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You Can Grow It: Some Mother's Day gift ideas

Jim Duthie takes a look at some gardening options for mom.

Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, and if you’re stumped trying to think of a nice gift for mom, there’s nothing like a living, growing plant in a pretty container, especially if she’s a gardener.

Garden master Jim Duthie shows us some perfect gift ideas that any mother would love, and the best part is, she can grow it.

Now that we’re approaching Mother’s Day, we decided to talk about some things that are going to make gardening easier for mom, or the mother-figure in your life. Lindsay Schramm from North End Organic Nursery is here with us talking about products that are available for mom to make gardening not only fun, but beautiful as well.

“I don’t have any time to do a lot of things, so I like stuff that’s going to save me time. I’m doing one of these insta braces this year because I can quickly set up some raised beds, and that will be a great way to surprise mom, too.”

Insta braces are decorative metal brackets that form the four corners of a raised garden bed. Slide in any two-inch lumber of any length for each side -- two-by-fours, two-by-sixes, a two-by-twelve and in minutes they’re ready to fill with soil and start planting.

“These can go on a concrete patio or anything else?” asked Jim.

“Concrete patio, I laid cardboard underneath my beds, threw these guys on top, slid those pieces of wood in there, and I was done. And it can go any size that you want. Perfect.”

Container plants are always a nice gift, especially if mom has limited space or can’t work out in the garden. And there are so many options, including miniature tomatoes.

“Some of these tomatoes down here are designed to specifically not get much bigger than maybe like six inches to a foot. And they can easily get planted into something simple like in a terra cotta pot. And you set it on the patio table.”

These decorative containers offer the classic look of outdoor wicker furniture. And they’re the perfect size for a small townhouse or apartment, even a retirement center.

“They’re meant to go on like a window sill or on a patio, on a railing, and something that is kind of tidy, and can fit in, but looks pretty, too.”

And they’re self-watering. Keep the reservoir filled with water, and it gets wicked up into the soil as needed. A meter lets you know the water level, so you’ll never over or under water your plants.

We’ve brought Alyson Burleigh in, also from North End Organic Nursery, to talk about growing flowers with edible things. And you’ve got some beautiful creations here.

“Yes, life’s too boring to plant just one thing. We have to mix it up. We have rosemary here, sage, snapdragons… we have zinnias, calibrachoas…. over here we have basil and thyme and pansies.”

A perfect little kitchen garden right outside the door. For these containers, Alyson recommends a couple of annuals, and two or three herb plants.

“That way you’ve got five plants in there, and it’s aesthetically pleasing, and it won’t crowd each other too much.”

“The key to a lovely container garden is a thriller, filler, and spiller. So, you need your tall center piece, the thriller. Then some fillers, and then you have your spillers, like a calibrachoa, or sweet potato vines, or strawberries. And they can cascade over the sides? Yes, something to spill out the side.”

Or plant mom a little salad bowl.

“You’ve got your alliums that we talked about on you can grow it last week, as well as herbs and lettuce and other things like that. Just go out and cut yourself a salad.”

“You bet. Your options are endless. You can do chives and rosemary and kale and lettuce. Do the same design principles as the thriller, filler and spiller. It’s really fun.”

Finally, even fabric bags can be planters. They come in various sizes, and you can plant just about anything in them. This one is full of strawberry plants.

Thank you, Lindsay and Alyson, for showing us some of these wonderful things that we can get our moms for Mother’s Day. Whether she’s a gardener or not, I think she’ll really like some of the beautiful ways that she can grow some edible things out on her patio.

Local garden centers have all kinds of garden-related gift ideas, including decorative planters, garden tools and accessories, and of course, a huge assortment of living plants for a Mother’s Day reminder that will last throughout the year.

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