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Mother’s Day converges with prime time for warm-season plants

 

A ruby-throated hummingbird enjoys the nectar of a lantana. (C) Steve Byland/Canstockphoto.com

One of the things about working at a garden center around Mother’s Day is you are busy. Really busy. It’s all about the plants.

First, Mother’s Day is considered the day warm-season plants, such as basil, tomatoes and peppers, can be planted outdoors. Normally, mid-May is when frost no longer is a threat, clearing the way for planting beans, corn and other seeds, too.

Geraniums (Pelargonium), impatiens and other summer annuals can finally go in their pots to decorate porches, stoops, patios, decks and balconies.

And then there’s Mother’s Day, when a lot of people buy plants for the women in their lives, especially moms, but others who fill that role.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that there are people who come into a garden center mid-afternoon on Mother’s Day on a desperate search for a plant they can give as a gift. Combination pots of summer annuals and hanging baskets almost always satisfy that last-minute need. So does a blooming hydrangea, especially if it comes guilt free, meaning the recipient can enjoy it in a pot for the season and not feel bad if it dies or doesn’t get planted in the landscape.

Another last minute idea is to buy plants that attract hummingbirds or butterflies, potting mix, a pot and plant it up. It is easy peasy and you’ve created that handmade-with-love gift that makes it extra special.

If the woman being celebrated is a gardener, she probably can’t have enough gloves, especially Mud gloves, a favorite brand. They are comfortable, washable and come in many colors. Give her a couple of pair for a useful and attractive gift.

Take a look at bird feeders. Feeders are bird specific, such as certain types for hummingbirds or finches, and appropriate food for particular birds. For this, I suggest going for serviceable over cutesy. Also, make sure the feeders are easy to fill and clean. Understand how the feeder is mounted. Some can go on shepherd’s hook or hung from a hook attached to the trim of a house or garage. A feeder, equipment to hang it and a bag of seed and you’re all set with a gift of nature’s finest entertainment.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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