Sweet blooms for Mother’s Day

pink peony flowers
Perennial peonies can be given in place of a typical flower arrangement or a standard rose bush. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.
orange roses
Good as gold roses have a golden yellow flower and a sweet smell. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.
purple lilac flowers
Lilac plants, including the sensation lilac, are low-maintenance shrubs that have proven hardy in our area. Photo by Wendy Hanson Mazet, Cooperative Extension.

The air is filled with the sweet smell of blooms, from tulips and lilacs to native shrubs and perennials. You cannot deny spring is in the air. Mother’s Day is tomorrow. What better time to share the beauty of spring blooms with someone you love. This year, consider looking for blooms that will last for years instead of days or weeks.

With so many plants blooming, the inspiration to add more color to your yard is all around us. From the native shrub, desert peach, with beautiful pink blossoms to the sweetness of bitterbrush, with its fragrant yellow flowers, the options are endless. Here are just a few of the additions you might consider giving as gifts beyond the typical flower arrangement or standard rose bush.

Beyond the standard old-fashioned lilac, horticulturists have cultivated a vast array of different lilacs, from double purple to single bicolored flowers in pinks, purples, whites and double French yellow. Lilac has proven itself to be extremely hardy in our area and a low maintenance beautiful shrub. If you love the smell of lilac, look to the nurseries for a new compact cultivar called bloomerang, which is said to bloom for months, not just weeks.

Do you love pink but want a smaller shrub? While it’s been around for years, people cannot get enough of the dwarf flowering almond. The flowers are sometimes compared to the double pale pink flowers of the weeping cherry tree. If you do not have the space for a medium-size tree, this beautiful shrub with dainty flowers reaches a maximum height around 4 feet.

When it comes to rose varieties, the local nurseries are stocked with beautiful options. From miniatures with small flowers to the fragrant large-flowered varieties, you will probably find one that fits. I have to admit, it was hard to resist the temptation when I saw not one, but two, incredibly sweet-smelling, uniquely colored roses this past weekend. The first was called good as gold, with a golden yellow flower blushed with a pink-red that just popped. I also saw the most beautiful deep amethyst purple rose named twilight zone. Both rose varieties had fragrances that took me immediately to a happy, calm place.

For Mother’s Day, my family finds me a perennial peony instead of purchasing cut flowers or chocolates. Over the past few years, I have added three new varieties that bloom and make me smile.

No matter what your family does this Mother’s Day, take advantage of the beautiful spring we are having. Go out and enjoy the blooms, feel the sun and know that new blooms are just around the next corner.


Wendy Hanson Mazet is the horticulture program coordinator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in Washoe County. Have questions about your plants? Contact a master gardener at 775-336-0265 or mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu, or visit www.growyourownnevada.com.