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Mother’s Day and May: Gather your own flowers

Mother’s Day is always a great time for a family walk and in northern Maine, the celebration of motherhood overlaps with the process of trees and shrubs coming out of dormancy, or “greening up.”

While traditional floral arrangements are always great, local landscapes also offer an abundance of natural decorations and flowers over the course of May. Some might be best enjoyed outside, and others could be brought inside.

Early blooming wildflowers in meadows and woodlands include trout lily, yellow lady slippers, bloodroots, and of course dandelions. Dandelion flowers make a fine tea and their nutritious leaves are a nice addition to salads when they’re picked early in the season.

Although many flowering trees such as crabapples won’t start blooming until the second half of May, try starting spring early inside with forced blooms from cuttings.

Cuttings of flowering trees and shrubs like apples, lilacs, willows and red maples will flower in a vase of water. Cut the stem ends at an angle before placing into water and keep the container in indirect sunlight to get the longest and most fragrant blooms. Willows are also likely to take root and can be planted.

Mother’s Day is a great time of the year to plant trees and shrubs, or to plot out some areas to plant during the course of spring.

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