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The Science of Mother's Day

web posted May 9, 2018
GARDEN - In 1914, the United States government officially recognized Mother's Day as a national holiday.  Typical celebrations honor the family matriarch with gifts, one of the top gifts being…flowers. 

Flowers represent one quarter of the 14 million dollars spent on Mother's Day, and are scientifically proven to be a health benefit to people, especially moms!
The most common flower given at Mother's Day are carnation arrangements, considering the pink and red carnations symbolize love.  Red roses are also a symbol of a deep and powerful love.
While fresh cut flowers are nice to give our mothers, I always love gifting my mother and grandmother with planted flowers that come back year after year.  Two of my favorites that are uniquely off the beaten trail are the Bleeding Heart plant, and Peonies.
There are three varieties of the Bleeding Heart plant.  The Japanese Bleeding Heart, which is large and showy, can grow up to three feet tall and three feet wide, has one inch showy, red petals and dark green foliage.  The Eastern Bleeding Heart forms more of a smaller delicate lacy like mound, with small pink or magenta blooms from Spring to Fall.  Then lastly, the rapidly-spreading, Western Bleeding-Heart, has a more blue tint to it's foliage with rose red pink hearts.
The Bleeding Heart is perfect to place in shady, to partial shady, areas.  They are not typically fond of a lot of water and prefer well drained soil.  This plant will go dormant each Winter, but will normally reappear with it's graceful presence in the Spring.  Just keep them lightly fertilized and the Bleeding Heart will love you!
Another of my favorites is the Peonies.  This carefree Spring delight is perfect for Mother's Day. 

The Peonies form in ranges from singles and semi-doubles to full doubles with their bloom type.  They range in colors such as white, red, purple, and every possible shade of pink.

Peonies look great along a fence, or entry area and look amazing partnered with plants with purple shades like Iris, or even plants with Silver green foliage.  They love the sun and do not like wet roots. 

The main thing to remember when planting a peony is to keep this plant away from major competition such as trees, or large shrubs.  The roots competing for nutrients and water is too much for the sensitive peony.  It also does not like manure as fertilizer.  Any fertilizer with high amounts of nitrogen, is too much on this plant.
Either way you go this Mother's Day, be sure to calm your mother's nerves and gift her flowers.  Remember, it is scientifically proven!

Next week in Mandy's Friendly Garden we'll have some Hydrangea fun and discuss the cool things you can do with a Hydrangea.

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