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Ms. Misunderstood

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 in Design

Guest card pillow of pink carnations. Photo is courtesy of Dawn Alexander.

Well,  today’s words are to defend and honour the beauty of the good ol’ carnation or Dianthus (its botanical name).I am aware that I shouldn’t love them as much as I do,  but there you go,  my secret is out!   I have been a floral designer for over 20 years  and I still love the carnation.  It is painfully obvious how they got a terrible reputation.How did this sweet flower become so vilified, you ask?

It is plain and simple;  horrible designs have been made with this sturdy, fragrant, colourful and gorgeous flower.

To top it off, carnations have the reputation for being cheap and an “old lady flower”.

I for one respect and adore old ladies,  so that has never turned me off of carnations.

Sure,  carns don’t show well in spiky triangular arrangements, but really, what does?  And please don’t even mention it……….leather fern and babies breath.  The delightful thing about carnations is that they can be innovatively used in packed arrangements,   for colour blocking,  to make topiaries, pomanders, and pillows or to simply use in a beautiful arrangement.

The most forgotten attribute to these lovelies, is that they are a long-lasting flower.

The only carnations that we do use on a regular basis are the greentrick dianthus…….yes this fuzzy,  happy green ball is actually in the carnation family.   It’s only problem is that it does not possess the glorious fragrance of the standard carnation.

The colours and shapes are so fabulous.   There are hot pink varieties with more angular petals,  while others have more rounded petals.  The Nobbio varieties are so stunning and unusual,  that most people are not even aware that they are carnations!

Please enjoy the photos of this most misunderstood flower.

Over and out,  Christina, Anne-Marie & Maggie.

Novelty variety

Topiary style.

Nobbio variety wedding bouquet

Boutonniere

Centrepieces made with green carnations and greentrick dianthus in a glass vase with black tie leaves.

Christmas display

Almost 700 carnations were used to make this 4 foot pillow for guest cards