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Connecticut Garden Journal: Ways to save on Mother’s Day flowers

Spring flowers bouquet
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Classic Mother's Day gift: a spring bouquet. Pick daffodils and tulips from your yard mixed with native ferns, wildflowers or any other plants that strike your fancy.

With the rising price of flowers, you might need a different plan for a Mother's Day gift this year. Certainly, you should never skimp on your mom, but even she will appreciate a thoughtful, practical and a little less expensive gift.

When my mom was alive we would make an annual trek to a local greenhouse in Watertown so she could buy her geraniums for her flower boxes and containers. Whether it be a geranium, impatiens, petunia or coleus, a way to save a little money would be to grow your own for mom. By purchasing one plant, you can make many by taking cuttings. Here's how.

Select a branch and cut just below a set of leaves about 6 inches for the tip. Remove all but the top leaves. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder and stick it in a container filled with moisten potting soil. Place the pot out of direct sun, but in a bright place, keep watered and in a few weeks it will root and start growing.

Another money saver is making your own flower bouquets. Feature spring flowering daffodils and tulips from your yard mixed with native ferns, wildflowers, a sprig from a flowering apple tree or any other plants that strike your fancy. Mom will appreciate the creativity.

Finally, help mom plant a small, raised bed vegetable garden. A simple 4- by 8-raised bed is plenty of room to grow a bevy of veggies. Fill the bed with soil and compost and work with her to plant her favorite greens, herbs and salad veggies. She'll think of you daily while enjoying those free veggies!

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.
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