In Defense of Carnations

If there is one flower that has gotten a bad reputation over the past few years, it would be the carnation. Seen as a cheap and unspecial bloom, the carnation has been largely excluded from the wedding design scene for a while. However, carnations might just make a comeback. Whenever I go to my flower wholesaler, I always seem to see a new variety of carnation I’ve never seen before. As an admitted floral snob, I am surprised to say I find myself admiring the stems.


One day, I decided to take a chance and picked up a bunch of carnations in a shade I had yet to see. They were the Minerva variety, deep eggplant purple with splashes of mauve throughout the flower face. I found that the lowly carnation could hold its own next to peonies and garden roses. Minerva would have been out of place thrown in a vase with daisies, but paired with ranunculus and dahlias, this carnation was right at home.


Floral design is not just about putting pretty flowers together in an appealing way. To create something special and to speak to your clients it takes regular and unabashed exploration of your craft. To put it a bit simpler, truly great florists know we have to let ourselves play. I am so happy I took a chance and picked up that bunch of carnations. I am glad for the opportunity to appreciate this flower in a way I was never able to before. Where I once saw utility, I now see grace. Instead of a flat round bloom, I see endless delicate petals. I look forward to my continued adventures with flowers. I can’t wait to see what gorgeous bloom will catch my attention next!