardy plants (sedum) for the middle of the mini-scape.
Hand made in Georgia, one of a kind hand-forged flower garden stakes are available at A State of Mind on Ventura Blvd. just east of Whitsett. Each one is $38.00. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
I picked the pink Haws copper English garden watering can because it’s Mother’s Day for cryin’ out loud, a perfect excuse for PINK! These cans, created by Englishmun John Haws in 1886, are used by gardeners the world over. Priced at $85.99 you can find it at at K-Mart and Sears.
Vertical thrust in the garden is still a hot design idea. Get mom started with a vertical wall pocket made of felt or wool. Plantsonwalls.com offers a felt 12-pocket model for $98. For another $50 bucks you can fill it with soil and plants such as sedum and baby tears.
Succulents are groovy architectural elements in any garden. You can put them on a ledge or sunny windowsill. The three cubes of succulents can be ordered online from http://www.vivaterra.com/succulent-cube-garden-set-of-3.html
STEAL THIS IDEA:
Make a garden file. Use an accordion-style file folder or white card stock. Printout a design for each category (Seed Packets; Observations; What To Do) and embellish with ribbon and buttons and line the flap of each with patterned paper.