Mothers Day flowers – 5 Favourites in your Garden

Narcisssus crewenna -daffodils - RHS plant and design show 2013


Mothering Sunday always falls in March, but due to Easter being a moveable feast, finding Mothers Day flowers that are flowering in your garden may sometimes be a tricky task.

The five favourite flowers are a personal choice of flowers and flowering shrubs that are most likely to be blooming in your garden at this time of year.

And if they’re not growing in your garden, or your Mum’s garden, then the flowers and shrubs could be a good choice for a Mothers Day present.


These garden plants are a mix of bulbs, small perennials and shrubs so you should find one at least that will suit any size of garden or balcony. As for whether your mother likes a cottage garden style or a minimalist look; fragrance or Zen, there should be at least one to suit.

Mothers Day flowers


Daffodils (Narcissus) are a popular spring flowering bulb; their cheerful yellow blooms brighten up our gardens and grass verges. One of the delights of choosing the right daffodil for your mother’s or for your own garden, is that you can find small narcissus to fit in a pot by a front door or on a balcony and a taller variety to naturalise under trees in a larger garden.

For an unusual small daffodil why not try Narcissus ‘rip van winkle’; its frilly yellow petals remind me of flower fairies in children’s picture books.

Narcissus 'rip van winkle', frilly daffodil, narcissus, spring flowering bulbs

Of the taller daffodils, I also really like Narcissus ‘Barrett Browning’ which is an old favourite. A small orange cup, or centre, is surrounded by white petals.


I am talking about Sweet Violets (Viola oderata). These small perennial plants with their delicate scent presented in a pretty pot would be a popular present for many mothers.

A plant or two (or three) of these violets in a tall pot near the front door will delight your olfactory senses every time you walk past.

viola oderata, sweet violets, perennial

An incredibly popular plant in the nineteenth century, sweet violets deserve to be appreciated. A small patch of them growing near a well-trodden path in the garden will surprise you each time you walk past, wondering where the delicious scent is coming from. Flower colours range through white, lilac, pink and rich purple


Hellebores with their drooping flower heads positively tease you into bending down to cup their blooms in your hand so you can better appreciate the delicate veining on the petals.

Flowering at Christmas and through to Easter, there are a variety of species and cultivars to choose from. Flower colours include green as well as white, pink and purple; and the foliage likewise offers an assortment of shapes.

hellebore, dusky pink double, marie shallcross

For example, the Corsican hellebore (Helleborus argutifolius) would look good in a modern setting with its architecturally interesting, large dissected leaves.

Although the larger species are happier in a border long term, hellebores will grow well in a container, so they are suitable for smaller gardens too.

Lonicera fragrantissima

Lonicera fragrantissima, the winter flowering honeysuckle, is a firm favourite of mine. A shrubby bush rather than a climber, this honeysuckle flowers throughout the winter months, and is still flowering in mid March.

lonicera purpusii fragrantissima - scented winter flowering honeysuckle

Cut a spray of the blooms to bring inside and fully appreciate their scent. Planted near a path or gate you use in the winter is a good idea, but in smaller gardens you may like to plant summer flowering bulbs such as alliums in front to extend the seasonal interest. Prune back after flowering to keep its occasional lax habit in check.

Daphne bhoula

Another scented winter flowering shrub, like the winter honeysuckle it is evergreen, although Daphne bhoula has glossy leaves. A good choice for smaller gardens it has a neat upright shape. The scent on these Mothers Day flowers will certainly sing out, even if there’s snow and frost where you are.

The Daphne’s compact habit allows it to be grown in a tub if required, so you could move it to another part of the garden when not flowering. As it is an attractive evergreen shrub, Daphne bhoula makes a good choice for late winter and early spring scent if you have a patio garden or a balcony.

Daphne bholua - Chartwell


As ever when it’s my personal choice, scent plays a large part in my suggested list of five favourite Mothers Day flowers.

Not only do I enjoy the scent, early bees awake after hibernation and those that keep active all year round also reap the benefits of flowering plants in the garden.

If garden plants are not a possible choice for your mum, then the Narcissus and Sweet Violets would both work as indoor pot plants whilst they’re in bloom.



Related Gardening blogs you may enjoy

Gardening Gifts for Mother’s Day

Hellebores – Christmas Rose

Violet flowers – Valentine’s day in Your Garden

Daffodils – the Heralds of Spring in your Garden

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