Carnations have a bad rep. Mostly because at some point, someone out there decided that just because carnations are easy to grow and thus cheap, that they are in fact cheap. As in unrefined, tasteless. Well I’m here to tell you it ain’t true!
Little known fact, the carnation is one of the most respected and oldest cultivated flowers. It’s scientific name, Dianthus caryophyllus, means ‘flower of the gods.’ Carnations were actually the sky god Jupiter’s flower of choice and Jupiter was a pretty cool dude.
Plus, carnations have been hybridized for thousands of years to create new colors and varieties that are quite well, awesome. Think psychedelic acid orangey-pink or super duper deep dark purple or white with magenta striations. Group all of these together in an arrangement and you have quite the palette. I’ve recently fallen back in love with the carnation and I think that you should too!
I recommend choosing a few colors that aren’t the standard pink and red and that complement each other. Your vase should be something a little rough around the edges – a vintage coffee tin with a bit of rust, or something concrete (like these from Jamali) for a nice contrast with the bright blooms. Don’t cut all the flowers at one length and shove them in; begin by cutting a few of the stems rather short so that they rest at the height of the vase’s lip. Do your best to create a sort of cage for the other stems by clipping them at various heights. Add them to your vase until your arrangement has a shape you like.
It’s going to be tough, I admit, to find all of these cool colors at your local bodega florist. They don’t always keep them in stock, but keep your eye out and if you do see them, don’t turn away just because they’re ‘ugh, carnations…’.
The color purple apparently symbolizes impulsiveness, so go be impulsive and buy a big bunch of them! It’s not like they’re expensive, so really, why not give it a shot?
Added bonus, they smell quite nice actually.
xTaylor, Fox Fodder Farm