My mother was a character. She loved to play, tease and generally pester the heck out of her family.
She was a character in her garden, too. She was adamant about finding plants in the forest or roadside in the West Kootenays and bringing them home to plant in her rather sad, meagre garden.
After school, she would pick up all four of us kids and take us up into the mountains.
She would come home with Indian paintbrush, Oregon grape, arrowleaf balsamroot, wild roses, small trees, such as mountain ash, and many other unfortunate species.
One of her favourites was foxglove, which seemed to be the only plant that would take in her garden. She would plunk them right into her makeshift garden without a thought as to their need for sun, shade or water.
Sad, limp and scruffy trees and plants tried their best to grow in our yard, but Mom was happy, and she never gave up!
We gardeners have to keep trying and never give up. We need to spend a bit more time than my mother did making sure we choose the right plants and trees for our gardens and for the amount of energy we want to give our plants.
Make sure to read labels to identify whether your plant choices need full sun, part sun/part shade or full shade.
Many plants are too fragile to survive over winter and may need to be moved indoors during the colder months. We are in the plant hardiness zone 8b here in Richmond, so there are plenty of choices for our plant material.
When choosing shrubs or trees, make sure to understand how tall and how wide the plants will be when full grown.
Some plants require more pruning and care than you may have time, expertise or interest to take on.
Do your research, ask questions at your nursery and you will be happy with your careful planning.
Happy Mother’s Day to my angel mother and all earthly mothers on this special day!
Lynda Pasacreta is the current president of the Richmond Garden Club. Visit Richmond Garden Club’s annual Mother’s Day plant sale, Saturday, May 13, South Arm United Church parking lot, No. 3 Road and Steveston Highway, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Passionate gardeners will share their expertise to help make good choices. Visit RichmondGardenClub.ca for more information.