Mother’s Day Lunch & May Garden Chores

There are certain garden chores I like to get done mid-May before it gets really hot. So yesterday that’s what I did after my daughter and Andrew were here for Mother’s Day lunch.

She picked up three chicken dinners after church from a restaurant I wasn’t even aware we had here. A place called Raising Cane’s. We settled at my little table and enjoyed looking out on the patio. I roll over the desk chair and sit in it when they’re eating here.

Andrew made a Mother’s Day card for me.

It has been cold and wet here. Mostly wet. But the patio plants love it, so I won’t complain.

However my rosemary plant, above, might. She doesn’t like a lot of moisture or her feet to be wet. The one sure way to kill certain herbs is to over water them. I’ve done it many times.

Garden Chores Mid-May:

First thing you want to do is look around and see what plants you have in smallish pots. I had about four different colors of petunias in smaller pots, ones about 10 inches wide. You don’t want to go into the summer with plants in smaller pots. They will dry out too quickly in the heat. Especially if they’re on cement.

So I sat out there and decided what could go where in the bigger pots and in the galvanized garden space. Then I got my little rolling cart and went about repotting them.

With the soil I had left over, I walked around to see which big pots were running a bit low on soil. Over-wintering and watering eventually makes your soil recede, so I wanted to add more soil to create a bit more protection from the sun.

Cement Patios Get Hot Quickly:

If you have pots on a cement patio, the space is going to heat up and stay hot for awhile. So you need to protect your plants as best you can. Lift them up on something or add them to bigger pots where there is more soil like I did.

Then I washed out the smaller pots and put them away. I always have broken crockery in the bottoms of pots, so I washed the leftover crockery and put them away under the potting bench in a container.

Then I washed down the patio where soil had sifted out while I was repotting. I like a clean patio and I don’t want Charlie stepping in soil and walking in with it on his feet.

I had one more chore, tying a piece of jute around the top of my cucumber plant to the trellis in the pot.

So now I’m ready for the heat of summer. The good thing about gardening in pots is that you can move plants around when you see they’re doing poorly in a certain area. If you have heavy pots, put them on wheels to make it easier to move.

While I was out there, the bees hovered in the air. They acted like they might be a bit drunk on those white tree blossoms. My daughter asked me today what that tree is and every year I manage to forget after one of  you remind me!

New Pole For Jade:

I had to get a taller pole to go in the pot where Jade (my ginkgo butterfly tree) is. She had outgrown the original one. Somehow I ended up buying a pole that was about two feet too tall. So I was out there attempting to hide the rest of it up in the tree branches!

I hope a bird or squirrel doesn’t bang themselves in the head when they’re up there in that tree.

Then I got my roll of jute again and tied Jade loosely to the taller pole, so that little chore is done.

After all that I cleaned out the bird baths and was done with the chores. So that’s what I did on Mother’s Day. Mothered my plants!

Blooming Sedum:

The sedum is blooming. I honestly don’t know what any of the sedums in my garden are named. Or really even where they came from. It seems like they weren’t here one day, and then suddenly they were.

They have propagated like crazy! And I have shared them with anyone who wants a start of it. I like to help people get started with gardening, and what better way than to share what you have?

Cone Flower Color Revealed:

The cone flower turned out to be white. Which was what I was hoping.

I can hardly believe it came back from last year anyway. This is the first year it did, and I’ve planted it every spring here for five years now.


Here’s the lavender scabiosa. It has such an intricate bloom. So beautiful against the backdrop of the yellow-blooming sedum just behind it.

It is actually an herb and a genus in the honeysuckle family.

Shasta Daisy:

My Shasta daisy is about to bloom. It is all wet from the rain here. I don’t think we had one iota of sun on Saturday. It was dark and gray. But it made up for it yesterday. Lots of sun.

Lemon Grass:

Look at that lemon grass. It grows so fast. You know it was half that size when I bought it less than a month ago. Remember, insects do not like the scent of lemon. So you will do yourself a favor by having lemon-scented plants around.

Summer Outdoor Tip:

Mosquitoes and ants especially detest the smell of orange and lemon peel. These citrus peels contain organic chemicals that have the ability to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

Also, drink lemon juice. There’s a reason why most insect repellants have a lemon scent and that’s because for some reason mosquitoes don’t like it. Adding a bit of lemon juice to your water can help you to avoid attracting mosquitoes.

My tomato plant is in the tall darker green pot beside it.

Lemon Verbena:

I cut the lemon verbena down a bit so it would grow out more than up. In just a few days I noticed that it was getting rounder instead of taller.

This is one of the annual herbs I get every year because the scent is just heavenly.

Pineapple Mint:

A different mint grew up in the middle of the sedum. I think it is pineapple mint, as I brushed a leaf between my fingers and that’s certainly what it smells like.

When Andrew is here he likes to go around to all the herbs and pull a leaf to sniff the scent.

