• Abby Rupsa

Mother's Day Birthday Garden

April showers and May’s reliable sunshine bring planting season to Colorado. Mother’s Day is when we get the “All Clear” as the fear of frost is finally gone. It’s a particularly good time to cultivate the dreams you had during the winter months of that perfect garden, so why not intertwine those special people around you that pull on your heartstrings?


Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath and imagine a garden. What do you see? Who is there beside you? Perhaps you envision harvesting tasty vegetables with your child after watching both grow before your eyes all summer. Maybe your thoughts reflect a daydream of your child among a colorful palette of whimsical flowers, golden grasses bending in the breeze, or flowering vines arching along a fencepost while your grown child poses for back to school photos. Gardenscapes have many purposes, yet each is very personal and can become a meditative space for reflection and celebration

Mother's Day is an especially fine occasion to create a garden that’s uniquely meaningful. One of the ways I create a special feel in my garden is to find plantings that celebrate my children’s birthdays. On cue, they come on the scene in full brilliance as if to discernibly holler “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Luckily, my kids' special days are in the warmer months— May, June, and July. These months offer quite an array of cheerful plants from which to choose.


Sam, my oldest, has an early May birthday, when the weather is warm during the day and still a bit chilly in the evenings. I’ve planted Centaurea montana, also known as Bachelor Button, in both violet blue and white. They are low water, low growing, and long-blooming perennials that spread vigorously. They take little care, which is ironically reminiscent of my son’s demeanor. Their simplicity of care gives way to vibrant, riotous edgy-looking flowers, which always bring to mind my eldest’s love for performing. The encore of blooms in late summer and fall echo like his music and seem like the perfect ending to a performance by my first born rock star.

My daughter, Chloe, celebrates her day in late June, and her commemorative plant is Clematis “Niobe.” It climbs on a supportive obelisk in my side yard. The abundant flowering vine thrives with its face in the sun and feet in the shade. It reminds me of her strength and the resilience she exhibits when she leans into me for motherly support. That flowering vine teaches me we are stronger together as she reaches skyward, persistent in looking up along her journey, sharing her radiant beauty with all who spend time with her.

And for my littlest, Ben, Madame Galen trumpet vine bursts in celebration of his July birthday. I planted several gorgeous orangey-red flowering vines on the fence next to the green belt that flanks my house. Let’s just say they stop people in their tracks with how artfully dramatic they are. They make me reflect on my son’s love for drawing and creating. The flowers tend to be messy due to their self cleaning blooms, and they do send up volunteers, but I find it worth it for how abundantly cheerful and playful they are. They show there’s beauty among the chaos.

This Mother’s Day, reflect on what qualities you relish in your children. Create that special feel in your gardenscape by exploring your children’s birth month plants. Together, tie your heartstrings to one another, they are the ones who made you a mother after all. You will have years of magical reminders as you celebrate their birthdays and it’s a fun and unexpected way to involve your kiddos in your garden. Mine get excited to see their plants blooming, and I think it makes them feel a bit more special than they already are.


Birth Month Plant Options:

January- Mugo Pine

Feb - Crocus, Snowdrops

Mar - Lenten Rose, Squill, Daffodils

April - Phlox, Tulips, Muscari

May - Salvia, Iris, Lilac, Peony

June- Daylily, Yarrow, Jupiter’s Beard

July - Roses, Spirea, Sambucus

August - Coneflower, Switchgrass

Sep- Althea, Hyssop, Sweet Autumn Clematis

October - Coral Bells

Nov- Mums

Dec - Holly


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