For a lot of moms, the urge to nurture extends to plants and flowers, outdoors and in. So for Mother's Day, instead of getting her a traditional floral arrangement that lasts just a few days, consider other options for or from the garden.
If mom spends some of her happiest hours in her backyard garden, you might sign her up for Plantjotter.com's online organizer. With no special downloads or software required, the site allows gardeners to create a personalized web page with info about what they've planted, to-do schedules, photos and wish lists. Monthly tips and ideas are offered specific to your grow zone.
HGTV.com has started an interactive family gardening club: Each month, there's a new how-to project, such as building terrariums, pizza gardens or topiaries, that parents and children can do together. You can upload video and photos, and get a biweekly newsletter.
Or add accents to mom's garden. At Uncommongoods.com, find Tyson Weissin's charming Koi fish ceramic garden ornaments. Fired in several colors including a wonderful cobalt blue, a school of these placed along a pathway or nestled among some grasses would be quite arresting.
This spring, West Elm introduced Shane Powers' ingenious no-maintenance, indoor garden collection, perfect for a modern mom with little time or inclination to tend plants but who enjoys a few touches of nature in her living space. Sleek, contemporary, hanging glass bubble vases, and ceramic and glass vessels hold plants such as air ferns, water lilies and succulents. They introduce some welcome greenery to rooms, but are easy to look after.
If mom loves cut flowers, consider PlantationDesign.com's set of Amaretto vases, formed out of deliciously liqueur-like glass swirls. Crate & Barrel has the Evelyn vase, made of softly folded glass, as well as Millie, Kiki and Marisol, all hand-etched with charming designs. Find here also a quartet of green, enameled, bird-motif wall tiles, nice on a patio fence. Pair them with a couple of Perch pots in the same crisp green hue, with a flock of little birds encircling the rim.
Sur la Table has a fresh-looking Botanical dishware collection out this spring which features a happy, modern floral pattern on snowy white, dishwasher-safe ceramic. There are linens in the line, too.
Often, retailers have accessories in their children's furnishings sections that would work in other rooms. This season, there are several winsome options with a nature-themed and feminine vibe. Pottery Barn Kids has a birdcage chandelier made of painted iron with faceted glass leaves and flowers. There's also a crystal dream catcher crafted of resin beads encircling a pair of sweet cotton birds.
www.pbkids.com -- Birdcage chandelier, $149; Dream catcher, $29
www.uncommongoodscom -- Koi fish garden markers, $95 each
www.surlatablecom -- Botanical collection, $6.89-$13.89
www.plantationdesigncom -- Amaretto vases, three for $95
www.crate&barrel.com -- Evelyn vase, $18.95; Millie, $44.95; Kiki, $12.95; Marisol, $34.95; Bird wall tiles, four for $49.95; Perch pots, $7.95-$19.95
www.hgtv.com/gardening -- online interactive family gardening club with how-to projects and tips
www.plantjotter.com -- personalized garden organizer
www.westelm.com -- Shane Powers' no-maintenance indoor garden collection, $9-$24