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My Rocky Relationship with Carnations

From about the time I was old enough to receive flowers I have hated carnations. This strong opinion formed for good reason. Carnations are usually dyed which result in tacky colors (think blue). Also they usually look pretty lame mixed in with other flowers as a filler. That was my opinion for a long time until sometime last year I was browsing through a flower book of this fabulous designer and I noticed she used carnations. I couldn’t believe how beautiful they looked. I realized I just hadn’t seen them used correctly. So then and there I changed my stance on carnations but with two important ground rules.

1. The carnation must be a natural color.
2. The carnations should be bought in one color and in large quantities so they can be assembled all together in a lush monochromatic arrangement. (No other flowers invited.)

I’m not sure what is going on with this carnation present thing but I just wanted to show carnations all smooshed together in one color.

  1. StacyDesigns

    August 9, 2006

    I always hated carnations too. Probably because they are generally paired with baby’s breath and ferns to create a bouquet that should be sitting on my grandma’s table, not mine. I have realized the same thing also. I love carnations, baby’s breath and ferns when they are beautifully arranged alone.

  2. Steph

    August 9, 2006

    I saw this done recently at a party and the carnations looked great. I was definitely surprised too. I don’t have the pictures of them here at work, but I’ll try to remember to email them to you tonight when I get home.

  3. acte gratuit

    August 9, 2006

    I don’t think I’ve ever been so fascinated by a complete stranger’s blog. I read all the way to the end. I think you have a great design sense and I wish I’d found this site a few months ago when I lived in S.F. so I could try some of the restaurants. Afterwards, I looked at your husband’s paintings and felt so homesick. We lived by UCSF but went to church in the Sunset. One day when I’m rich, I’ll buy one! Thanks for the good read!

  4. michelle

    August 9, 2006

    Remember the SATC episode when Burger shows up at Carrie’s door with carnations and says, “I hear they’re making a comeback”? Too bad he ended up breaking up with her on a post-it.

  5. Anonymous

    August 9, 2006

    The day I was born my grandmother brought a bouqet of carnations to me in the hospital. It was the only flower they had at the little store she stopped at on the way to the hospital. Every birthday from then on I got a bunch of carnations. Are they the most beautiful flower? No, but they are simple and under stated like my grandmother. Since she passed away, I often buy myself some carnations to brighten my day and bring a little Nana into my house. Just my little story of how the simple, sometimes ugly, carnation flower can be the most beautiful when it was given my someon so missed and loved.

  6. Heather

    August 9, 2006

    My sister makes those “flower presents” for weddings, showers, etc. They’re really easy to make and look awesome… I love the ribbon she uses for the different color schemes.

  7. wendy

    August 16, 2006

    you’ve nearly converted me on the carnation thing, Jo Jo. but i might need a little more convincing. i’m still a little afraid of carnations.

  8. kt

    August 16, 2006

    My younger sister horrified us all when she said carnations were her favorite flower … but reading your blog, I am reconciled 🙂

  9. Anonymous

    September 13, 2006

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s not the flower, it’s what’s done with them… although I think carnations work well in combination with others flowers.

    Just posted an article on my blog about carnations, too.

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