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I find Mother’s Day the easiest of all holidays to shop for. The timing is so perfect — gardens have come far enough into spring to reveal their gaps, and nurseries are overflowing with goodies. Although my mama is now gardening in another realm, my husband’s mother, whom I adore, also loves most green things (a few exceptions include the kudzu which lurks at the boundaries of her yard).

This year I think she’ll love the new Flower Carpet ‘Amber’, which is a combination of peach-apricot-gold-yellow, depending on the age of the flower. Like the others in the series, it’s a pretty easy rose to grow (as in “plant it and ignore”). The ones in our garden haven’t looked quite as floriferous as the plant pictured here, but that’s because they’re in shade for a good part of the day.

There’s still a party going on with all the old-fashioned shrubs that have been made new again. It used to be that grandmas had to accept that the price of loving their flowering shrubs was waiting through the other three seasons of the year when not much was happening or putting up with disease-prone varieties, too-tall plants or floppy flowers. So now you can find tidier habits in just the size you want, with more disease resistance and even more flower color selections and interesting foliage.

The Endless Summer series (the original, ‘Blushing Bride’ and ‘Twist-n-Shout’) has taken hydrangeas to a new standard of bloom time (the whole season). Check out some other updates to old-timey shrubs.


And, of course, Japanese spirea comes in cultivars whose foliage turns lovely hues in fall (Fire Light’) or that brighten the garden all summer, like this ‘Limemound’.

If your mama loves wispy things like smokebushes, then you can jazz things up by giving her ‘Golden Spirit’, which flushes out chartreuse-yellow each spring, then turns orange and red in fall.

Variegation-galore in foliage is the rule now. Check out these other plants whose leaves are as good as their flowers.

As a tribute to my mother’s yearly quest to try something new in her garden, I’m going to sow some kohlrabi in her honor. What mama-lovin’ gifts are you thinking about?

3 Responses

  1. Kelley says:

    I'm always on the lookout for "plant it and ignore it" especially when "it" looks like Amber. Thanks for the tip!

  2. wrickel says:

    You give me an idea for my mom's hobby…. flowers.thanks!

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