Mother’s Day Gardening

By Mary Carrol Sheffield

Historically, Mother’s Day is a time to honor motherhood and it is celebrated in different ways and at different times throughout the world. Mother’s Day in the United States became an official holiday in 1914, although the origins date back to the 19th Century, when the, Ann Reeves Jarvis, helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to teach local women how to properly care for their children.After Jarvis’ death in the early 1900s, her daughter, Anna Jarvis worked to initiate Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

In recent years, here in the United States, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers with gifts and flowers. Families also celebrate by giving mothers a day off from activities like cooking or other household chores. So gardening has become a natural fit for Mother’s Day celebrations, as it involves gifting our mothers with flowers for a season or seasons to come and can involve helping with the chore of planting those flowers in the garden.

Have you considered the gift of gardening for your mother or motherly influencer in your life in honor of Mother’s Day? Thoughtful garden gifts could include weeding a favorite existing garden bed, planting annual flowers for the spring, since most danger of frost will have passed by this year’s Mother’s Day celebration on Sunday, May 9. A beautiful bed of petunias, calibrichoa, or coleus could remind your Mom ofyour appreciation all season long!

Or you could invest the effort and time to plan a perennial planting that will be a giftthat keeps giving for years to come! A shade garden of hostas, ferns, caladiums, heuchera, Mondo or monkey grass, columbine, and Lenten rose can brighten a dark corner of the garden. Or a bed of full sun-loving perennials can be a great spot to help attract pollinators and remind Mom of her importance to you. You can find these plants and other gardening tools and supplies at local garden centers, big box stores, nurseries and through local organizations that propagate and sell plants for spring gardening, like school FFA programs, church groups and volunteer groups.

The author of this article, Mary Carol Sheffield, is the Paulding UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent. Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are trained to provide education for homeowners on horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and environmentally friendly gardening practices using unbiased, research-based information from the University of Georgia. For more information, contact University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Paulding County to speak with a Master Gardener or County Extension Agent at 770-443-7616 or view our online resources at

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