My mother planted peonies and lilacs in our suburban Chicago backyard. I thought gardening was corny. I wanted to marry a Beatle.
Studio City gardener Roberta, on the other hand, actually paid attention to her mom when she tended a large plot in the Midwest before the family moved to Southern California.
“My mother had such a green thumb,” says Roberta, as she transplants a bush at Acama and Fair, “You know...she’s from Wisconsin and when the weather turns nice there, people just go crazy because it’s such a short season. She was always in the garden.”
Josje, who lives at Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, caught the gardening bug from her Indonesian mom.
“I remember her putzing around. She put everything back in the earth,” she explains. “In Indonesia the soil is so fertile that my mom would tell me, ‘if you put a seed into the ground, the next day it’ll turn into a tree.’ Josje pauses: “She’s in the big Garden of Eden now.”
For those of you with mothers who already have a green thumb or if you just want to inspire your mom to get a toehold in the earth here’s’ suggestions for Mothers Day gifts.
Mother’s Little Helpers:
Garden Gloves—Many moms wouldn’t be caught dead without a good pair of gloves; others go au naturel and love getting dirty. One rule of thumb: wear gloves if you don’t want your hands to look like a car mechanic’s.
Ranging in price from under $10 up to $40, there’s lots of styles to choose from. A cute, super functional lightweight pair that molds to the hand and has bright rubber accents can be found at Burbank's Sheridan Gardens. On Ventura Boulevard, sells a fancy, forearm-length pair sporting a floral print.
Finishing the Hat—Find the right one and she’ll wear the bonnet ‘til it falls apart. You can get an easy-to-store adjustable baseball cap () for twenty bucks or go the classic European route by checking out the lightweight straw with a wide brim (Sheridan Gardens).
For breathability try a canvas hat with floppy brim or, for the fashionista, consider the straw hat worthy of a royal wedding (Both styles are available at t).
Cool tools--What gardener couldn’t use a new pair of clippers? Designed by England’s Celia Birtwell, the beautiful flower-enameled, high quality, non-stick pruners, which cut stems up to 3/4" in diameter, is available at Paper Source for $29.95.
The less expensive clipper at Sheridan Gardens can be paired with matching trowel and a separate functional hand rake.
For the workhorse Mother of All Clippers, get the Felcos at
Other tools of the trade include an eye-catching keepsake watering can (Emerald Forest); Rubber Boots and Gardener’s Soap (Armstrong; Sheridan Gardens); Thoughtful Gardener Twine (); and colorful garden markers (Bed Bath and Beyond, Sheridan Gardens).
Mothers of Invention:
For the Birds--The ethereal glass orbs sold at Emerald Forest make a unique gift. Pair one or two with a matching hummingbird feeder in two sizes. To satisfy a more rustic sensibility, check out the round hummingbird feeder set in rusted metal (s).
Ding-Dong—Bells and windchimes come in all different sizes, shapes and sounds though you might want to add a cautionary note: “Don’t hang too close to the neighbors and you’ll be just fine.”
Among the sweet-sound winners are Noah Bells, which hang from bright beads and animal figures (); delicate glass windchimes, made in the U.S.A., which come in various colors and sizes (Emerald Forest); and Woodstock brand windchimes, offered in a wide array of styles from zen to zany (Sheridan Gardens, Gelsons, Armstrongs).
Architectural Eye Candy--Create interest from a concrete fountain finial (Sheridan Gardens) and a vintage openwork metal medallion to hang on patio wall () to a tin heart with angel wings to hang from an arbor or pergola ().
The sweet spot— Try one of ’s many vintage pins (from the 1930s-50s) including a matte gold butterfly, a white-winged hummingbird or an emerald green frog.
The soft spot—bring the outside in with garden-themed pillows including the faux-embroidered butterfly pillow (it will work outside in a sheltered area) at Scentsabilities.
Save this spot—put a pretty poesy book marker in “My Garden: A Five-Year Journal” ( 19.95).
STEAL THIS IDEA:
Place a trio of seed packets (each under three bucks) in a cellophane bag ($6.95 for a package of 20; e). Then stuff the bottom of the bag with moss (you can get it at Joanne’s) and add a silver mini trowel (believe me, they’re useful!). For the final touch, cinch the bag by tying a bow with pink Hanna tie-dye silk ribbon (starting at $1.20 a yard at Paper Source).