Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Mother's Day Garden

Life Lessons From my Mom

flickr photo by OiMax

Our mom was like a cat … she always could find a sunny spot in the garden. In the morning on the back porch she would read the newspaper, with her characteristic, “half a cup of coffee.” (“Honey, would you like a half a cup of coffee? a half of a sandwich? a half of a glass of beer?”) In the afternoon she’d sit on the other side of the house, her chair positioned to best enjoy the warmth of the sun while she did some other characteristic activity, like let out a hem or darn towels (it’s true, I lol while I write this!). The point is, however, not my mom’s unique charm, but her instinctive creating of a place to enjoy the day.

When I design landscapes for clients I like to create a special place in their garden for them to just “be”. It doesn’t have to be a sunny spot. Shady ones are also great, especially in the middle of a hot summer day. Recently I created a garden that had a “nap house”, with a shaded pergola and a daybed for a little afternoon reading or a nap, but, your spot doesn’t have to be that fancy. My mom, the make-do queen, simply had an old comfy chair. The important thing is that it works, gives pleasure and beckons you to go outside and enjoy the moment.

On this Mother’s Day, perhaps you know someone who would love this kind of pampering. (Perhaps you, yourself, are the mother that needs the pampering?). Here are some ideas, once you’ve found the perfect spot:

A place to sit…wouldn't this Pier 1 chair be sweet (with a plump cushion)?

Or, maybe you'd like a place to take a nap...

You’ll need a bit of a surface (like this painted Ikea table from ReadyMade magazine)

and something to read...

Debra Lee Baldwin, Container Succulent Gardens – an amazing book filled with great pictures and useful, well-written information!I met Debra at the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show (and the pre-show "Tweet-up" which was great fun!). She's a lovely woman and I can't praise her book highly enough!

John Greenlee, The New American Meadow (photos by Saxon Holt) – the newest trend in garden landscaping, and one that’s here to stay. Just looking at a picture of a prairie meadow makes you feel peaceful.

And, of course, something to eat...
A cup of tea or coffee? A glass of wine? A bag of potato chips? (I mean, a half of a bag!)

Cats come to it naturally. In our busy lives, we have to decide to make the time and place for quality time with ourselves. My mom would be the first one to say, "keep it simple" (a variation on, "don't go spending all your money!") So, in honor of my mom, and taking my own advice ... here's a little spot of my own. Not a finished piece ... I can go way fancier ... but a little spot in the sun for my morning read.

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email


  1. What a sweet tribute to your mother, who was wise indeed.

  2. What a nice tribute to your mom & a great list of garden goodies. Thanks for sharing!