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Connecticut Garden Journal: Mother's Day Flowers

May 10, 2018

Mother's Day started back in the late 1800s when Julia Howe, lyricist of the “Battle Hymn to the Republic,” called upon all mothers to protest the senseless killing of their sons during the Civil War.

She wanted to proclaim a day celebrating mothers and peace. But it wasn't until the early 1900s that the second Sunday in May was proclaimed Mother's Day by Woodrow Wilson.

Flowers are always a traditional Mother's Day gift and this year why not take mom to a garden center to pick out the plants to make a special Mother's Day container together?

When selecting container plants, look for a tall plant, such as dracena for the center; filler plants, such as profusion zinnias, for the middle; and cascading plants, such as calibrochoa for the edge. Mix and match colors for a stunning look, or grow all one type of flower. My mom used to love a pot filled with just geraniums. Remember, it's Mother’s Day, so let her decide what looks best!

There are a wide selection of plants for full sun so it's easy to try on different colors. For a shady area, consider impatiens, begonias, and fuchsia for flowers in part-sun. Also, consider foliage annuals such as coleus, dichondra, and polka dot plant. These plants have colorful leaves that shine all summer. I particularly like the Angel's Wings and Rex begonias. Not only do they flower, but the leaves are colorful with unusual shapes.

And don't forget edibles! Herbs, such as parsley, basil, and thyme, grow well in containers or you can grow colorful lettuce, peppers, and edible flowers such as nasturtiums. 

Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about ginger. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.