Mom's Day Grow Great Grub

If mom just got the gardening bug, she’ll need an organic garden guide.

Mother’s Day is not especially green. It’s more likely to be dipped in red roses and served with bright yellow potato
salad. It could be heralded with pink carnations or homemade orange juice. If it’s forgotten, it’s draped in the blues.

It’s almost everything but green. But it could be green, and it should be. Who better than the gardener of human capital, to receive gifts that pay it forward?

Heck, your mom may even be an actual gardener, and that makes finding the right green gift even easier. Get her a plant, a set of tools, a knee pad (trust me) or the tried and true Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening or Grow Great Grub, a new guide to growing edibles in small spaces.

But even if your mum’s not an actual gardener, she still deserves the best chemical-free, upcycled, life-conserving gifts we can find for her, and there’s are plenty of little treats out there that fit the day.

Here are a few ideas. You can even pick most of them up on Saturday.

Mom's Day -- Starbucks stainless steel tumbler

1 – A reusable coffee mug. Simple, reusable. She’ll be cutting down on those Starbuck disposables and her coffee with stay warmer. Starbucks has a great selection. We like the narrow stainless steel mugs. They fit in your car holder. They don’t leak. They endure. (And that’s the point.)

Mom's Day -- Garden Markers

2 – Homemade garden markers made from end pieces of wood (check your garage or the lumber store). This is a great project for kids who want to make a gift. Thanks to

Mom's Day  photo - Maid Brigade

(Photo: Maid Brigade)

3 — Services. It’s more practical than fanciful, but most moms would appreciate a break from a) housecleaning (unless they already have that service, lucky them) b) mowing and c) cooking. Of course it’s traditional for small kids to give mom a promissary note for vacuuming, laundry or dishwashing. But if the kids are bigger (and therefore recalcitrant or busy partying), dad and offspring can spring for a cleaning service.  How is this green you ask? It saves mom energy. OK? (It can double as a Father’s Day gift, if perchance he cleans too.)

Old Clothing, Frisco Mercantile

4 — Recycled Funky Stuff. This gets personal. You have to know what she’d like and what she’d loathe. Recycled items could range from collectible kitchenware to kitschy clothing or jewelry, if your mom likes that sort of thing. Browse the local antique or resale shops to pick up vintage dresses or housewares from the 1950s, 60s or 70s when mom grew up. We don’t want clutter, but that just-right find. You’ll know it when you see it.

Old Vases, Frisco Mercantile

5 —  While you’re second-hand shopping, keep your eyes peeled for items that can be re-purposed, like these glass vases. They can be used as, well, vases, or add olive oil for something more useful.

Pitcher and Bowl, Frisco Mercantile

6 — Don’t forget the actual valuables. These signs are cute, but check out that bowl and water jug. It’s classic and perfect for repurposing or even purposing. If you find one in great shape use it as intended, or for lemonade at parties. We saw this one at the Frisco (Texas) Mercantile.

Water Buffalo Head, Frisco Mercantile

7 — There’s also this Water Buffa…. What? No. Your mom doesn’t want that.

Native flowers, Lantana and Daisies

8 — There are many ways to bring beauty and peace to mom’s life, without weighing her down with merchandise. That’s a green consideration. Take these native flowers. She’s probably got a spot for them and they help feed butterflies and birds. They’ll brighten her day for a long time, years maybe. They store carbon and they’ll grow in pots too.

Bird Houses, locally made, at Sound and True at Rosewood Collective Austin

9 — On the other hand, if you want to weigh her down with merchandise, she may need the requisite backyard oasis accoutrements, like bird baths, bird houses and such. This is fertile territory for the locally made artisan type stuff you can find if you look for it. We found these locally made clay bird abodes at the Sound & True at the Rosewood Collective in Austin, where shop owner Mary Kathryn Paynter gathers useful but unique artisan and recycled products. Shop locally.

Hand Soap, Ms. Meyer's Radish

10 — Mom’ll (new word) need to wash up after she’s been gardening or whatever else she’s been doing. We cannot decide if she should have Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Trio of Gardening Hand Soaps, which are paraben-free and made mainly of naturally derived ingredients, or Ms. Meyer’s (as we like to call her) newest, out-of-the-box scent, Radish.  Yes, Radish. Radishing. This could be better than Rhubarb.