Design Ideas for Carnations

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When you picture lovely flowers, I’ll bet Carnations rarely are the first flower that pops into your head.  In fact, they have garnered a rather unfortunate reputation in the recent past as an almost throw-away flower.  A cheap flower – underappreciated and underused.  But, in actuality, Carnations come from quite an exquisite and noble past.  They have great meaning, based on their color ranging from luck for white to a Mother’s love for pink.  They go back as one of the first harvested flowers – more than 2,000 years in fact.

So where did they go wrong?  Who knows really, except that probably because they were always readily available and their cost has always remained pretty low in comparison to some more … well … desired flowers. 

My recent fascination stemmed (forgive the pun) from the fact that I love fresh flowers but my budget just doesn’t allow some of the fancier varieties – so this spring I wanted to learn more about the lowly Carnation and learn what I could do with it.

And, I just love what I learned!

In my segment, you’ll see me using florist’s wet foam and carnations to create modern and simply striking floral sculptures, if you will, with flowers.  And it’s so easy.

Once I built my floral sphere, I couldn’t stop taking it around my house to see the unusual places I could put it and creating really intriguing looking centerpieces.  It’s already going on 2 days and still looks fresh.  You’ve simply got to give this a try for your next gathering.  You guests will be blown away when they see it.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

The floral ball I made on the show was made with a 3” Wet Foam ball.  I found it at Michaels for about $4.  This is important – I did buy a larger one first – 6 inches – but then quickly realized that when the flowers are added it really increases the finished size and it would have been HUGE!  I wanted to end up with about a 6” floral sphere so the 3” ball worked great.

Also, I needed about 50 – 60 carnations to cover it.  I used a mix of regular sized and minis – because that’s what I could find in the same color.  I’d get them at Costco for the best buy.  You can make this floral ball for around $25 if you get the flowers at a deal like Costco. That may seem like a lot, but think about what you’d pay for a flower arrangement – much more.  And if you’re looking for a really cool centerpiece this is a great use of your money!

The Wet Foam is an interesting beast.  It is important to let it absorb the water at its own speed like I showed on the show.  Fill the sink, or a bowl with water that is at least as deep as the height of your wet foam so it will slowly absorb water and sink. 

Clip your Carnations freshly to a pointy slant.  This way they will slide in a create a tight grip on the Wet Foam.  Try not to put them in and pull them out again.  That will create air pockets and make it harder for them to “drink” the water from the foam. 

You can add water to the arrangement after a few days if you want – but just give it some time to reabsorb what you pour in.  These will last a while though without adding any more. 

And finally, keep in mind that Carnations look great when used in the pave’ style I showed.  It takes them from a lowly castaway flower to a thing of beauty.

Try this for your next celebration.  It’s a WOW.

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