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Meerkerk event makes it magical for mom

Still don’t know where to take mom on her special day?

It’s not too late to decide, because a Mother’s Day event tomorrow will offer two things that almost every mom loves — flowers and music.

The Meerkeerk Rhododendron Gardens is holding their traditional Mother’s Day concert featuring nationally-acclaimed harp player, Harper Tasche.

“He is so magical,” said Kristi O’Donnell, the executive director of Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens. “He is such a great performer.”

Tasche’s music compliments the garden setting — now in its peak bloom.

O’Donnell said the people who are used to seeing rhododendrons bloom only in pinks and lavenders will be in for a colorful surprise.

“They’re really astounded when they come here and see the rhododendrons that bloom in oranges and yellows, and deep purple and blues,” she said.

The Mother’s Day concert adds an extra element to an already exceptional day.

“It was always a popular day and we decided to make it special,” O’Donnell said.

The concert setting is designed to make every mom feel like a queen.

“They are in the seat of honor on this day, and I really think that beams on their faces,” O’Donnell said.

Tasche’s deeply engaging harp music has become a crowd favorite.

“Since we are in a peaceful woodland garden theme, Tasche brings in a calming influence and an extra breath to the day,” O’Donnell said.

The traditional Mother’s Day event was set in motion 12 years ago. It was O’Donnell’s first year as garden director.

“One wintry night in January of ‘94, my husband and I went to a concert in Langley, and it happened to be Harper Tasche,” she said. “His music just touched me.”

After the concert, O’Donnell approached the musician and asked him if he would be interested in performing at the gardens.

“And that birthed the first Mother’s Day concert,” she said.

In addition to the blooming gardens and musical performance, Meerkerk gardens will offer a plant sale from their on-site nursery.

Plants sold at the nursery are propagated in the garden, and also come from growers in the community.

“This greatly augments funding for the gardens,” O’Donnell said.

To add extra sweetness to the event, Meerkerk Gardens are offering Whidbey Pies a la mode and strawberries with Hershey Kisses.

“All these little things make it such a magical day,” O’Donnell said. “It looks like we’re going to have a great weekend.”

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