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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Gifts for gardening mothers

Million Bells, by Emma Gossett, via Unsplash

My mom deserves an extra special gift for Mother’s Day. She really helped her kids out during the pandemic, offering child care, shopping, laundry, moral support, therapy—and she’s an overall cool person to hang and watch sci-fi movies with.

She has never been hard to shop for because we share the love of horticulture. Whether it’s a new houseplant, garden tools, hanging basket, or an arrangement of cut flowers, I know she will feel the love. She’s getting a houseplant trio this year. (Being one of a set of triplets, everything comes in threes!). Consider these easy-to-find last minute garden gifts this Mother’s Day:

  1. Houseplants have great benefits for an apartment dweller, cleaning the air and giving a piece of nature to tend to. My mom is getting ZZ plant, Sansevieria and money plant, all ready for her north facing window. I chose these because they are easy and she will remember me every time she waters them.
  2. Garden tools are a wonderful way to support mom’s gardening adventures. Gloves, hats, weeding tools, and bird feeding supplies, these garden tools will help stay active in her garden all summer long.
  3. Buy a basket of blooms for mom.

    Choose geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) for nostalgia. They come in red, purple, pink, orange, white, and every combination of these colors. Grow in full sun to part shade and fertilize monthly. Deadhead old flowers (run your finger down the stem to the base, then snap). Overwinter dormant plants in a dark cool basement.

    Choose petunias (Petunia) as a showy and fragrant flower in mom’s favorite color. Grows in full sun and known for its sprawling, spreading and spilling habit. Fertilize weekly. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. If starts to get spindly or dry out, cut back to 2 inches and add fertilizer.

    Choose million bells (Calibrachoa) for a full-season mound of color. Grows in full sun. Do not have to deadhead flowers like petunias. Fertilize weekly for a robust hanging basket. Rejuvenate at the end of summer by cutting back.

    Choose New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) for its sleek foliage contrasting nicely with jewel toned flowers. Grows well in shade but some sun will produce more flowers. Fertilize monthly. Plant can be rejuvenated by pinching foliage back.
  4. Cut flowers: A classic gift of cut flowers express love like no other gift. Most flowers convey a message to the recipient. Calla lilies symbolize beauty, daisies symbolize innocence and loyalty, peonies say happiness, red carnations convey admiration, yellow tulips say there is sunshine in your smile, and gladioli display sincerity. The flowers may not last as long, but your mom will remember the last time she got flowers and it will be from you.