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Carnations (the flowers of Mother's Day)

Carnations were Anna Jarvis' mother's favorite flowers.So on the 3rd anniversary of her mother's death in 1908 the observance of a general mother's day began with the launch of programs at the Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton and in Philadelphia.

Anna sent along 500 white carnations, her mother's favourite flower. In a telegram Anna
said that

        "each one present will be given a white carnation; mothers will be given two, in  memory of the day.

These five hundred carnations are given by a loyal, loving daughter in honour and sacred memory of her good and faithful mother, Mrs. Anna. R. Jarvis, who worked faithfully and earnestly for twenty long years, as an earnest teacher in our Sunday School, who only a few years ago departed to that better world to reap the reward of her labours here.

Everyone is asked to wear this flower.

The white carnation is preferred because it may be thought to typify some of the virtues of motherhood; ....whiteness stands for purity; its lasting qualities, faithfulness; its fragrance, love, its wide field of growth, charity; its form, beauty..."

In the ensuing years Anna sent over 10,000 carnations as gifts to the Andrews Church.

Now throughout the world, carnations - red for living parents and white for deceased - are worn world wide as symbols of the purity, strength and endurance of motherhood.

Caring for Carnations

Carnations are long-lasting flowers  which originated from the area around the Mediterranean. They have a vase life of 10-15 days with proper care. The serrated  petals come in a wide variety of solid and variegated colors.  The most common colors are red, white, yellow, orange, purple and numerous shades of pink. Carnations are available year round and come as standard or mini flowers.

Place 4-8 inches of cool water in a clean vase and add preservative according to the manufacture's instructions on the package. If the buds are tight, use warm water to promote more rapid opening.

Cut the stems 1 to 2 inches and place in the solution, making sure that all the leaves below the water line have been removed.

After two days in the solution, place the flowers in clean water. This water should be changed every day and the stems should be trimmed approximately a half-inch every two or three days to promote longevity.





The Story of Mother's Day
When God Made Moms
Carnations (the flowers of Mother's Day)
Mother's Day in Greek Mythology
Mother's Day Fun Factoid
Mother's Day Chocolate Clay Roses
Plant a Smile on Mom


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