Each year we spend the second Sunday of May honoring our mothers, grandmothers, aunts -the women in our lives who have raised families.
These women have nurtured us, motivated us, and left a lasting imprint on our lives. The custom of honoring our mothers began in 1914, when Mother's Day gained a permanent place in our culture and calendar. That year Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May a national holiday to honor the important women in our lives. From its inception, FTD has never missed a Mother's Day - helping Americans express their deepest emotions with flowers and favors for a century. Learn more about the ritual we participate in year in and year out - how mothers and flowers have changed since that first national celebration- and how you can pick the right gift for the important women in your life this year. It's all waiting below with FTD treasures laden along the way.
The First Mother's Day
Before 1914, we had no day dedicated to thanking our mothers for their unconditional love. Thanks to one woman, today we do.
A passionate and educated citizen, Anna Jarvis spent her life helping mothers. She created Mothers' Day Work Clubs in order to teach women the ways of proper child care, unifying thousands of women across America in the process. Her dream was to instate a national holiday dedicated to those caring women.
When she died, her daughter Anna Reeves Jarvis commemorated her life every year on the second Sunday of May. She spent years writing thousands of letters, petitioning states, and ultimately, the president, to commit one calendar day to the celebration of mothers.
On May 9, 1914, Jarvis' dream became a national reality when Woodrow Wilson gave Mother's Day a permanent home on the American cultural calendar. For the first time, Americans were urged to publically thank their mothers and mothers everywhere for their devotion.
That day, Anna Reeves Jarvis handed out white carnations, her mother's favorite flowers. Since then, gifting flowers has become a Mother's Day tradition.
Classic Mother's Day Favorites
My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
- George Washington -
The Century Since
So much has changed in the century since Mother's Day's inception - for women and for flowers. As these hundred years have progressed, the role of mothers has blossomed, and we at FTD have been there every step of the way.
A More Conservative Time
At the start of the 20th century, a mother's role, first and foremost, was as the keeper of moral values - raising the strong sons of America. Women had few legal rights. Just as the era was conservative in its ideals, so too were the flowers. Floral bouquets were still conventionally shaped in this era. Mass arrangements, where large quantities of flowers are placed in a full, symmetric form, were the most popular bouquet style. The first great wave of change for women came six years after Mother's Day, when the 19th Amendment passed. After fierce campaigning, women won themselves the right to vote.
Mothers Get Up In Arms
During World War I, flower shops served as effective sales offices for war bonds - a role they took on again in World War II. FTD florists made their own contribution to the war with window displays urging their customers to aid in the effort. They read, "Say It With Flowers and Buy More War Bonds." With men overseas, women stepped in to close the gap in the workforce. While their husbands were away, mothers became the core of their families - functioning as both homemakers and breadwinners. During this time, bouquet forms took on a contemporary shape with the Western line arrangement. Here flowers are arranged in a sharper, triangular form with an emphasis on height.
A Sea of Change
By the sixties, over a third of all women had full time jobs. Working mothers began to face a new set of challenges - both at work and at home. Geometric arrangements came into vogue during the seventies - with flowers combined in a tight, compact style and a variety of shapes - from oval to triangular. Bouquets came in vivid color palettes made popular in the sixties. And as the world globalized in the eighties, more exotic and chromatic species became available.
The New Digital Landscape
The trend in floral design took a cleaner approach by the nineties straying from busy flower combinations and vase designs. Instead, clean arrangements favored bouquets of one type of flower and vases with neat and refined lines. During this time, the internet revolutionized the floral world. FTD.com launched, making flowers available to the masses 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. No longer did children have an excuse for not sending mom a gift on Mother's Day.
Now, over 80% of mothers work, though more spend time with their kids now than ever before. Today's moms prefer to take less time for housework and their community, and more for their families. Flower design has taken a more modern approach. With a variety of blooms from around the world now available to florists - bouquets have become a play in contrasts - mixing disparate, regional and exotic flowers to make bold visual statements.
Timeless Mother's Day Gifts
I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.
- E.M. Forster -