The earliest Mother's Day celebrations we know of were ancient Greek spring celebrations in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods; the ancient Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno. But those were in honor of one particular mother. England's "Mothering Sunday," begun in the 1600's, is closer to what we think of as "Mother's Day." Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.
In 1907, Anna Jarvis started a drive to establish a national Mother's Day. In 1907 she passed out 500 white carnations at her mother's church in West Virginia--one for each mother in the congregation. In 1908, her mother's church held the first Mother's Day service, on May 10th (the second Sunday in May). That same day a special service was held at the Wanamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, where Anna was from, which could seat no more than a third of the 15,000 people who showed up.
By 1909, churches in 46 states, Canada and Mexico were holding Mother's Day services. In the meantime, Ms. Jarvis had quit her job to campaign full time. She managed to get the World's Sunday School Association to help; they were a big factor in convincing legislators to support the idea. In 1912, West Virginia was the first state to designate an official Mother's Day. By 1914, the campaign had convinced Congress, which passed a joint resolution. President Woodrow Wilson signed the resolution, establishing an official national Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.
Many countries of the world now have their own Mother's Day at different times of the year, but Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, and Turkey join the US in celebrating Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Britain still celebrates Mothering Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent--but they now call it Mother's Day. By any name, and at any date, it's a special day to honor a special person.
Having trouble thinking of a gift? Why not do something a little different for Mother's Day? In addtion to giving her a bouquet, plant her a rose garden! If she already has a rose garden--add to it! If she lives in an apartment, consider a potted rose plant--many roses will do quite well in containers (ask us for suggestions).
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Squirrels are a very common nuisance animal and, as cute as they appear, can cause a number of different conflicts with homeowners. Grey squirrels and tree squirrels will steal fruit from fruit trees and food from bird feeders, while ground squirrels will eat all of your flowers, damage vegetables and dig up lawns looking for food.
Worse yet, squirrels have a unique desire to live inside of buildings where they can create fire hazards from chewing up wiring and bringing in nesting items.
There are two ways to deal with squirrels, besides killing them (check your local laws for restrictions on that). You can repel them from your yard by making your garden undesirable as a food source, or trapping and removing them. NOTE: we do not recommend poison to control squirrels.
(Assuming that is legal in your immediate area - check your laws.) It's too easy to accidently poison someone's pet.
The first method involves spraying a non-toxic, bad tasting repellent on your non-edible plants. The squirrels will associate your plants with a foul taste and eventually leave. For vegetables and fruits, you can use a predator repellent to scare away the squirrels. These usually contain coyote, fox or mountain lion urine.
The second method is to trap the squirrels with a humane trap. These traps have spring-loaded doors with sensitive triggers to make safe, secure and sensitive catches. The easiest way to trap squirrels is to place unshelled peanuts, sunflower seeds or pieces of fruit inside the trap.
One or more of these traps should be set and placed in areas frequented by the squirrels you wish to catch, or along paths they commonly use. If you opt for live release, captured squirrels should be released far away, some say as far away as seven miles, in order to ensure they do not return. For the sake of your fellow gardeners, please try to release them in the wild, not next to someone else's home. Again, check your local laws - they can vary from place to place.
Remember that there's no point trapping squirrels in any place where there is a consistent food source such as bird feeders or vegetable gardens because replacements will soon arrive attracted by the source of food. Squirrels re-produce rapidly so don't delay; embark on a squirrel control strategy today!
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