If selecting the perfect gift to honor your All-American mom had you sweating buckets this year, you can lay the blame squarely at the feet of Anna Jarvis – the organizer of the first official Mother’s Day celebration in the United States.
According to www.history.com, Jarvis wanted to create a national holiday to honor mothers following the death of her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, in 1905.
Influenced by the abolitionists and suffragettes of her mother’s generation, Jarvis – who never married or had children – launched a successful public campaign to have Mother’s Day added to the calendar in 1914.
But Jarvis lived to regret her efforts.
Her vision of a personal celebration between mothers and their families – mom wearing a corsage to mark the occasion, reverent families attending church together – immediately was commandeered by florists, greeting card companies, confectioners and other merchants hoping to profit from the holiday.
By 1920, Jarvis was railing against the commercialization of Mother’s Day. By the time she died in 1948, she had squandered her personal fortune filing lawsuits to prevent others from using the term “Mother’s Day,” and her time unsuccessfully lobbying to have the holiday removed from the U.S. calendar.
This year, Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach a record $25 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, which estimates that 84 percent of Americans are willing to drop a hefty chunk of change on candy, corsages and cards for their beloved mamas.
Mother’s Day typically is the U.S. floral industry’s most lucrative holiday, particularly with today’s last-minute, long-distance convenience of ordering fresh flowers online and having them delivered right to mom’s door.
But if you live close enough to visit and you want your celebration to be a little more personal, you could always deliver your sentiments – and your flowers – in person, just like Anna Jarvis originally envisioned.
For hanging baskets that will stay beautiful long past Mother’s Day, consider these flower suggestions from www.bobvila.com:
Supertunia Petunias. Able to shed its old blooms on its own, this breed of petunia comes in many rich shades and will draw hummingbirds and butterflies to your porch.
Dwarf Lavender. Any dwarf lavender will add not only its delicate purple shade to a basket but also its soothing scent. These sun-loving hanging plants will thrive near any window.
Lobelia. The delicate blooms and exquisite blues, purples and whites of lobelia make it an excellent choice. Lobelia does best in part-shade locations.
Imagination Verbena. Bright and deep purple-pink, “Imagination” is just one of many verbenas that make perfect hanging plants. Give them full sun and keep the soil moist for best results.
Trailing Pansies. Relatively new on the scene after more than a decade of breeding, trailing varieties of pansies do well as hanging plants in baskets.
Fuchsia. With its show-stopping flowers, fuchsia has been a longtime favorite with gardeners. The brightly colored, lantern-like flowers can attract hummingbirds to your yard and thrive in part to full shade.
Begonias. Begonias have earned their place as one of the best hanging plants for their showy flowers and tolerance for heat.
Lantana. Lantana is a hardy plant that can survive in sunny spots, even with little water. This low-maintenance flower draws pollinators to the yard, so if you plant lantana, expect to see plenty of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds feeding on its nectar.