Mom the Gardener

Mother’s Day is fast approaching this weekend. As a nurseryman, please allow me to make an observation: mothers are enthusiastic gardeners! They make up a huge part of our customer base. With that in mind, assisted by my wife Diane, I have assembled a few gift ideas for readers.

1. Mixed plantings of culinary herbs. This simple project makes a wonderful gift for any gardener who likes fresh herbs for the kitchen. Just pick a beautiful ceramic pot or hanging basket. Fill it with good potting soil, and then plant four 4” potted herbs. Pick some that will cascade from the top of the pot. Creeping herbs like thyme, oregano and rosemary can also be mixed with popular, upright herbs like parsley, sage and chives. Tie a bow around the top of the pot, add a card, and you will have made a unique and thoughtful gift.

2. European basket. Start with a nice woven basket with a handle. Then place potted flowering herbs and tropical plants inside. Add some packets of flower seed, a hand trowel, and some colorful (and useful) gardening gloves, some ribbon, and a card. Another beautiful home-made gift.

3. A living rose bush. There are some magnificent roses available that bloom all year and require little attention. Look for the knock out series, and home run. They will add beauty to the landscape all year.

4. Books. If mom likes to read as much as she likes to garden, we suggest Lucinda Hutson’s Herb Garden Cookbook (Gulf Publishing). Lucinda goes through the culinary herbs one at a time and tells you how to grow and then cook with them. It is filled with tasty recipes and tips on how to be successful growing these garden gems. Trisha Shirey’s Vegetable Gardening in the Southwest (Timber Press) could also make a great gift.

5. Fiction. Another gardening author to check out is Austinite Susan Wittig Albert. She is the creator of the China Bales mystery series (and she has visited us at the nursery to share her knowledge about herbs). The main character, China Bales, uses here gardening skills and herbal wisdom to solve murder mysteries.

If you have a question for Chris, send it via email to iathyme@yahoo.com. Or mail a postcard to It’s About Thyme: 11726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www.itsaboutthyme.com

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