Why not include some gardening gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

Tip: If Mom has a passion for gardening, she would greatly appreciate a gift card to her favorite garden center.

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Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and I’m sure most of us already have presents for the mothers in our lives, but showing appreciation for all that they do is more than an event. a day – this is something we should recognize throughout the year. It’s the start of the growing season, especially this year, but here are some gift ideas moms might love:

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Today, more and more people, especially young adults, are very connected to nature and our natural environment. Growing and caring for plants, both indoors and outdoors, adds value to their lives, relieves stress, and promotes an overall sense of well-being. It’s also a way to help pollinators and hummingbirds.

Most of us live closer together, so providing a little privacy can be much more appreciated than we think. An attractive trellis for a patio or balcony provides a nice screen and, perhaps, some shade on a warm, sunny deck. Forming a nice vine on it can add summer color and with a vine like fragrant honeysuckle, a bit of fragrance too.

Cuphea 'Vermillionaire' in a mixed garden.
Cuphea ‘Vermillionaire’ in a mixed garden. Photo by Minter Country Garden /PNG

Small trees, like Japanese maples, can add a new dimension to patios and balconies. By using lightweight containers and soil mixes, good sized trees can be grown for privacy, shade and to attract birds. Feeding hummingbirds is becoming more and more popular today. Bird feeders, quality bird food, and outdoor containers filled with plants that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators make welcome gifts. Some garden stores create hummingbird-attracting containers, but it’s easy to assemble one using plants with long, tubular, red or orange flowers – the #1 hummingbird attractors.

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Cupheas have long, narrow flowers that look like tiny orange, red or pink cigars. Perhaps the best known variety is Proven Winners Vermillionaire which produces flowers continuously from May to October. There are other excellent varieties of cuphea, such as Blackberry Sparkler and Hummingbird’s Lunch. The upright Gartenmeister Old Fuchsia, with its bronze foliage and red tubular flowers, is also a staple in any 12- to 14-inch hummingbird garden, container, or hanging basket.

Pollinator containers or baskets are also very common today. Properly created, they can be a source of beauty, fragrance, and a continuous supply of pollen and nectar. For best results, use a combination of small flowering shrubs, perennials and annuals. I like to use some of the newer, smaller, non-invasive buddleia varieties, like the Lo and Behold series from Proven Winners, as well as the short, fleshy varieties from my favorite Pugster series. These compact plants pair well with perennials, such as agastache, bee balm, scabiosa and penstemon. Most newer varieties bloom much longer for a more continuous bloom show. Fragrant heliotrope is a magnet for pollinators, but do a scent test first as not all varieties are fragrant. Small upright fuchsias are also a treat, as are salvias, verbenas and lantanas. This eclectic mix of plants will attract butterflies, a wide range of bees, including bumblebees, and many other pollinators.

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A herb planter.
A herb planter. Photo by Minter Country Garden /PNG

Vegetable garden containers have also become much more popular, but they need to be created wisely with a good sense of scale. Best results are achieved with larger rectangular containers that are at least four feet long, 18 inches wide, and two feet deep. The secret is to securely fasten a six foot by three foot trellis to the back of the container to provide much more growing space for any climbing vegetables, such as new and better varieties of cucumbers, snow peas, beans and climbing tomatoes. It’s surprising how much production will be improved in a creative container that includes the lattice.

Herbs, too, have become very popular because of the added value they bring to any kitchen. By being a bit more innovative by using focal points, such as laurel shrubs, you’ll not only have a beautiful eye-catcher, but also an endless supply of leaves to flavor food. I love adding small-flowered violas to an herb garden for a ready supply of edible flowers.

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Tomatoes are definitely the most requested vegetable, and there are a few that stand out. In hanging baskets or good sized pots, Tumbler, Tumbling Tom and Tumbling Tom Yellow are among the best choices for an early and continuous supply of delicious berries. There’s also a wide selection of tomatoes with bite-sized fruit, like Proven Winners Tempting Tomatoes Goodhearted and old favorites, like Tiny Tim and Patio Improved. I think the best flavoring tomatoes are the tall, vine-grown varieties, such as Sun Sugar and Sun Gold, and they grow well when planted in larger containers.

Cuphea 'Honeybells'.
Cuphea ‘Honeybells’. Photo by Minter Country Garden /PNG

Berries, growing on Mom’s patio, would be a real treat. Everbearing strawberries, trailing on a hanging basket or large patio pot, are the #1 choice in this category. There are so many varieties available today, both plant and seed divisions. The new Berries Hill Montana has become the #1 variety. Proven Winners offers a unique series of strawberries, called Berried Treasure, with pink, red or white flowers, as well as delicious fruit.

If Mom has a passion for gardening, she would greatly appreciate a gift card to her favorite garden store. Garden magazine subscriptions will be invaluable year-round, as will a seasonal subscription to our many public gardens. Unique garden art is also becoming a huge trend.

However you decide to celebrate your mom, or someone special to you, this Mother’s Day, make it a thoughtful and meaningful expression of your appreciation.

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