Memories of Mum’s garden


Mother’s Day in May always takes our thoughts back to childhood and the way life was: the food we ate, the holidays we enjoyed, the family outings. The garden, too, holds a special place in our childhood memories and the plants our mothers grew and loved will always stay with us.

Ann was brought up in northland so her childhood garden was full of brightly coloured flowers that do well in the warmer areas. Dahlias and zinnias were summer favourites. Both can be grown from spring-sown seeds and Yates Cinderella Dahlia is a dwarf variety that smothers itself for months with bright blooms. Cinderella dies down each winter and comes up again in spring from its underground tubers. Remember, though, that in areas with very cold soil or poor winter drainage, it’s best to dig out dahlia tubers and store them in boxes of sand or peat moss before re-planting in spring.

Doug had no hesitation when asked about his mother’s favourite flower. “She grew lavender,” he said. “I remember the mauve and purple flowers that stood out against the grey-green frosted leaves.” Doug added that she was also very fond of roses. “Although Mum didn’t look after the roses – that was Dad’s job – she loved to pick them,” he said. Doug’s Dad had the important maintenance jobs of spraying the roses regularly with the equivalent of Rose Shield or Super Shield, pruning them in winter and disinfecting them with Lime Sulfur after pruning.

Alison said that her favourite plant in her mother’s garden was the passionfruit vine that always seemed to be loaded with fruit. Passionfruit vines are short-lived so it’s likely that Alison’s mother had a succession of plants over the years while she was growing up. It’s recommended to start a new passionfruit plant every three or four years in a different spot in the garden. Keep the plant well watered in the hot weather and feed in spring and summer with a good fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter PLUS Fruit Food.

Nick’s parents came from Vietnam so his mother grew lots of Asian style herbs such as (understandably) Vietnamese mint, coriander and basil. Nick has fond memories of the collection of colourful gnomes his Mum used to decorate her garden. “Mum’s a real green thumb,” he says, “And she always grew lots of herbs and vegetables so that we had plenty of fresh ingredients for the kitchen.”

Marie’s mother’s favourite plant was a climbing rose that produced rich red, double, perfumed flowers from spring right through until winter. “I always picked her a bunch of those roses for Mother’s Day,” Marie remembers. “Even though they had short stems, they sat beautifully in her favourite crystal rose bowl.”

Mother’s Day is a special time to think of Mum and the garden she loved and cared for when you were growing up. Perhaps for Mother’s Day this year you can plant something that reminds you of her garden or, if you’re looking for an appropriate Mother’s Day gift, give Mum one of the plants she grew when you were a youngster. She’ll be delighted that you have such vivid memories of the garden of your childhood.


This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For all consumer related enquiries, please contact us.

Annual Garden Calender