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Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.

Some might argue that Mother’s Day should be every day and that the day itself has taken on a commercial life of its own. That may be true, in some ways, but when you think of it, what can be wrong with showing extra love and appreciation for mum on this special day.

These days, most of us choose to spoil our mother with gourmet lunches, spa days, jewellery or perhaps a bouquet of roses but others follow the traditional route and offer their Mum a beautiful potted Chrysanthemum plant instead.

The Chrysanthemum is no stranger to the spotlight. For centuries, it has been esteemed and honoured in some Asian countries. China started holding the Chrysanthemum in high regards as early as the 15th century BC and has bestowed it the honour of representing a changing season in the arts. It has been chosen to represent autumn while plum blossom, orchid and bamboo represent winter, spring and summer respectively.

Coincidently, autumn is also the reason why the Chrysanthemum is regarded as the perfect plant for Mother’s Day. They are naturally in season around mid-May which makes them plentiful and affordable. Besides adding beauty to our home, a potted Chrysanthemum, according to a study done by NASA removes trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, and other chemicals from the air. This is a gift that gives in more ways than one; it is literally a breath of fresh air!

Choosing a Chrysanthemum plant would certainly get the nod of approval from the great Emperor of Japan whose ancestors chose this flower for their Imperial Seal in the eight century AD. Interestingly, the Chrysanthemum is present in most Japanese homes albeit in a symbolic way as it graces the front cover of their passports.

Bouquets, although pretty, eventually made their way to the bin; Mum’s potted Chrysanthemum instead can be transformed into a gift that keeps on giving if transferred properly to the garden.

Once flowering is complete, plant it in a nice sunny spot in the garden that gets around 6 hours of sunshine a day in soil that drains well. Adding some well-rotted compost will make the plant particularly happy to move into its new home. In the case of Chrysanthemums, it is better to water the soil at the base of the plant rather than the plant itself and remember to fertilise during the growing season.

There are 29 different dates for Mother’s Day around the world and for us here in Australia this year it is 14th May so why not spoil her with a nice potted Chrysanthemum and be part of a 36-century old tradition. And with names like Salmon Fairie, Bronze Fairie, Madeleine and Salmon Margaret who could resist.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Quote: Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. Robert Browning

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