For most people carnations are the flower associated with Mother’s Day, but I have always associated the GARDENIA with Mother’s Day. When I was a child I presented my mother with a single gardenia corsage on Mother’s Day. It was her favorite flower. When I was very young my grandmother and aunt would take me to buy my mothers gift every year, as I got older I would save my own money to buy gifts. Just one perfect gardenia attached to a small paper lace doily with a thin satin ribbon & bow. My mother would pin it to her blouse and wear it so proudly all day. Once her day was over she would keep it in the refrigerator for a week or more taking it out several times a day to inhale its heavenly scent. As the petals started to yellow and brown she would place it between wax paper and press it in a book to get every last drop of pleasure out of it. I have one of the original pressed gardenias that I gave my mother in a little wax envelope. There was no other flower or fragrance she loved more.
As the years passed and the family grew my mother would receive more and more gardenia plants every year on Mother’s Day. She also got gardenias for her birthday and other gift giving times…”Gardenia” even became her nickname. My mother loved getting many gardenias, but it’s that one single gardenia corsage that I remember so vividly –how precious it was to her because she waited all year to get it…how tenderly she loved it right up until it’s very last brown wilted petal.
***Happy Mother’s Day***