1852 Tuesday 18 May Have accomplished but a very little work
to day Made a long call in Olivers & the other
part of the house talking over my visit yesterday
Set out some pink slips &c that I got there
About three started for N Bridgewater met
Alson & wife turned about and came back
Spent the rest of the afternoon at Edwins. called
at Augustus, her sister Elizabeth there
The visit to the Kinsley family that Evelina had made the day before lingered in her mind. She talked about it with both sisters-in-law, no doubt describing the family, the conversation, and the twelve pots of flowers she got to bring home. Was she bragging or sharing? Were Sarah Ames and Sarah Witherell interested or only tolerant? The Kinsleys were well-to-do, prominent citizens of Canton, so one suspects that both sisters-in-law had some curiosity about them. Yet it had only been a week since George Witherell had died, so Sarah Witherell may have had limited attention for Evelina’s gadding about.
After her “long call” with her relatives, Evelina spent time in her garden planting “some pink slips &c” that she got in Canton. Pinks are bright little flowers that we know better as carnations and more formally as dianthus. The name comes from the “pinked” or serrated edge of the petals, as if trimmed with pinking shears. Pinks are a traditional flower for a cottage garden; botanist Joseph Breck declared that “There is no flower more desirable in the flower-garden that the Carnation. A well-grown, superior variety, cannot be surpassed, in elegance, beauty, or odor, by any other flower.”*
The pretty little flowers in Evelina’s garden must have brightened up the yard of a home whose occupants needed cheering up.
* Joseph Breck, The Flower Garden or Breck’s Book of Flowers, Boston, 1851, p. 111