My annual Mother’s Day visit to my mom’s house is always an exploration into master gardener heaven. The guard of my mother’s garden of flowers and vegetables is the formidable Benji, Mom’s 1o+ year old bagel (beagle-bassett mix), who bays to introduce all visitors to the house. When I think of Mother’s Day and home, I always think of the abundant azaleas. The azaleas always, and I mean always, bloom for Mother’s Day.
This year, the wisteria, with it’s strange buds (I can’t even describe them so you’ll have to just look at the photos) that transform into beautiful purple and white grape-like clusters of flowers, was quite stunning. The wisteria hang down and dangle their clustered jewels seemingly upside down.
Another favorite of mine this year is the perennial geranium which I’ve walked by many times as I approach the front door, but have never paid much attention to. The flowers are small but with just the right light and attention, they are simple and beautiful all at the same time.
The cherubs inhabit the flower gardens along with the squirrels, chipmunks, morning doves, and rabbits. Shh! I can’t mention the groundhog, because the mere mention of his name will set off my mom into a real life Bill Murray impression from the movie Caddyshack (if you’re not laughing, then you’re probably too young, so rent the movie which is very very funny). Okay, back to the flowers. Even the cherubs know how important it is to stop to smell the knock out roses.
I love how my mother’s gardens remind me that even the vegetables offer beautiful flowers either before or after they produce the food that we eat. Did you know that chives produce such beautiful purple pom-pom flowers atop the delicate onion-tasting stalk? If you don’t pick them often enough, they go “to seed,” as Mom says.
In a pinwheel installation, Mom plants tuberous begonias in brilliant yellows and oranges, with what seem like a million petals. Their colors are so intense, so brilliant that I have a hard time photographing them. These are also the colors for her kitchen, so the inside carries over to the outside.
I love dahlias, and this one is so interesting with such a deep, dark red, cream, and a yellow center. It’s like three flowers in one.
Now wave petunias are very common these days, because you don’t have to “dead head” them (i.e., pinch off the dead flowers) to keep them blooming, and they produce waves of color all summer. I bet you’ve never gotten up close, really close, to inspect one of these beauties. Deep inside the center of this hot pink, purple-veined flower is the most delicate lavender, fuzzy jewel in the deep, dark purple center. Check it out.
Last buy not least, we always have a special Mother’s Day brunch at the Hotel Hershey. Although this Gerbera Daisy did not come from Mom’s garden, it was on our table at brunch and I thought it was so lovely, especially those teeny tiny yellow petals in the center.
After a day in Mom’s gardens and a very filling, all-you-can-eat brunch at Hotel Hershey, what’s left? Ah, you know me so well.
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