Of all of my posts, the ones that elicit the most heated debate have to do with flowers (and believe me, I'm not pointing fingers because I'm right there with you readers in expressing my opinions on the subject). Flowers seem to provoke a visceral response- both good and bad. Many of us have very defined views on what we like and don't like. Personally, I have a few varieties that I love, some that I like, and many that I just don't care for. And the debate does not end here. What about floral arrangements? Do you like big, blowsy arrangements, or tight little clusters of flowers? A few branches of forsythia or magnolia in a vase? What about those tall, elaborate displays of flowers?
One arrangement that I do like to create is clusters of carnations, all of the same color. Individually, carnations are nothing to write home about. However, when grouped en masse, they're like little mounds of strong, pure color. My two favorite colors are deep, blood red and bright, vivid pink. The reds are good for a little drama, while the bright pink provides some snappy cheerfulness. White can be nice too, but for me it's all about color. Another advantage of carnations? They're inexpensive and they can last for a few weeks.
Joe Nye used these vibrant pink carnations for some punch in this room at the 2006 House Beautiful Showhouse.
Clusters of white carnations are jaunty and crisp on this blue and white themed table by Carolyne Roehm
Miles Redd adds some dark, brooding glamour in this arrangement of deep red carnations.
What's more classic (and graphic) than white and black? This reminds me of the Ascot scene in "My Fair Lady" in which the costumes were black and white (and were designed by Cecil Beaton). Photo from "Martha Stewart Weddings"
A red and white tablesetting from Martha Stewart Living
Image at top: A great mass of red carnations via Carolyne Roehm's website