Many people will be stopping into their favorite nurseries either today or on the morning of Mother's Day on Sunday in search of the perfect gift for Mom.
In fact, Sunday may be the busiest day here in Connecticut because the temperatures are predicted to be in the high 70s. We may even reach 80 degrees. A great day to shop for Mom, or with Mom, at a garden center.
I remember my early days working at The Garden Barn Nursery in Vernon on Mother's Day. It was just incredible how many people came in to get plants for their mothers. Especially popular is their big full huge hanging baskets of annuals.
And believe me, you Moms out there, your children take their time selecting just the right one for you. All heads are up looking them over. Shoppers will carefully look all around the plant too.
Sometimes they will ask the nursery staff to take one down from the rafters so they can inspect it better. Often they ask to put it back up so they can look over another hanger they spotted nearby.
I took down and put up so many hanging baskets during a Mother's Day weekend one year, I had to go see a chiropractor the following week because I strained my neck.
The funny part is, the customer always goes back to the original one they spotted to take it home for Mom.
The hanging baskets will look just magnificent inside the greenhouses right now. I know from prior experience of working in nurseries, and because I just got one for myself the other day when I went to Meadow View Farms in Southwick, Mass. when I was in the area earlier this week. It is a bit of a drive, but I figured, why not stop in.
It is a Fuschia with purple and pink flowers. I cannot resist getting one of these every year – mother, or not! The hummingbirds love them and so do I. And when I spotted a full one flush with dangling blooms, I had to – just had to – put it on my cart and take it home for me.
There are many things you want to consider as you look up to the top of the greenhouse to select a hanging basket for your Mom, but probably the only thing you really need to know is Mom's favorite color.
I can not imagine any mother not being thoroughly pleased with a full hanging basket from their child on Mother's Day – no matter what type of plants it contains - but when it is delivered in her favorite color, this puts the icing on the cake. Trust me.
Additionally, of course, you want to look the plant over a bit to make sure it has good form and no bugs are stuck to the undersides of the leaves, but to be honest, I don't think you will typically find this scenario this early in the season – especially this year due to our cool temperatures. Most of the plants have been taken care of inside the greenhouse and they are freshly awaiting you.
We are having such a cool spring, almost all of the annual hanging baskets will be housed in the greenhouses where they have been kept warm, protected from the outdoor elements, and tended to by the nursery staff. They will probably move some out now with the weather being fine over the weekend.
Another thing you have to remember is to check the hanger for plant tags if you don't know what the plant are - after all, Mom will want to know – and you do want to impress her, don't you?
I have to give kudos to Meadow View Farms because when I checked out with my hanging basket of gorgeous Fuschia plants, they handed me and every customer in line a pamphlet with good instructions on care, including a friendly warning about how the early spring days are still a bit cool to put out "some type of plants."
Plants such as tropicals, annuals, and some vegetables require warmer temperatures and will get damaged by frost - but most perennials are just fine. Perhaps why I put one of these in my cart too – a pretty purple blooming Pulsatilla vulgaris. This perennial was irresistible in bloom.
A perennial Pulsatilla vulgaris, 'Blue Velvet' at the nursery (does not need to be covered)
I especially liked this tip on their instructions:
"A good rule of thumb is to cover plants by 8 pm the night before a forecasted frost and uncover them by 8 am the next morning."
This might be too cumbersome to do with hanging baskets however, so my suggestion is you just take it in for the evening and put it back outside the next morning. Tell Mom the same.
When you spot the right one for your Mom this Mother's Day, don't hesitate to grab it and remember, pick her favorite color. If you don't know what it is, I suggest you call Dad.