Why caring for children translates so well to keeping a garden going

It is pretty well known that the popularity of gardening is shared equally by genders. This is an easy assertion to make especially since there are so many ways to participate in one of the most popular hobbies in the country.

If you are to spend any time at a garden center observing the customers, you might think gardening is primarily done by women. Statistics have shown that the percentage of women customers at garden centers is as high as 84%. I can qualify these stats with my own experience at our store.

This week, I would like to give special recognition to the multiple generations of gardening women and mothers. In my life, I have noticed a definite connection between devoted mothers and devoted gardeners. I believe this is because a devoted mother’s most important purpose in life is to see her children succeed. There is no limit to what she will do to keep her kids on the right path. Then, when they stray, she always does her best to guide them back.

The gardening moms carry a similar devotion into the garden. In the family, Mom’s devotion is given equally to all. In the garden, Mom can play favorites. She will give her favorite plants the prime place in the garden; her favorite plants will get the best soil and the most sun. In the garden, if a plant isn’t living up to Mom’s expectations it might find itself relegated to the compost pile.

There are times in life when Mom might prefer her experience in the garden. This most likely would be when the kids are in their teenage years. The plants in the garden can also be frustrating; they might not bloom as expected or they will have insect and disease challenges. Mom will do her best to work through these challenges. When Mom wants a plant to do better, the plant will not argue with her.

Nothing in life will bring a smile to Mom’s face faster than when someone pays a compliment to her children. The next closest thing might be when someone compliments her garden. These smiles are all inspired by the struggles and challenges that come with getting children and plants to grow.

When we are blessed to have a great mom, she becomes an inspiration in almost everything we do. I have always felt like the best lesson we learn from both of our parents usually comes subliminally. As we grow more independent, we make a lot of mistakes and when we do, we find ourselves thinking about what happened. For me, the answer is usually within a lesson my mom taught me.

As a son, I am very grateful for all of the lessons my mom taught me. As a husband, I have been truly amazed to have witnessed all of the greatness from my wife in raising our two daughters who are both now in college. Most of all, I appreciate how endless a mother’s love can be. My mom went to heaven 29 years ago. I have held tight to my memories.

For this Mother's Day, I hope you are able to give your mom all of the appreciation she deserves and, for many, that is a pretty high bar. Please never lose sight of what makes your mom happy. According to the statistics, this most likely involves being in the garden. If you want to keep your mom happy, keep her in the garden. As she ages and gardening becomes more challenging, please keep her garden going for her.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Happy Mother's Day to caring mothers, the most devoted gardeners