Remember Mother’s Day with flowering plants

We know spring in Oklahoma has really arrived when we get night after night of full time weather coverage from Gary England and his storm chaser, Val, Mike Morgan and our other high tech weather experts. I hope your home, gardens and neighborhood were spared from any of the wind, hail or tornado damage.  When it is not storming, May is about our best planting month for darn near everything especially any container grown color annuals, vegetables, perennials, groundcovers, roses and other flowering shrubs, trees and vines. The garden centers and nurseries usually have their largest inventories to choose from and even more important their broadest selection of types of plants and many different varieties of each type of plant to add to your yard.  Since their traffic and volume are greatest at this time of year they can stock many items that are just hard to locate at slower times of the year.

We are being blessed with dramatically more rain this year than last year but remember that plants still need adequate and timely moisture to get established and reach their peak performance. Make sure to water new plantings in thoroughly and then to check them regularly for when they need a good soaking. Plants in loose or well drained soil will need supplemental watering more often than plants in heavy or tight soils. Plants in the full sun will need water more often than plants in the shade. Plants above ground in containers or especially those even more exposed to drying out from sun and wind in hanging baskets will need watering more often. Plants in the wide open and most exposed to wind will need more water than those in protected backyards or courtyards. Mulching the top of the soil with two or three inches of an organic mulch like a shredded bark, cocoa hulls, cottonseed hulls or pecan hulls or pine or other straws will dramatically reduce weed problems, keep the soil temperature more consistent and will often reduce watering by at least half. The sooner you mulch after planting your flowerbeds or containers the more benefits you will enjoy from this great Oklahoma gardening practice.

Mothers Day is this Sunday and flowering plants are one of the very best ways to remember your mother and let her know how special she is in your life. There are literally thousands of horticultural choices to allow you to select just the right choice for your Mom. Many people send spring bouquets, cut roses or other lovely cut flowers. If your mother loves roses and you know she has been wanting another for her yard, pick out a live rose bush. If she has been admiring the neighborhood wisteria vines, crepe myrtle or a certain fruit tree surprise her with the tree, shrub or plants she has been talking about. We lost my special grandma, Sara Nee Ball, a few years ago but she used to love iris and roses at anytime but seemed to really enjoy new varieties each Mothers Day and I still think of her every time I pass beautiful blooming iris or roses. My mother has always loved all kinds of plants and since she just got out of the hospital with her broken hip she should not be planting her new Smoke Tree and Japanese Red Maple from her temporary walker although I am sure she would figure out a way so we may have to contribute our time and a little effort to help plant her new Mothers Day treats this year. I am certain most mothers would love the gift of some time, muscle power and fellowship to help in their yard as part of their Mothers Day gift.

Container or patio gardens and mixed combination gardens are very popular right now and make a great Mothers Day gift for a patio, porch or balcony and there is an almost endless choice of plant combinations and special containers for these gardens. You may even want to plant a treasured family container with plants that bring back memories for your special mother. If your mother lives inside consider a pretty houseplant or beautiful blooming plant.

Happy Mothers Day to all the remarkable women out there and I hope you all get to spend some special time with your children in person or by telephone this weekend. I can’t tell you how important my Mother, Grandmother and Wife are in my life and I know that most others are blessed to have Mothers and other special women that helped shape their lives and help keep us straightened out and help make life worth living. We thank you all this Sunday for the difference you make in our lives each and every day throughout the year.

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