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A Bea in the Garden column: Finding the right flowers for Mom

Oh boy! The combination of no recent snow storms, warmer temperatures and my special mix of Matcha green tea, honey and cream have elevated me to a new level.

As you may recall, I had a few potholes in life to mess up my energy level and I feared that I lost my get-up-and-go.

That rumor is being put to bed.

Our Creative Crones Drumming group was invited to be lead at our hand drumming teacher's home base program in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and four of us made trip on a beautiful Saturday adventure. Val was lead driver of the four-wheeled transportation and Donna, Dino the cowbell player and I came equipped to rock St. Croix Falls and we did!

I had been away from drumming for six months but just like riding that bicycle, my skills at drumming came back, although a bit rusty, but the squirrel calls and howling were right on the mark. What an excellent feeling! I think our drumming group is better and cheaper than "seeing a psychiatrist."

Our base was Breakaway Arts, that has closed, but we are continuing on and growing. If you are interested in trying something perhaps outside your box, let me know. Our teacher has a wide variety of drums with him so you don't even need to own one. If I can do it, I think almost every person in world can.

My outdoor hormones are not getting revved up as much as I would like them to. It's not that I don't want to smell the flowers, I just am not roaring to go out and work on things to get the flowers blooming so I can smell them.

Things like picking up all the sticks, raking, filling in the animal holes and a lot of trimming are not getting an "A" listing at this time. I am going to blame it on the long, very long winter like season. Usually we have had at a month of gardening fever to prepare for talking about Mother's Day but this year we better start talking about it now.

Hopefully you have figured out what YOUR Mom likes and what she wants for that day. Often times it is "just" a request for spending time with the family.

Mom may be very pleased and happy to have someone else do the day's cooking; cleaning and kid care for a day or part of a day. Mom may also delight in hearing your voice and a phone call would be very pleasing. (Maybe not at the same level as texting, do the real thing).

A number of us do not have our Moms here with us on Earth. We can take time to reflect and celebrate what our moms were to us.

One of the traditional Mother's Day gifts has been flowers in some shape or form. This is especially true if Mom has a gardening interest and/or has space to plant things.

Don't forget that moms who do not have this interest or space may still like to receive a nice bouquet of cut flowers. Fresh-cut flowers are available at a wide range of places and prices.

Indoor plants can be a good gift even if Mom says she does not have a green thumb. They often do well for a number of weeks and do come with watering, light and fertilizing instructions.

It's the hanging plant baskets or potted outdoor planters that are probably the most popular gifts for Mom. That huge show of beautiful baskets and planters makes one rush home with at least a few of each.

How does one go about picking which one to purchase? It certainly is not an easy thing to do. It would certainly help if Mom liked only a few kinds of flowers but that is usually not the case.

Then we have the large number of places that are offering these beauties in a very wide variety of choices. Then we have the coupons and special sales. The "thens" keep building up but here are a few general tips that may help.

Even if you know next to nothing about plants, note if Mom has shaded areas or sunny areas to put your gift and then ask at the plant store to show you what would be the correct plants for that area(s); major trauma off your shoulders with that move. Then go on to the color selection. If Mom has declared a deep dislike for orange you can then rule out any plants of that color and move on to make your selection.

Also, was Mom born with a watering can in her hands or does she list watering as one of the last things she does? This again would be good thing to know as maybe she would be best off with a cactus arrangement rather than a fuchsia.

Speaking of fuchsias, that is one beautiful, tricky beast of a plant. They are sensitive to just about anything you can think of from being in a spot that is too windy, too sunny, too warm and most important of all, it needs its liquids. It will not forgive you for any dry times and just says "I quit."

Marigolds, on the other hand, will forgive you a thousand times. All of these Mother's Day offerings are raised to look their best now and would very much like some fertilizer care and deadheading if needed to continue to be beautiful. Love to all Moms!

Bea Westerberg may be contacted at