Alicia-SonLast Spring, my son ran up to me outside with a small yellow flower in his grip. He had a huge smile as he thrust his hand in my face. Though it was just a dandelion he realized, at the age of 2, that flowers make me extremely happy.

I fawned over the flower saying how pretty it was and pretending to smell it. He spent about 15 minutes picking me more until I had a whole bunch. I brought the flowers home and put them in a tiny vase next to my kitchen sink, and every time I looked at them, I was brought back to that beautiful sunny day and the memories that were made.

Last year, the Society of American Florists (SAF) started a series of online floral design challenges to showcase the creativity and talent of florists. Each VaseOff! Challenge held a specific theme — wedding, beach, and Christmas — with four florists from across the country competing in each challenge to be the fan favorite.

The next VaseOff! Challenge is particularly exciting to me. SAF challenged four new florist contestants to design a Mother’s Day arrangement.

The assignment: They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are personal maids, chefs, nurses, chauffeurs, bank machines, tutors, organizers, cheerleaders and confidants. And that’s all before dinner. You may mistake them for superheroes, but we just call them mom. And that’s why every May, we devote a day just for them and everything they do. Nothing expresses feelings better than flowers, so for this Mother’s Day VaseOff! Challenge, SAF asked its florist contestants to create arrangements designed to appreciate, pamper and celebrate the busy on-the-go mom. 

The Mother’s Day VaseOff! Challenge contestants are:

  • Chelle Gerhardt of Shirley’s Flowers Inc., in Rogers, Ark.
  • Rowena Johnson of Rochette’s Florist, in Farmville , Va.
  • Tom Kenison of Crossroads Florist in Mahwah , N.J.
  • Beth McCampbell of Bloomtastic Flowers and Events in Columbus, Ohio

These talented contestants have submitted their floral works of art, and SAF is putting the finishing touches on the pages where we can view their masterpieces. Their designs will be posted right here on this blog and we will be invited to cast our vote to help select the winning design. Voting will be open April 22 – May 6. Their designs surely will inspire all of us to give admiration and love to all the mothers in our lives — your mom, wife, mother-in-law, other relatives and friends — this Mother’s Day.

I love my son’s dandelion bouquets with all my heart, but I can’t wait to see what the professional florists create! To make sure you don’t miss out on this Mother’s Day challenge, Like www.facebook.com/AboutFlowers and follow http://twitter.com/flowerfactor to stay updated.

Alicia Peiffer is the mom of two preschool-aged boys. She blogs at Making Time For Mommy about parenting children with Special Needs, causes she supports and products she recommends. She is the coordinator of cbSocially for Collective Bias where she spends her days immersed in social media. She enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, drinking Starbucks and list making.