When is Mother’s Day 2020?
Mother’s Day is always the second Sunday in May. In 2020, it’s Sunday, May 10th.
Gardeners: Read about the “Mother’s Day Rule” below.
The Interesting History of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a special day in which we honor mothers each year. It’s a wonderful occasion to shower mom with flowers, goodies, brunch—all things to let her know how much she is appreciated. But how did the “holiday” originate?
The origin of Mother’s Day has been associated with Miss Anna M. Jarvis. Jarvis (b. May 1, 1864 – Nov. 24, 1948), an especially devoted daughter who was concerned about the neglect shown to mothers by grown children.
After her own mother’s death in 1905, Jarvis grieved. The following year, she asked friends to come to her church in Grafton, West Virginia, on the first Sunday in May to commemorate the anniversary of her mother’s death. In 1907, Jarvis promoted a Mother’s Day service at the church, and she donated carnations (her mother’s favorite flower) to every mother in the congregation.
Anna Jarvis worked hard to promote the holiday, writing letters to churches, politicians, and city leaders. She had enlisted the help of John Wanamaker (the pioneer of marketing and advertising) and Henry J. Heinz (of Heinz Ketchup fame) to help her start a movement, and it worked.
Jarvis’ efforts resulted in a resolution ultimately being passed in Congress, dedicating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. By 1911, all of the states in the union had Mother’s Day proclamations. And she was very clear that the holiday was to be called “Mother’s” Day (singular) —”to honor the best mother who ever lived—yours.”
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day an annual national observance.
Unfortunately, as time went on, Anna M. Jarvis was soured to the Mother’s Day holiday, saying it had gotten too commercial. So much so, that by 1920, she started convincing people to stop buying flowers and other gifts for mothers, even going head-to-head with the floral industry and other industries who helped her initially fight for the holiday.
Her ideal gift to mothers, she thought, was to write a heartfelt letter. “Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card,” she said. She came to loathe the holiday until her dying day in 1948, but her holiday lives on.
According to folklore, there are a lot of rules gardeners need to follow. Whether it’s planting on Good Friday or waiting until after Three Ice Men have passed to get your seedlings in the ground, lore and tradition have a lot of advice to impart, and many swear by these tidbits passed down from our ancestors for a successful, prolific garden.
One popular bit of planting wisdom suggests that you hold off doing any planting until Mother’s Day, known appropriately as “The Mother’s Day Rule.” What is it, and is there any truth to it?
The Mother’s Day Rule: Gardening Folklore
The premise is simple—Mother’s Day falls on the second Sunday in May which, for many, the threat of frost has passed and it’s considered safe to get your garden started. It’s a good rule of thumb because as we all know, while the calendar may say spring, it doesn’t mean we’ll have spring temperatures in March and April (especially for those of us in the Northeast).
If your tender plants go in the ground too early, when temperatures are still in the 20s and 30s at night, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
Of course, those who live in warmer, arid climates have their own set of rules for when to plant, and much depends on the plant itself and its hardiness.
Folklore aside, every successful gardener knows that understanding a plant’s hardiness (its ability to withstand cold conditions) is key. All plants have different levels of hardiness; some grow well in cold weather while others need the soil to be nice and cozy warm. Refer to the growing information on each seed packet (or greenhouse label) before getting started. Check the USDA’s Hardiness Zones map here.
So while the Mother’s Day Rule is a good one, it’s really more of a Mother’s Day “guideline.” We all know Mother Nature can be fickle, no matter what part of the country you live in, and it’s not unheard of to have a freak snowstorm as late as May. But for the most part, the second Sunday in May is a safe time, temperature-wise.
Gardening by the Moon
If you follow the rules for planting by the Moon (independent of weather conditions), you’ll want to check the Farmers’ Almanac’s Gardening by the Moon calendar, which provides the key dates for gardening chores and planting tasks based on phases of the Moon. Many people swear by this method as well. So with the guidance of the Farmers’ Almanac and a little bit of wisdom from the ages, here’s hoping your garden is abundant this year.
Mother’s Day Recipe Ideas
Want to show your appreciation for Mom this Mother’s Day? How about breakfast in bed or a lovely brunch? Our cinnamon French Toast recipe is a Mother’s Day treat to die for! Get the recipe here.
Mother’s Day Gift Ideas
Looking for special for gifts for Mom this Mother’s Day? Try some of these ideas:
Tips for an Extra Special Mother’s Day
Did you receive flowers on Mother’s Day? Here is a Tip For Keeping Flowers Fresh.