/ by Stephanie Burnette / photography by Chelsey Ashford

Three of us help plan atHome Magazine each season and one morning we were at The Village Grind, slurping coffee and tea, plotting the spring issue, when Mother’s Day came up; the gifts we give, the things we receive and the sentiment behind it. Three women born of different generations echoing similar regret why flowers rarely show up in hand, tied with ribbon, a heartfelt bouquet not for a wedding ceremony, but a gift from someone much loved.

And so a quirky flower story found its way into this issue. We each asked a local florist to create a bouquet with the same list of elements:
• A medium-sized grouping
• Tied with a ribbon
• In warm spring hues
• Including an herb
• A non-flower element
• Something trailing
Lots of water-filled buckets were employed; warm studio lights were turned on and off and on again to keep blooms from wilting. Ribbon was cajoled and propped and we collectively cooed over the early season sprays.

Victorian society gave flowers to relay private messages; each bloom represented a sentiment worth relaying.

Mother’s Day became a notable part of our May calendar when the daughter of activist Anna Reeves Jarvis handed out hundreds of white carnations on the anniversary of her mother’s death, a woman who fought tirelessly to lower the infant mortality rate in the mid-1800s.
To this day, carnations are the flower most associated with Mother’s Day, which became a nationally recognized holiday in 1914 under the administration of Woodrow Wilson.