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GARDENING: Mother's Day is the ideal time to begin appreciating garden.

Byline: Graham Porter

WITH only two weeks to go before Mother's Day, I wonder what you have got planned, as those little extra special presents, for the women in your life?

We use phrases such as Mother Earth and Earth Mother and yet do not always link the process of motherhood with the garden, a place or continuing new life and nurturing.

Our mothers care for us through good times and bad - I wonder if we care for our gardens quite as well through those times, when the lawn gets out of hand and the weeds take over a corner of the garden.

Like the messy bedrooms of children and the idleness of teenagers, our gardens need mothering to give us the pleasure they and we perhaps do not always appreciate.

Maybe Mother's' Day is the day to start appreciating your mother a little more and appreciating the garden in the same way.

Although not in flower on Mother's Day, my mother's favourite flower was lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, and I have a small patch in my garden in her memory.

So, if your mother has passed away, why not plant her favourite flower in your garden - it gives me a rush of memories when the lily of the valley flowers every spring.

I also have a picture of them in my office to keep her memory fresh for the rest of the year.

So, what are you going to do to show your appreciation for your mother?

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

A pair of tickets to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show - April 24-27. www.flowershow.org.uk . 0870 758 3333.

A new garden chair, a special wine glass and a good bottle of her favourite wine.

A garden centre voucher and a list of her favourite plants to buy.

An annual subscription to a garden magazine that you know she buys occasionally.

Sneak into her garden shed and check over items such as gardening gloves, balls of string, labels, secateurs and other apparently insignificant gardening necessities - she will be over the moon with a mixed bag of gardening bits and bobs.

A design for a new garden feature such as border, patio or pond that you promise to construct in 2008!

A planted bowl, with primroses, narcissi and a foliage plant that can be transplanted into the garden afterwards.

A decorative bowl filled with her favourite fruits plus a surprise - a garden centre voucher to buy a fruit bush so that she can grow her own.

To round off this piece for Mother's Day on March 2, I found this delightful piece of poetry by Mike Hoggarth.

In My Mother's Garden

A pink clematis grows against a wall

in my mother's garden,

butterflies of red and yellow

flit in and out

of my mother's garden,

a ginger cat does this and that

in my mother's garden,

a pair of white-collared doves

and a chaffinch bold,

a thrush, some sparrows and a robin too,

fly in and out

of my mother's garden,

a buddleia tree

daffodils and a crocus bulb

grow in this garden of Eden,

a sun-dappled squirrel

scurries along

the bough of a tree

in my mother's garden,

and in a shady place

under a privet hedge

a hedgehog lies sleeping,

have you seen the flowers?

in my mother's garden

there are a whole lot of colours

that are growing there,

and my mother sits

upon her garden bench

enjoying her cup of tea,

she is the mistress

of all she surveys

in her country garden,

it is good to be sitting there

in the summer sun

thinking of this and that,

in my mother's garden.

CAPTION(S):

SWEET MEMORIES: Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, was my mother's favourite flower
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2008
Words:630
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