Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
As I write this the day before Easter, I know the stores are getting ready for the next big holiday, which happens to be Mother's Day. If you are thinking of buying a special, hard to find gift, it is not too early to begin thinking about those gifts.
Flowers are a natural for Mother’s Day. Now that cut orchids are plentiful, orchid stems or corsages make wonderful gifts. Thanks to technology, these plants are cheaper to grow, and they’re affordable for ordinary folks.
Flowering plants are also a very popular choice for this special holiday. Potted hydrangeas are just wonderful. These come in varying shades of pinks and blues. Normally, it is best to discard these plants after they quit blooming.
All sorts of other kinds of floral-related items make wonderful Mother’s Day gifts. This would include everything from clothing and personal items to floral note cards and stationery, such as address books.
In time for Mother’s day Galison has released a number of stunning floral stationery items. It’s really hard to choose my favorites because these are just so beautiful. The Pink Flower and the Purple Flower series are wonderful. The items in the series include include Wirebound Journals, Little Keep it Boxes, and Thank You Notes. The Little Keep it Box with a magnet closure contains twenty notecards with five each of four different pink or purple flowers.
Georgia O’Keeffe was known for her flower paintings. Galison has a number of items featuring these works. A new one you’ll just love is Georgia O’Keeffe White Flowers in a Keep It Box with a magnetic closure. This is the larger version of the Little Keep it Box. It features twenty flower notecards with ten each of two subjects along with twenty-one envelopes. The notecards are copyrighted by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.
If you mom is always on the go, she’s sure to love the new Carry On! Series from Galison. This features an attractive journal with an elastic closure, and a set of ten notecards in two designs with matching envelopes. This set comes in a sturdy, zippered vinyl pouch. Compact enough to carry everywhere, Carry On! is available in various styles, including Dots and Stripes. My favorite is Amazing Daisies, which features a blue journal with flowers, and cards with flowers on a pink background.
For Mother’s Day, there are so many suitable floral-related books from which to choose. Cambridge University Press recently released an absolutely stunning photo essay, called “Herbarium” by Robyn Stacey and Ashley Hay. This is a gift one would treasure for years to come. This volume sheds light on dried specimens in the National Herbarium of New South Wales at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia. They’re beautifully presented in full color complete with a complete history of each sample with details on their collection. The flowers include more familiar ones like the violet as well as exotics. These truly make history come alive. The authors provide a thoroughly engrossing background on herbariums, the science of plant collection, and
further details on the National Herbarium.
Books of a local nature also make wonderful gifts with a suitable example being “Our North Carolina” with photography by Kevin Adams. This pictorial guide was recently released by Voyageur Press, which specializes in books on our natural environment and our natural heritage. Like other areas of the South, North Carolina is noted for its beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons in particular. This pictorial guide celebrates the unique natural beauty, historic sites, and people of the state’s different areas, including the Piedmont, the coastal plain, and the mountains. There are sections devoted to the wildflowers and plants found in the state. With its breathtaking images and wonderful presentation, this is a very suitable gift for those living in the area or for anyone planning a visit.
Those into crafts can create all sort of special gifts for this occasion. You won’t go wrong with a copy of “Debbie Mumm’s Floral Inspirations.” Like all the titles published by Debbie Mumm, this title features so many suitable quilting and decorating projects that it is hard to choose my favorites. There are quilts of all sizes along with placemats, pressed flower displays, pillows, tea tray, a garden hat, and even window boxes. For the garden tea party Mumm includes a tea party table quilt and delightful recipes. For each project, the author provides complete color-illustrated instructions, and a complete list of materials.
If your mother loves to cook, the answer may be as simple as a cookbook. Japan Publications has several titles that are sure to be treasured for years. These are distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha America. “Tsukemono-Japanese Pickling Recipes” by Ikuko Hisamatsu features marinated and preserved dishes that are quick and easy to prepare. The introduction contains handy charts. measurements, and general guidelines along with ideas for various pickled dishes made from fresh seasonal produce, including everything from rape seed flowers and cherry blossoms in the spring to kumquats for the winter. In full color, each recipe features complete, step-by-step illustrations. This title is part of the Quick and Easy Cookbook Series, which includes nine other titles.
For vegetarians, the best title by far is “The Best of Tofu” by Junko Takagi, also published by Japan Publications and distributed by Kodansha. For every part of the meal, this delightful book has suitable dishes for everything from elegant meals to family get-togethers. They are designed to please even the finickiest eater. Whatever sort of diet one is following, tofu is the answer for it is high protein, low fat, and low carb. In the introduction, the author provides details on all the different varieties of tofu with instructions for preparing each. With color illustrations of each dish, this title includes a range of dishes, such as hot pots, soups, appetizers, and preserved tofu along with ones for okara, a nutritious by-product that remains when the soy milk is pressed from the soybeans.