By Melinda Myers, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Apr 25, 2020 at 10:01 AM

Each year we set aside one day to honor mothers. And each year we struggle to find the perfect gift to show them we care.

Cut flowers are one of the most popular gifts. No dusting and maintenance required, and they are sure to generate a smile. Behavioral research at Rutgers University found the gift of flowers had immediate and long-term benefits no matter the age of the study participants.

Participants demonstrated true or excited smiles as well as delight and gratitude when they received flowers. They also reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated long after receiving the gift of flowers. Floral gifts also helped create connections between family and friends.

A hanging basket or container garden is another way to give mom a season of flowers and more. Gardening helps improve health and well-being by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility. 

If mom likes to cook, a potted tomato, container of greens or window box of herbs may be the perfect gift with increased benefits. Mom can grow and further boost her health with fresh nutrient-rich vegetables.

A gift certificate to her favorite garden center, hobby store or retail location allows mom the freedom to select her own gift. She can enjoy time shopping for something special she wouldn’t normally buy for herself. 

The gift of time is appreciated by many mothers. Helping mom in her garden, working around her home or assisting her with another hobby is a great way to spend time together doing something mom loves.

Update her garden tools if she is an avid gardener. Consider a tool caddy and fill it with her favorite hand tools such as a weed knife, hand pruner, sunscreen and gloves.

Add elegance and function to your mother’s daily activities with durable and fashionable gloves. Their practical and fashionable nature makes them a popular add-on or stand-alone gift item.

Elbow length garden gloves, like Foxgloves, protect forearms and hands from sun, scratches and plant oils. The "cottony soft" feel of Supplex nylon makes them comfortable but extremely durable and tough. They can be washed and dried quickly, so mom always has a pair of gloves ready to use. Add some fun to this functional gift by choosing one of the bright colors. 

Add a hat to further protect mom from the heat and sun when working outdoors.  If it’s comfortable and looks good, she is more likely to wear it.

Take the pressure off and make mom’s day extra special with one of these Mother’s Day gifts that provide immediate and long-term benefits. She’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness when she opens the package, unwraps the flowers or puts the tools and gloves to use all season long.

Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including "Small Space Gardening." She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV and radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Foxgloves for her expertise to write this article. Her web site is