Well, have you decided what to get mom for Mother’s Day. It’s only a couple of days away. And while flowers are great, lots of moms would love a plant that blooms through the entire summer as a reminder of Mother’s Day.
Garden master Jim Duthie gives us a few living Mother’s Day gift ideas you can find at local garden centers.
You might not even notice it as you cruise past on Highway 44 east of Eagle, but Old Valley Nursery has been around for decades. And like other garden centers and nurseries throughout southwest Idaho, they offer a huge selection of bedding plants, trees and shrubs to enhance your landscape.
“Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, and while mothers love plants, they love the ones that are going to live and bloom all summer long. We’ve got some ideas for you.”
Like geraniums, a favorite for generations because of their profusion of bright, colorful blossoms.
“We have a lot of hanging geraniums right now," said horticulturist Sue Doolittle. "They are splendid for blooming all season long.”
Geraniums are great in hanging baskets, and they also do well in patio containers.
“Very much so. These are really nice. They’re already big, so you could even just set them right down in to a container.”
There are several different varieties of geraniums, but the two basic types are ivy and zonal. The main difference is in the leaves.
Ivy geraniums are named for their ivy-shaped, glossy leaves. They tend to be more trailing, and so they do especially well in hanging baskets.
“This one right here, this is an ivy leaf geranium. Because it has a glossier leaf to it, almost kind of resembles an ivy plant.”
Zonal geraniums get their names because of the dark rings, or zones, that appear in the leaves, adding an interesting touch to the foliage.
“And then we have these – they’re kind of like a zonal, but they just really fill out very nicely. They just don’t hang down quite like the ivy, but they’re gorgeous for color.”
There are even some with variagated leaves and blossoms in various shades of reds and pinks.
“Well, we have the variegated, or like a peppermint-looking one, a lot of pink. A lot of reds, but red is the most popular.”
“This one’s just beautiful. This would be like instant gratification inside a pot if you just wanted to set the whole thing down into a pot. It’s so big and beautiful right now.”
Or put together a container of geraniums for mom in different colors and shades.
“And then these are the smaller ones that we sell, and you could do your own pot with them. And these are all zonal. They’re just gorgeous. Lots of different colors. The oranges, the reds, the pinks and whites.”
Not all garden plants have to have bright colorful flowers to be beautiful. Consider shrubs and decorative grasses for mom’s home landscape.
“We have a lot of things that are blooming, and every year for Mother’s Day that would just be a great reminder.”
Like these eye-catching elderberry bushes.
“This one is called lemony lace elderberry, and it is just a beautiful shrub for the foliage, for the texture. It grows very well in our area.”
Lemony lace looks especially striking among other plants with darker green foliage.
“And then the one right next to it, that is black lace elderberry, and it will bloom, and it can take full sun. It kind of gets about 6 to 8 feet tall, and wonderful color and texture.”
Or try sedums, which come in several different varieties. They grow low to the ground, and most are drought tolerant.
“And they have different colors and textures.”
“And the sedums are a good companion planting.”
With so many options, it’s hard to decide on what mom would like best.
Finally, here’s a simple but very pretty container combination – tiny blue lobelia blossoms amidst some colorful petunia blooms. Mom won’t have to wait for this one to bloom. It’s ready right now.
So remember, Mother’s Day is Sunday, and she’ll love a living plant.
Other living plant options include a huge variety of rose bushes. Most local garden centers have beautiful flowering plants and shrubs in hanging baskets and containers ready to go, ranging in price from as little as $15.