Looking for a little more than cut flowers for Mum this Mother’s Day? Why not buy her a tree for her garden? As it grows and blooms, it will bring her continuous pleasure and be a beautiful reminder of your love.
If Mum no longer has a large garden, these beauties also look fab in a pot.
1. Autumn beauty
Putting on a spectacular autumn display in time for Mother’s Day, Japanese maples are a delight in any garden and will also adapt happily to life in a pot. Their compact size and wonderful foliage make them a great choice for Mum, as they’ll fit nicely into the smallest garden. They like a well-drained position in full to part sun. Check your garden centre for the varieties that will do best in your temperature zone – some maples really prefer the cold in order to change colour, but there are others that will flourish in more temperate zones.
2. Spring promise
Although she’ll have to wait a little after Mother’s Day for the blooms, what mother wouldn’t adore an ornamental flowering plum or peach tree, with its brilliant blossom display every September, announcing that spring has arrived? Many of the flowering plums also have pretty new red growth, which turns deep claret and lasts through to autumn. Both trees like full sun with moist, well-drained soil and protection from wind. If planting in a pot, look for dwarf varieties bred specifically for that purpose.
3. Native colour
The emergence of wonderful hybrid flowering eucalypts means that the beauty of gum trees can now be enjoyed in small gardens. Two of the best of these small flowering gums are Corymbia ‘Summer Red’ and ‘Summer Beauty’, with evergreen foliage and masses of summer flowers in a blaze of red and pink. Keep them pruned to shrub size, and they’ll live cheerfully in a large pot. Happy in full sun, in most areas of Australia and various soil types, they will also attract bees and birds.
4. Winter gold
Another tree to consider, if Mum likes natives, is the wattle. Wattles – and there are hundreds of varieties – produce their iconic golden blossoms from August onwards. Will it grow in a pot? You bet! There are smaller dwarf and trailing varieties (Acacia cognata ‘Limelight’ or Acacia pravissima ‘Kuranga Cascade’) that will thrive in a pot, as long as you choose a native potting mix and provide good drainage. One word of warning, however: if your Mum suffers from allergies or gets the sneezes in spring, then a Mother’s Day wattle might not be the ideal choice!
5. Fab fragrance
If Mum loves scented flowers, then Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ is a sure-fire winner. With glossy, evergreen foliage that features a beautiful copper underside, and large white perfumed flowers through the warm months, ‘Little Gem’ has earned its place in the hearts of Australian gardeners, growing in all but the most rugged climate zones. It will even tolerate frost, once established. Add it to the garden as a specimen plant or feature it in a large pot in a courtyard or on the balcony. Robust and easy-care, ‘Little Gem’ likes full sun or part shade, a well-drained and mulched soil and regular water.