On my knees for Mother’s Day


A quick search on the Internet gives us these ten popular activities to do with your family on Mother’s Day weekend.

Sip Tea

Enjoy brunch at a local restaurant

Hop along a wine trail

Visit a public garden or arboretum

Have a screaming time at an amusement park

Take a trip to the zoo

Attend a music festival

Enjoy a live performance at a theatre

Take a hike

Relax on a boat on the river or lake

What do you think my wife and I do every Mother’s Day weekend? It’s not any of the aforementioned items.

For almost 25 years, my wife and I spend at least one day of Mother’s Day weekend outside on our knees. Let me explain.

In 1987 we built a house on the edge of town in what was at that time, a brand new subdivision. We were just the third family to build a home on that tract of land. The first home was one of the developers.

We love this lot. It is two acres, almost all trees, on a southern facing hill inside the city limits. It takes me less than two minutes to drive to work each day and in the summer, we can look out our bedroom window and see nothing but trees.

None of our neighbors are visible out the back of our house. The only homes visible from our front porch are one to the east and one to the west.

A few years after we built our home, the road was paved. It was then the developers decided that curbing would be a nice idea at the homeowners’ expense.

I don’t believe the developers thought everything out when the road was excavated. Because of the lay of the land, our property is below the road.

If the road had been 12 inches lower, there would have been no problem. But, when the concrete was poured, the curbing was entirely out of the ground.

Our choices were limited. We could cut down many of the trees in our yard that we love and then have countless truckloads of topsoil brought in to raise the front of our yard. You can see that problem. The reason we purchased the property was because of the trees.

The other dominant landscaping feature of our property, besides trees, is rocks — large rocks. So we used what we had to solve the problem.

We created a wall, from 75 large rocks (I counted them), behind the curb. Some of these rocks can be moved by a younger man with a strong back; many needed a skid steer, about five required a backhoe or loader to be moved into place.

This left 12 to 18 inches of space for planting flowers. That may not seem like much, but it is 150 feet long.

Because of the dominance of trees in our yard, this area is the only place with full sun.

After making a considerable investment at local landscaping facilities each year, we spend most of a day on Mother’s Day weekend on our knees planting flowers.

Over the years, we have adjusted some of the flowers that we put into the ground. One constant has been sweet alyssum. Alyssum is a low plant. The color we choose is white.

To complement the white alyssum, we have been planting purple and white wave petunias. This year we couldn’t get enough white, so we are going to try yellow. Then around the petunias are some hip hops and any other 6 to 10-inch sun-loving purple or white flowering plants we can find.

We have become a little wiser. About one-third of our front curb area is now filled with daylilies. We had to do this. Years ago, when our three children lived with us, we had a supply of forced labor with which to rely on. Alas, those days are long gone. Now it’s just Connie and myself.

You would think that one or more of our kids would volunteer their time for nostalgia’s sake.

Behind the large rocks, we have planted a variety of daylilies, lambs ears, coneflowers lily of the valley, phlox and peonies.

Watch our Facebook page. I will post a couple of photos of the planting process, plus I will upload some pictures from previous years when everything is in full bloom.

Finally, one thing we should all do on Mother’s Day, thank our mothers.

Mom, I may not always express myself, but you are the greatest. You were always there when I needed you. I love you.


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