I have in the past had orange mint, chocolate mint and a whole variety of mints. I’d love to find an herb farm here like I went to while living in Texas.

Ivy Napping:

Here’s Ivy taking her afternoon nap yesterday on the quilt stack behind my recliner.

She typically plays in the mornings, sleeps in the afternoon, and then gets energetic toward evening.

Those swirly plastic toys that cost $1.75 a bag at Chewys keeps her highly entertained. She bats them around from room to room and gets her exercise.

Charlie Boy:

And here’s my Charlie boy on the couch. They love to have a quilt folded up to lay on.

I hope your seeds and plants are coming up in your garden as rapidly as mine are.



  1. So sweet to get a handmade card from your grandson! Those are priceless. Gifts from grand littles are the best there is. We just returned from vacation and had eaten at Raising Cane’s for the first time and we really liked their chicken tenders.

    Lemon verbena is my favorite scent … Especially in Mrs. Meyers cleaning products. I’ve never thought to grow it. Will see if our plant nursery has it.

  2. I enjoyed all your photos today, Brenda. I made a list of all the plants you mentioned so I can plant some of them as I start my “plants in pots” garden this year. If it EVER warms up. I did plant some alyssum yesterday but still have to do my usual pots with petunias and pansies. And then whatever other things I decide to put in pots. I think for sure the lemon-scented ones you mentioned. And I want to look for some of the pineapple mint, too.

    Love the pictures of Ivy and Charlie. He has such a bright and knowing look. They are both sweeties. Give them pats from me and hugs to you.

  3. Oh, how I wish I had your green thumb and your knowledge of plants! Thank you for sharing pictures and telling us about what is going on in your garden. You have a gift!

  4. Glad to hear you had a great Mother’s day. I bet Andrew was excited to give you the card he made. How sweet. I just started my flowers. Finally Illinois is ready for planting. It has been a long winter. Glad you are enjoying your patio.

  5. Hi. The photos are lovely. I agree with the person who said that your tree with flowers is a type of ligustrum. They also are known as privet. Some are not so pretty and are considered invasive, but yours is a lovely plant.

    We like Raising Cane’s. They focus on doing just a few food items really well, rather than having lots of items and some not being as good as others.

    My husband has twice offered to dig up a veggie plot for me. I have a flower bed, but haven’t had a veggie garden at this house, and this is our third summer. His enthusiasm is starting to rub off on me. He wants to make a spot for sunflowers, and I think I would like to have just a few herbs, some cherry tomatoes, and a few annuals such as marigolds and zinnias. So maybe we will start on a little garden this week.

  6. Hi. Thanks for all of the lovely photos of your plants. As for the identity of the flowering tree, in the past you have shown a photo of a tree-like plant with white flowers that is a type of privet. I’m assuming you are talking about that same plant, but I’d have to see another photo of it to be sure. Privet technically is a shrub, but some varieties definitely can get to be the size of small to medium trees. Some are prettier than others. Yours is very attractive.

    We have Raising Cane’s here in Kentucky. I think it started in Louisiana. What we like about Cane’s, as we call it, is that they focus on just serving up a few really good items — pretty much just chicken breasts, fries, slaw, and Texas toast — rather than offering a lot of items with some being not as good as others. We’ve only eaten inside the restaurant once — it was so crowded we didn’t really enjoy it — so we just go through the drive-through, which always is fast, and then we go have a picnic. They have great ice in their drinks, the little round ice balls rather than big squares of ice. Sonic drive-ins have great ice too. The right ice is a treat!

    I have a flower bed, but I haven’t had a veggie garden in several years. But my husband has twice offered to dig up a spot for veggies, and he also wants to make a spot for sunflowers. That’s sweet! So maybe we will start a small plot this week. I’d like some herbs, some cherry tomatoes, and some flowers such as marigolds and zinnias. We are just now out of the danger time for frost, so we aren’t too late to get something going.

  7. Everything is growing so beautifully on your patio! I’m so glad you were able to have a nice Mother’s Day lunch and then were able to work outside! It will definitely be getting hot quickly after this cool spell we’ve had! Love and hugs!

  8. The tree on your patio is a Japanese Maple. Also do you plant your Shasta Daisys in a container & do they come up every year? Love your blog!

  9. Wow, your patio looks like it’s mid summer already, Brenda – meanwhile we got SNOW for Mother’s Day!! Uggghhh you know the gardener in me was freaking out about that….I now have a bunch of plants on my kitchen counter waiting for the cold spell to pass, and plastic bags covering a bunch more. Hope the ones outside survive!! This weather should break Wednesday, it seems….fingers crossed!

  10. Sounds like you had a perfect Mother’s Day – family, flowers, fur babies. Your plants look so healthy and beautiful. You definitely have a green thumb. And we can never get enough pics of those cute fur babies. I’ve tried to grow a Shasta Daisy several times with no luck. Have some things planted already and now ready to finish planting the rest. You have a great day.

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