Mom and the Garden
By Erin Robbins
“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” -Abraham Lincoln
The smell of spring is fresh on the air. The grass is growing and the blue sky twinkles with promise. The sun shines down and a young child twirls across the lawn, dancing in the fresh air. Gone are the days of thick, itchy layers and frozen toes. A celebration has come: for the sun and the rain and the rebirth of life in nature.
A mother calls to her child, beckoning them to the small patch in the corner of the yard. Rich, dark soil is piled there, smelling of earth and possibility. She reaches out her hand. Her hand is dirty and her child wonders why she doesn’t seem to mind. A smile is wide on her face and she pulls her child down to the dirt. She wants to show them something.
A small shovel appears, much like the one they bring to the beach. Excited, the child smiles, knowing what is to come. Together, as mother and child, a pocket is created into the earth. The darkness in the hole is full of wonder and enchantment. What does it mean?
The mother turns and a small crackling of plastic is heard behind her. Turning around again, she presents a small plant.
It isn’t much of a plant – just a small spit of green sprouting from the dirt encasing it. She places it into her child’s hand. The child inspects it with wondrous curiosity. Surely it must be more than this little spot of green!
The mother laughs and pulls her child’s hands toward the little hole they had just made. They settle the little sprout in the hole and begin to cover it up. “Mommy must not want him to get cold,” the child thinks, “after all, he is so small!” They pile and pack and settle the tiny green man into his new home.
As the mother sprinkles water around him, she asks, “Isn’t it beautiful?” Confused, her child says, “But it’s just a leaf.” She looks up and her eyes meet her child’s. Warmth spreads like sunshine off her beaming smile. She takes her child’s hand and together they stand, looking down at their work. “You’ll see,” she says. And they did.
Mothers and Our Gardens
A story like this one may be very familiar for many of us. Our mothers were our gardening teachers. They showed us, as children, the wonders of garden possibilities. They shared with us the joys of their own patch of heaven. They nurtured us through the first gardens of our own. They taught us that gardening is the song of nature in our hearts, a comfort that nothing else can offer us.
Our gardens are a place where we go to feel that happiness and connection that we felt that first time in our mother’s garden. There, we feel closer to our mothers even when they are not here. They may be gone, or they may be far away, but our mothers are always in our gardens.
You may be on your own for the first time, wishing for the guidance and support through your first flowers of the season. You may be a new mother, eager to share the joys of your garden with your little one, to build that unbreakable connection through earth and sprouting. You may be spending the day in a garden that isn’t even your own, carefully nurturing the blooms of your mother who is no longer able to herself. Whichever you may be, the impact your mother has had on your gardening life is undeniable.
Honouring the role your mother has played in your gardening experience can feel impossible. They have given you a lifetime of love and passion, and small trinkets and baubles pale in comparison to that gift. But Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about giving a small present and moving on. Show Mom just how much you appreciate what she has given to you and your garden.
Consider giving her the gift of new bedding flowers or a house plant for her to enjoy. Maybe plan a DIY crafting session to add decoration to her home – succulent and air plant dishes are very trendy right now and can be fun for both you and mom. You could bring her to the Garden Centre to help her get her garden ready for this season. You could also take some time to simply share and enjoy the moments outdoors and in the garden.
However you choose to spend your Mother’s Day with Mom, remember to thank her for all she has done for you. All of the little joys of life, like the love of gardening and time spent together are some the greatest gifts she could give to you. Honour her and her gifts this year with the bonding, love, and laughter that comes from time spent together.