Here is our guide to the best, most useful or most interesting gifts for Mother’s Day. Whether it’s your wife, sister, grandmother, daughter, or mother, if you know she is a gardener, she would be happy with one of these.
As a bonus we have thrown in something you can send in the mail.
Blue shrimp seeds (Cerinthe major or honeywort) are this year’s hot irem, because they are easy to grow, great fillers in bouquets, and add a tiny touch of blue.
The gifts below range from four pounds of the best fertilizer you can buy (with a dummy’s guide to why it’s so good), to an insanely expensive tote, if that’s her bag.
Does she need an instant raised bed, especially if you set it up and toss in the pounds of garden soil?
How about a new hard case for her iPhone? (If Grammy is still using a flip phone, we can’t help you.)
Here we go.
This Flower Show pillow is from MacKenzie-Childs, part of their spring collection; $106. It would look great in a sunroom and could also brighten up a dark living room or be one of those stacked pillows on a bed.
If the mother in question is lucky enough to have an outdoor garden, she might appreciate this garden tractor, unfortunately without a motor. It can be used to haul bags of soil to the garden. More importantly, Mom can sit on the swivel seat while she prunes, plants and weeds. The basket can carry her small pooch, or receive garden plenty. The front no-flat tires turn for steering, Order it now for delivery by Mother’s Day. The ExtraDisit Delux Tractor Scooter is available in green, red, blue for $139 to $159 from Gardener’s Supply.
Yes you could build a raised bed garden out of teak, and that would be lovely. But it would be a lot easier and cheaper to buy a Smart Pot three-foot in diameter fabric raised bed. The fabric is designed to hold seven cubic feet of garden soil. (We’ve done the calculations: about ten bags of Miracle Gro for in-ground use.) The bed is 12 inches deep, which works fine for flower gardens, even vegetables if mom wants to stick a tomato plant in there. The bed drains water naturally, so plants don’t drown, and, once emptied, the Smart Pot bag can be folded up and reused the next year. The three-foot circular raised bed is $36.99, again from Gardener’s Supply.
For that stylist mom who might prefer to garden with a Phalaenopsis orchid on the coffee table, this Dolce & Gabbana floral shopping tote is $1,195 at Bloomingdale’s.
Is there such a thing as too pretty to eat? These milk chocolates come in a lovely decorated tin box, and the foil wrappers look like adorable pansies. We would understand if a grandmother in a care home might leave them in the box and look at them from time to time. Especially if she prefers dark chocolate. $29.95 from the Vermont Country Store.
She’s got an iPhone. Here is a Kate Spade iPhone Spring Garden hard case for the iPhone 13. Do you know which iPhone she has? Sure you do. This is pretty. $39 from Amazon. Other flowered Kate Spade iPhone cases for the iPhone 14 are available at Kate Spade.
The knees. The knees hurt when she is kneeling on the ground to plant, weed, pick in the garden. But not with this deluxe Deep Seat Garden Kneeler. $79. It has extra padding and a wide place for her knees. There is plenty of support for her to kneel or sit with confidence. Holds up to 250 pounds. Once again, the reliable Gardeners’s Supply catalog, $79.99.
Here is the watchword: utilitarian. This very flowery rug is indestructible and can be washed with a hose. It is made with weather-resistant materials (read a combination of polypropylene and polyester yarns) and resists stains, water, and wear. She could use it as an entryway from the garden, where she usually tracks mud, or as a runner in the potting shed. Oh, and it’s cheap. How cheap? A five-foot by eight-foot rug is $70. This and other designs from Rugs Direct.
We feel we’ve saved the best until last. Happy Frog organic fertilizer. Don’t feet odd about handing your mom, wife or grandmother four pounds of bat guano. Here is why. You see those numbers, 4-9-3. Those stand for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium, or N-P-K, because you can’t have P stand for two different chemicals, right, and potassium got there first.
Commercial fertilizers usually have higher numbers, like 10-10-10. Organic fertilizers act over a longer period of time, which is good for the plant. That’s why the numbers are lower. Nitrogen, 4, helps plants grow the green stuff, like seedlings but especially green crops, like lettuce, kale and arugula.
Phosphorus, 9, is the sweet spot for flowering plants and fruit. (Flowers of course become fruit.) The last number, 3, is for Potassium, K, for general plant health.
The right combination of N-P-K is what makes a flower garden burst into bloom. Happy Frog is $20.99 with free shipping from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. Or $18 from Amazon. Your mom will actually love you for this, if not now, then later.
You could always just send her flowers, but, really, wouldn’t any one of these be better? Or a diamond tennis bracelet? Meanwhile, I’m hoping my son remembers to send me those three bars of Caswell-Massey floral-scented soaps ($32), not the trio that includes rose, but the other three: gardenia, honeysuckle and lilac. All sourced from the New York Botanical Garden.
Linda Lee is a former editor and writer at “The New York Times.”