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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Aleem

Flower of the Month: January: Carnation

Every time January rolls around, the gray skies and cold temperatures do a number to our emotional states. However, carnations, January’s Flower of the Month, can help beat those winter doldrums. They are widely available in a large array of colors, from the purest of whites to the deepest of reds and everything imaginable in between. While they have a delicate appearance, carnations are gorgeous, hardy blooms, and their frilly, fluffy multi-petal blossoms add texture to flower arrangements and bouquets.

Carnations are often viewed as old fashioned and overused because many remember them from the floral arrangements of yore. Red carnations and baby’s breath adorned many a restaurant’s table or carnations were mixed with stark white flowers to create a polka dot effect. However, carnations are so much better and more diverse than that. The carnation is once again gaining traction in the floral industry as both filler and focal flowers for floral arrangements large and small. Antique Antigua carnations are a classic flower with a twist that look amazing in boho designs in a muted color palette. Their petals have creamy edges with a blush pink center that pair well with toffee and cream roses, pink lisianthus, pale blush dahlias, sage colored greenery and dried

pampas grass accents. Meanwhile, purpleberry carnations, one of my personal favorites, are a gorgeous rich purple-pink color. They work well in saturated color palettes, such as one containing dark purple anemones, plum perfect roses, burgundy ranunculus and blue delphinium.

Carnations can add whimsy and romance to Harlow stands and/or backdrops when they are wired to suspend in air thus giving the appearance of floating blossoms. When creating large scale arrangements for events, carnations can also be a cost-effective option. By integrating them into a design with other focal blooms, such as roses, you can create the overall visual effect at a fraction of the cost. The carnation’s versatility in floral design is one of the major reasons that they are among the most popular commercial cut flowers around.

Carnations can last an extremely long time in a flower arrangement with proper care. If the water is consistently changed and the stems are periodically given a fresh cut, carnations can last up to 3 weeks without wilting. They have many different meanings, including admiration, love and distinction.

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