Spend Mother's Day in a Garden

Find a spot that's all abloom for your numero uno lady's big day.

THE FLOWERIEST OF HOLIDAYS: If there was an official day dedicated to flowers -- and surely there is, what with National Cinnamon Sticky Bun Day and National Condiment Day in the mix -- it might outstrip Mother's Day for sheer petal-a-tude. "Might" is the key word, for Mother's Day is positively abloom, wherever you go on the second Sunday in May. Dahlias burst from centerpieces and carnations fill bouquets and moms rock corsages brimming with baby's breath and daisies. So many of these buds, though, tend to be on the indoor assortment, which is funny, given that Mother's Day falls on just about the bloomiest weekend of the year. So how does one get outdoors to enjoy the flower show? Well, one heads for a garden. Here are three that'll be open, and celebrating motherhood and childdom and the spirit of the loving day, on May 11...

THE RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN: "Water-conserving plants" are at the heart of this Walnut Creek favorite, which will be open on Mother's Day for tours. That means succulents aplenty, and cacti and shrub. Nope, it isn't total desert-y, and, yep, there shall be hue and color dotting your walk.

RUSSIAN RIVER ROSE COMPANY: The Mothers' Day Open Garden is a bustling day for the rosy destination. A four-dollar donation gets you in, and then you're free to saunter and sniff to your nose's happy delight.

BOTANICAL GARDEN AT BERKELEY: It's open for Mother's Day, and, yep, there's a botanical tea in honor of the holiday, but you could also just wend around the pretty paths with your mommy while admiring the oh-so-Golden-State-y flora, like manzanita and California lilacs.

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