(Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 11, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)

There's a lovely poem by William Ross Wallace. Hope y'all don't mind that I print all the stanzas.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Image

The hand pictured is of my sweet, sweet Mother in law, Clare. Today is the day that folks celebrate Mother's Day and it's the first one where we're not quite sure if she will remember us. But the absolute love of gardening that she instilled in my husband Michael and also passed on to me is something that will never end.

Clare is the finest gardener I've ever known, mostly because she sees nature and just appreciates it. She could make anything grow; I swear to you just by giving it a smile - ok, that's not true... But she worked day and long into the evening hours to create gardens that were a sight to behold. She would rise up so early and be back in the woods clearing brush, making paths and then filling them with daffodils that multiplied through the years. Multiplied to the point of folks just gasping in the Spring at her woodland area. The woodlands did not belong to her, but she made them beautiful anyway - it was just a thing with her.

The community she lived in had areas where nobody really took care of making them "beautiful". Clare did that. She created mini gardens all around their Annapolis home which everyone got to enjoy. When I first met Clare, the first thing she asked me was if I was a gardener and if so, would I please make sure that her son always kept up with gardening, because that's where everything started. I promised her that day that I'd make sure we "kept up". Some Mothers just know priorities, ya know?

Everyone has or has had their difficulties with their Moms. I've been blessed with a Mother in law who is a cherished friend and fellow gardener. Mothers have an incredible impact on all of us; some of us have, are now, and will be blessed by Mothers who teach the love of gardening and the appreciation for things that really matter.

The beautiful hands of Mothers who have taught us to garden, probably given us a few gentle reminders, and a gazillion other things - well, they're to be cherished

So, Happy Mother's Day to all. Count your blessings and have a great time in your gardens today!