When it’s time to decide on the weekly blog post topic, we check the calendar at Good Earth Plant Company. The past few years, we’ve dedicated the first post in May to World Naked Gardening Day (AKA WNGD). For whatever reason, it’s one of our top blog posts every year. What’s wrong with you people? That’s OK. We’ll do anything to get people thinking about plants and ways to enrich their lives with plants, with or without clothing.
This year, WNGD also falls on Mother’s Day 2022 weekend. I’ve done a lot of things to embarrass my mom Sandy over the years. For once, I’m going to spare her. Instead, I’m giving the blog over to my mom this week. For those who don’t know her, Sandy is Sandra M. Fowler, a past president of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR USA), an interdisciplinary network for trainers and researchers in intercultural and cross-cultural communication. She’s also the Art Editor for the American Psychological Association. She’s also an expert on fine art. We go to Art Alive every year, and we recently saw the immersive Van Gogh art exhibit together.
So Mom, take it away!
When Jim (barely out of his teens) talked with his dad about buying the flower kiosk in the heart of San Diego, I had no idea that it would blossom into a multimillion-dollar business. As his mom, I’ve enjoyed watching him grow into a civic-minded businessman who cares about the professionalism of his employees, the quality of his product, an eco-warrior, and an ardent supporter of the natural world.
Over the 80+ years I’ve been on the planet, I have always made sure I had a garden to tend. As I’ve gotten older, the gardens have gotten smaller, but that’s ok. Every morning I walk around, snipping the passion fruit vine, removing a weed here and there, adding a bit of water to my bonsai and other potted plants, or whatever needs to be done. I start the day listening to the birds, and this activity keeps me in touch with growing things as well as more flexible as I bend, stretch, reach, and pull. Jim helps with lots of advice (that I’m free to accept or not) and the occasional hard work like training the grapevines over the pergola, cutting the branches of the powder puff shrubs that are way over my head or relocating a large plant in a heavy pot.
Who knew that having a son in the plant business has its perks? The inside of my home is filled with orchids, he always has Art Alive tickets for me, and I often get cast-off plants that need a new home. Jim has been growing plants since his teens. I won’t mention what those early plants were, but they sure were healthy. I’ve been fortunate that my family has such a strong interest in plants and gardening. My daughter (Jim’s sister in Denver) has plants everywhere in her house and an extensive garden outside. My grandson in Sacramento has a barrel outside his back door (it’s a very tiny space) filled with herbs that he uses in cooking. My late husband was into long walks that we did throughout the world since he was an international traveler. What a wonderful way to be in the world, enjoy the flora and fauna, and meet the people. A favorite memory is the walk under the tree ferns in the Abel Tasman Park in New Zealand, where they brought us in by boat (no cars allowed) in the morning and picked us up 5 miles down the coast in the late afternoon.
When Jim and I went to the Van Gogh exhibit, I noticed that he focused on the quotations about nature and Van Gogh’s paintings of sunflowers and other plants. My background is in psychology, and my attention was on Vincent’s portraits. A cool experience to share. When Jim asked me to write something for his blog, I realized that this is another perk, so I hope you enjoyed this bit of who Jim’s Mom is. I have a favorite quote from Amanda Gorman: “Every day we write the future.” I think Jim might change that to: “Every day we grow the future.” — Sandra M. Fowler
For those of you like me lucky enough to still have a Mom in your life, perhaps a grandmother or two, or even a mother of choice, please reflect and thank them for helping you along whatever path you’ve traveled.
American Ana Jarvis of Philadelphia founded Mother’s Day, and she also began the tradition of flowers on Mother’s Day as the ideal gift. Many countries worldwide celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year, including Mexico, Great Britain, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium. It is an especially popular holiday in Japan, where it has its own history as a celebration originally honoring the birthday of Empress Kojun. It officially became Mother’s Day in 1949. Japanese sons and daughters send carnations to their mothers. White is the most popular color.
In the U.S., the top five selling flowers for Mother’s Day are tulips, gerbera daisies, lilies, gladioli, and roses. We love cut flowers at Good Earth Plant Company, but we love living plants even more. Consider buying roses or tulips blooming in a small pot. They will last longer than cut roses or tulips, and properly cared for with plenty of light, they will bloom for many weeks. They will also provide all the benefits of adding plants to your environment.
Or be more creative and support small businesses at the same time. Visit your favorite local nursery and choose a hanging basket of geraniums, a big leafy pot of herbs for a kitchen window or patio Mom can cook with all summer or buy several small plants and have your kids plant a big color bowl. She’ll love it, and your kids will learn a little something about gardening and nature while getting their hands dirty.
Happy Mother’s Day 2022 from all the kids who love to play in the dirt at Good Earth Plant Company!