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Wednesday, May 7, 2008 07:29 am

Your mama

We recommend garden-related gifts, plus breakfast in bed!

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If you are like me, you still haven’t decided what to get your mom for Mother’s Day. By far the most cherished Mother’s Day gifts are ones that young children make at school. They don’t cost much, but time and love go into these cherished gifts. As an adult, how can you make sure that your gift shows how much you love Mom?
Every mother is different, so be sure to select a gift that suits your mother’s personality. Popular Mother’s Day gifts include flowers, jewelry, perfume, clothing (that fits), garden-related items, and food, such as chocolates, fruit, wine, and cheese. For obvious reasons, I prefer garden-related gifts — a bouquet or hanging basket of flowers, fountain, birdbath, garden art, personalized garden stakes, garden books, wind chimes, perennials, or garden bench.
Garden centers make for one-stop shopping. Entering most garden centers this week, you will be greeted by an abundance of mixed annual flower containers. Think about whether your mother would prefer a container planting or hanging basket and whether you should buy plants suitable for sun or for shade. Many annual combinations come in plain containers; consider nesting such a container in a more attractive one.
If you give a plant such as a perennial, tree, or shrub, be sure to plant it for Mom or have it planted by the garden center. The nice thing about trees and shrubs is that these gifts continue to give year after year. Information on the proper planting of trees and shrubs can be obtained at the International Society of Arboriculture’s Web site:
Mothers who are gardeners will enjoy a new plant introduction or outstanding plant cultivar. Geranium Rozanne is the 2008 Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year. Some annual flowers with a high “wow” factor include angelonia, Jungle Gold impatiens, the Bonfire begonia, the Dancing Flame salvia, the Black and Blue anise-scented salvia, the Profusion zinnia series, and million bells. If you won’t be seeing Mom on Mother’s Day, a gift certificate to a local garden center is a nice option. Another alternative is to purchase an item over the phone or the Internet and have it delivered. My tastes are pretty simple, and an ideal Mother’s Day for me would include waking to a homemade breakfast of French toast and juice, a small bouquet of flowers on the table (picked from my garden is fine), and handmade cards from my kids, then walking onto the back patio to find my garden fountain flowing with water. (Last year my family bought me a fountain for Mother’s Day. The fountain currently sits in the shed.)
Whatever your gift this Mother’s Day, make sure it shows how much you love her.
Jennifer Fishburn is a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard Unit. Contact her at


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