Texture: Carnations

In my last post I talked about imported peonies. They are gorgeous, but expensive. Not all of us have a small fortune kicking around for an all peony bouquet in the off season, which is why I think it is important to show how just a few peonies can go a long way...especially when you have some other affordable players offering texture. Wooohooo!!! Go texture!!!! 

 

In addition to the peonies, the bouquet includes pinky-mauve garden spray* roses, creamy double stock, green mist Queen Anne's Lace, citrusy orange spray* carnations and coffee leaf. Check out what each of these flowers looks like below.

Spray means that there are multiple blooms branching off of one central stem. There are spray roses, spray carnations, even the delicate double stock sometimes comes as a spray. Depending on how you are using your blooms, a spray often means more bang for your buck. 

From left to right: coffee leaf, spray carnation, Queen Anne's Lace, pink peonies, double stock, garden spray roses. 

From left to right: coffee leaf, spray carnation, Queen Anne's Lace, pink peonies, double stock, garden spray roses. 

Now, you will hear a lot of florists and flower connoisseurs turn their noses up at the C-word. Heck, I fully blasted them in my last post when I called them "cheap". I am here call the floral community out: stop hating on carnations! I can understand if tired red and white carnations are still relegated to the land of 1950's style funeral arrangements, but we can't throw the baby out with the bath water. Nowadays they come in so many amazing colours that we need to pull them out of the back fridge and learn how to love them again. Check out those delicate, vintagey colours below. 

That middle carnation in the left picture is a dead ringer for Pantone's Spring 2015 pick: Toasted Almond. Pictures courtesy of Alicia at http://flirtyfleurs.com.

That middle carnation in the left picture is a dead ringer for Pantone's Spring 2015 pick: Toasted Almond. Pictures courtesy of Alicia at http://flirtyfleurs.com.

Carnations, with their undulating ruffles, come in solid colours or they can have petals painted with a beautiful gradient. When they are used within a bouquet, not as the main event front and centre, but beneath other blooms, they add incredible texture and depth. The citrusy orange carnations I selected nicely compliment my girly colour palette. Before I added the carnations, I felt like my bouquet looked a little too girly, a little too soft. The subtle pops of orange ruffles freshened up my colour palette to reflect the late spring, sherbety feel I was going for and added depth - a bouquet with flowers hiding beneath the "focal flowers" looks so much more full and interesting! The same is true for flowers that stick out gracefully above the rest. The tops of the double stock and the smallest sprigs of Queen Anne's Lace serve this purpose perfectly. The best part is that filler flowers like carnations can add depth and fullness around the stars of the show, our expensive, imported peonies. 

Before adding my pops of orange. 

Before adding my pops of orange. 

After... I love seeing mysterious blooms hiding. 

After... I love seeing mysterious blooms hiding.