Perennials: The Gifts that Keep on Giving


Perennials such as hostas make a good gift.
Last Mother's Day, I was given several hostas which are planted in a shady spot of my edible garden.

Happy Mother’s Day! I have a photo from Mother’s Day 2006 that I keep in a frame in our kitchen. I can look at the photo and remember that day like it was yesterday…literally!

I have three little girls who then were 2, 4 and 6 years old. It was a blistering hot and humid day that particular Mother’s Day and my husband had surprised me with several trays of flowers (mostly perennials) to plant in our flower beds.

Mother's Day 2006
Me and my three girls on Mother's Day in 2006.

I chuckle now when I think back to how ungrateful my reaction to his gift was. At the time having to sit out in the heat and dig in the red Alabama clay and plant flowers while my little ones rolled all in the dirt was not my idea of having a “nice Mother’s Day.” I just wanted to sit in the air condition and go out for a nice meal with my family….which we did end up doing once our flowers were planted and we all had a bath. The only photo I have from that day is the one with us dressed and ready to go to dinner and funny enough, I cannot for the life of me tell you where we ate dinner, but I can tell you what we planted!  I regret not having taken the time to snap a photo of us digging in the garden.

With time my little girls grew, and, thank goodness, so did my idea of what a “perfect Mother’s Day” entails. Although we moved from that house four years ago, when I drive by it I still see the Lamb’s ear and yellow lantana we planted in the beds (I’m so glad the new owners left them).

My husband has continued the tradition of new perennials every year and I couldn’t be more grateful. Last year I got several hostas, which I’ve transplanted  this spring over to one of my veggie beds that gets afternoon shade in the back corner.

Tomatoes planted in cages in vegetable bed.
I planted lavender-colored lantana, a gift from my mom this year, in full sun with my tomatoes.

And this year, my Mom surprised me with a lavender colored lantana. She really has no idea how much I appreciate it because I will think of her when I look at it (I planted it today in a shallow end of another one of my veggie beds).

Though your veggies are annuals, many herbs are perennials and make a wonderful gift year-round. Now, one of my favorite gifts to give friends or give as a hostess gift is a perennial plant in a cute pot. My decision on whether I give  an herb or a flower of some kind depends on the person I’m giving it to. An article on the Bonnie website gives several ideas for herb containers that make good gifts for Mother’s Day or any day.

The next time you decide to purchase a trinket (hint… Father’s Day is around the corner) think of giving a plant or tree of some kind… some kind of perennial that every year will grow and continue to share the love behind your gift-giving that means more than any gift you can buy!