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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

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Mother’s Day Gift

Mother's Day is on the way. This column is written for those who truly love their Mother and want her to remember them fondly every day of the year.

Whether you live close to your Mother and see her often, or whether she lives hundreds of miles away as was the case with my Mother, I have an idea for a gift that will be lasting and loved. I know this gift will be appreciated because I gave my Mother one and she loved it more than anything I could have done for her. Even if your Mother is in a retirement community or is confined to a bed, this Mother's Day gift will be cherished above all. So forget the short-lived flowers and the fattening candy. Those of you who care will give your Mom a planting bed this year.

I am a great believer in the positive therapy which growing plants can have on the elderly because of the wonderful effects horticulture had on my grandmother. When I was in high school, she and her husband were in their late 80's. They were not in the best of health, and, being elderly, the winter months were the hardest on them. This lady was prone to strokes even though she had developed a strong body during her earlier farming life. Each winter, doctors would say she had grown her last tomato. But when the first robins appeared in the spring, this little, old, bedridden lady would come alive and bloom like a dormant tulip bulb.

Both she and her husband were too weak to garden alone, but together they made an Olympic-class gardening team. Once the garden was planted and growing, my grandmother seemed to grow stronger, healthier and happier by the day. I witnessed a garden literally perform a miracle on these two elderly citizens who, for several years, doctors had said would never leave the house again.

This pattern of life ended when her husband became ill, and she was placed in a nursing home. The winter of illness was not followed by the spring of renewal. Soon, crippling inactivity followed. Next, the inevitable occurred.

I remember my last visit with my grandmother because of the tears we shed together as she reminisced and longed for her garden, and I tried to relate the joy of gardening that I had found because of her example. She was the grandmother who helped make me what I am today, and if I had the chance again, she would be looking out of her bedroom window into a small garden or at a container of her favorite flowers. I DON'T have that chance, but maybe you STILL do.

So let's get to the Mother's Day gift that will mean something --not just be convenient or easy. If you want to plant a container, simply get a large container (whiskey barrel size), fill it with potting mix after drilling holes in the bottom to insure good drainage, mix Osmocote, slow-release fertilizer pellets in the potting mix and get ready to plant. For a more complete description of making a successful container garden, see:

If you have a larger area and really want to make Mom happy, construct a raised bed garden for her. Once you have the planting bed, it is time to choose the correct, long-lasting plants for the location where you’ll plant. Some require a planting site which receives sunlight and hot weather all day, while some prefer the shade. Let her make the choice from the selections described at:

You will have demonstrated, once-and-for-all, how much you really love your Momma!!