Design Tips: Flower Arrangements With Carnations

Carnations are hardy and come in a variety of colors, good for creating fresh baskets, centerpieces, and vase arrangements.

Carnations, also called Dianthus, are a great staple in any flower arrangement. Whether it is the featured flower or filler, there are many reasons to use carnations in fresh flower displays. Carnations come in a variety of sizes and colors. Traditional carnations are usually white, pink, red or yellow. Variegated carnations are white or yellow with red tips along the edge. Various colors are created in carnations by dyeing. This is how florists achieve blue and green shades. There are two ways carnations are colored, they are stem dyed or sprayed. Stem dying involves cutting the stems on the carnation and placing them in a bucket of dye with the desired color. The white flowers drink the dye and the flower exudes the color. Occasionally carnations are sprayed with a floral dye as another coloring technique. Mini-carnations are also used in many arrangements. They come in the same color pallets, but are smaller and have multiple flowers sprouting from one main stem. There are many creative ways to incorporate these flowers in a variety of different arrangement styles.

Baskets are a great way to present carnations. While a basket filled with carnations is nice, spice it up a bit with a variety of flowers. Different sizes and textures of flowers make for an appealing bouquet. In the spring, create a basket filled with carnations, mini-carnations, baby's breath and daisies. All of these flowers have a long shelf life, so this arrangement should last close to a week. For other seasons combine Spider Mums and carnations with an assortment of greens.

Carnations look great in a tall vase as well. Cut three to different heights and place in bud vase with some baby's breath and a bow. Remember to put some greenery in the vase. Fern, which industry professionals call leather, is great for filling in the bare spots in an arrangement. The dark green background is a perfect backdrop for the carnations. For larger vases combine carnations and roses. Red roses and white variegated carnations are a beautiful combination. For color and texture include some flowers in the blue or purple family such as iris or eucalyptus. Statice is a multi-stemmed flower with a very unusual texture. It looks great with red or white carnations.

Centerpieces with carnations and mini-carnations are very common. Incorporate some mums, aster, or snapdragons to add some flair. Tulips look great with carnations in a centerpiece. For a formal table piece, place a tapered candle in the center of the arrangement. Be sure to keep the flame several inches away from the flowers. Centerpieces should be relatively low in height, so guests can view each other across the table.

Because of their hardiness and beauty, carnations are a wonderful treat to have in your home or office. To keep the bouquet at its best, remember to water it periodically. For longevity, be careful where you place the flowers. Keep it off of the television or any surface that radiates heat, and out of direct sunlight. Because carnations are so versatile, they mix well with a huge variety of flowers. Don't be afraid to mix size, textures and multiple color flowers together when designing your floral piece.

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