The Noelridge Greenhouse will host the annual Mother's Day Showcase on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Noelridge Greenhouse will host the annual Mother’s Day Showcase on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

With Mother’s Day coming up, soon, on Sunday, May 11, make plans to share some quality time with your mom, or start a tradition with your own children.

One of those homegrown traditions is the Mother’s Day Showcase at the Noelridge Greenhouse in Cedar Rapids. The open house will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mother’s Day at 4900 Council St. NE. Admission is free.

Besides hundreds of blooming plants to view, educational exhibits will be on display and hanging baskets, New Guinea impatiens and coleus plants, mini gardens, cactus cocktails, unique planters and handcrafted garden decorations will be available to buy. Also, with each $1 donation, receive a ticket for a drawing for prizes, including a handmade quilt, entitled, “Garden Delight.”

Lance Walheim

Lance Walheim

If mom is a rose lover, Culver’s Garden Center & Greenhouse in Marion passed along information about an event that she should enjoy. Bayer Advanced garden expert Lance Walheim, author of Roses for Dummies, will be appearing at Culver’s, 1682 Dubuque Rd, Marion, the day-before Mother’s Day, on Saturday, May 10, with formal presentations to customers at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. During the surrounding time, he will chat with customers, give gardening advice and sign copies of Roses for Dummies. I’m told that prizes will be given away, too.

Lance Walheim has provided tips to gardeners for decades via local and national television, radio, publications and the Web. Lance has appeared on ABC, HGTV, DIY Network and Discovery Channel. He is a senior editor of the Sunset Western Garden Book and a regular contributor to Sunset magazine and His gardening videos can be found on and on Lowe’s YouTube channel. Lance has authored or contributed to more than 30 gardening books, including the bestselling Roses for Dummies, Lawn Care for Dummies, Landscaping for Dummies and the Southern Living Garden Book.

If you’re in the Iowa City area, check out the Friends of Historic Preservation College Green Parade of Historic Homes from 1-5 p.m. Sunday on Mother’s Day, with a special event on Saturday, May 10, from 2-3 p.m. called College Green Park: Covered Wagons to Tornadoes,  A Free Talk by Bob Hibbs.

I’ve been on the historic homes tour in the past and part of the fun is not only seeing inside the homes, but what’s growing outside. Here is more about both events:

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, Bob Hibbs will present an overview of one of Iowa City’s original neighborhoods, College Green, just east of downtown Iowa City.  The talk will cover the history of College Green Park and the surrounding neighborhoods from the unsuccessful effort to establish the “Iowa Female Collegiate Institute” college in the 1850s to the 2006 tornado.  The program will be held at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, from 2:00pm-3:00 pm.

On Sunday, May 11th, 2014, Friends of Historic Preservation will host the Parade of Historic Homes. The program will focus on home and institutions surrounding College Green Park and along College Street.  The neighborhood features some of Iowa City’s oldest and grandest homes and was part of the original plat of Iowa City created by Chauncey Swan. The homes will be open for viewing on Sunday, May 11th from 1:00pm until 5:00pm.  Properties included in the Parade of Historic Homes include:

109 Johnson Street

113 Johnson Street

528 College Street

715 College Street

811 College Street

          ~Common Grounds

722 College Street

932 College Street

          ~Common Grounds

There will be a $10 per person entrance fee for the program and children 12 and under will be free. Tour proceeds support the work of Friends of Historic Preservation. More information is available at

One of the best Mother’s Day gifts I’ve ever received – really – was horse manure for my garden and it came from a person who knows me well – my mom. With that in mind, I’m guessing mom would enjoy another Mother’s Day weekend event, again in Iowa City.

New Pioneer Food Co-op is offering a free class on Vermicomposting Basics, with Roxane Mitten, from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, May 10. The class is at Earth Source Gardens, Harvest Road, at the NE corner of Scott Blvd. and Rochester Ave., in Iowa City. No admission charge and no registration required.

Here is more from New Pi: Permaculture designer Roxane Mitten invites you to meet the helpful composting worms! Roxane sees Vermicomposting as a way to participate in the larger cycle of “food to soil.” Red wriggler worms can eat your vegetable trimmings and make fertile castings for plant fertilizer. Learn how it is done, indoors and out.  Children are welcome to see and touch worms,  the tiny animals that create soil fertility by processing vegetative waste.

New Pioneer Cooperative Society was founded as a natural foods cooperative grocery in Iowa City in 1971, opened its Coralville branch in 2001, and will soon open a third store in Cedar Rapids. Today, New Pi is a thriving two-store food co-op with over 29,000 members. The stores provide local, organic, and natural foods to the Iowa City and Coralville area and everyone is welcome to shop. New Pi is located at 22 S. Van Buren St. in Iowa City, at 1101 2nd St. in Coralville, and will be at 3338 Center Point Road in Cedar Rapids. Please visit for more information.

Remember, too, if you’re looking for a gift for mom, that several plant sales are happening in Eastern Iowa in the coming days. Find the list here.