The history of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day rolls around again next week and to commemorate that we revisit the origins of the holiday and suggest some potential gifts for your loved ones that you can secure ahead of the 14th.
Founded in 1908, Mother’s Day began as a memorial service to Ann Jarvis. Ann was a suffragette and a passionate advocate for the recognition of the sacrifices and labours of mothers around the world.
A mother of thirteen children herself, Jarvis was instrumental in improving the sanitation and living conditions of countless families within her own community. This at a time when the Civil War was brewing in the United States and another social justice movement was gaining national attention.
In 1858, Jarvis began several ‘Mother’s Work Day Clubs’ (MWDC) throughout Virginia which formed one of the earliest grassroots public health initiatives, devoted to preventing disease and reducing infant mortality.
Jarvis continued to be a social activist and community organizer once the war began and, with Virginia marking a dividing line in the war between north and south, she ultimately directed the MWDC toward the care of wounded soldiers on both sides.
Throughout her life, Jarvis expressed a deep desire for a celebratory holiday around the role of mothers at home and abroad. In 1908, three years after Jarvis’ death, her daughter Anna granted this wish by holding a memorial ceremony for her mother at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in West Virginia. The ceremony was held on the 10th of May and is considered to have been the first unofficial Mother’s Day.
Giving back this Sunday
Since Ms Jarvis’ celebration of her mother’s work, Mother’s Day has become an altogether simpler affair and flowers or chocolates can suffice in many cases. However, since spring has finally begun shining on our gardens we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourite garden gifts for Mother’s Day so that your own may better enjoy the warm weather that is to come.
1. A trip to Kew Gardens
The one thing we’ve all been deprived of these past few months is the great outdoors, the ability to visit places we love freely and without fear. Now that lockdown restrictions are being lifted in June, we have the opportunity to enjoy some of the beautiful British countrysides together with our family and friends.
With that in mind, consider booking a trip to Kew Gardens in honour of Mother’s Day. Aside from the magnificent, expansive grounds, you’ll be able to explore, you also have the great Victorian Greenhouse which is considered a must-see for horticultural enthusiasts and could provide some much-needed inspiration to any green-fingered mothers this spring.
2. Kneeling Pad
Any parent will tell you that raising children, while rewarding, is a task that can really tire you out. In that respect, raising a beautiful garden is no different and a kneeling pad can help take some of the strain off of tired knees and backs when working away in the beds.
3. Bird Feeder
Sadly, many of us have experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation over the past year, reduced to zoom calls with family or chats on the phone. While there’s no guarantee that we’ve seen the end of this kind of socialising, there are other kinds of company we can keep in such times and the garden is a great place to attract them.
I know for myself that my two cats have given me great comfort during the time locked down at home but the presence of small wildlife in my garden and local parks has been no less valuable. Spring is the perfect time to install a well-crafted bird feeder since new hatchlings will fill your garden with flashes of colour and snatches of song all the way through to the end of summer.
The poet Byron said that ‘there is a pleasure in the pathless woods’, and with the right incentive, you can bring some of those woods back to your door.
4. Bee Biomes
One of the major conversations this year, outside of the pandemic, is the continued encroachment of climate change on our daily lives. While the New Green Deal seeks to address British climate impact, we should each be seeking ways that we can personally support this global issue.
Enter the bee biome, not only will it help you turn any garden into a sanctuary for these essential and threatened creatures, but they will repay you in kind by boosting the pollination of your flowering plants and helping to keep them healthy.
These next few suggestions fall in at the more practical end of the gardening scale and what better tool to start with than the humble trowel. These miniature spades are particularly helpful when planting smaller varieties from pot to bed and require much less space to store and elbow grease to use.
Once your trusty trowel has helped you get the planting done, you need another piece of kit to help neaten up those specimens that are already established. While unsuitable for thicker branches, a good pair of secateurs is indispensable for keeping unwieldy shrubs and bushes at bay.
7. Tool Apron
I know I’ve buried my fair share of tools over the years, never to be seen again, and I’m sure we can all relate to the pain of having to go back to the shed for something you need mid-job. Save your mum the hassle of both with a good tool-apron.
Aside from keeping useful tools near to hand, it’ll also save clothes from the worst the garden has to offer in the way of mud and grass stains.
8. Easy Bloomers
Who doesn’t like receiving flowers? Better still, who doesn’t like growing their own? Well, that second list might be shorter but that’s probably because of the labour needed to grow beautiful flowers. We suggest buying some nice, low-maintenance roses for Mother’s Day so that when summer arrives, she’ll have a fresh bouquet every day. Good varieties for this include Sally Holmes, Roald Dahl, and Little Mischief.
That last variety might bring back some fond memories of the sender as well!
9. Adopt a Seed
There are some mothers that may love the idea of cultivating green spaces but not have the time or space to grow their own. Never fear, Kew Gardens has your back again. The site’s Millenium Seed Bank holds over 36,000 varieties of wild plants and you can adopt a seed on a loved one’s behalf for Mother’s Day. In this way, mum can feel like they are giving back to the natural world that they love so dearly, from the comfort of their home.
10. A whole new garden
Finally, there is one gift that trumps all the rest, what if you could build the garden of your mother’s dreams for her? Good news, if you contact us at Floral and Hardy we can arrange a consultation at your convenience to design a bespoke outdoor space that includes every wish your beloved mother could have.
Get in touch to book a meeting with us today.