In our new Flower of the Week series, we'll bring you all things flower, from the cost to the season to the little details you need to ask your florist. This is your go-to guide for blooms, ranging from ranunculus to roses. So take a minute to stop and smell (and read!) every Flower Friday.
Ah, carnations. A bloom commonly associated with bad grocery store flowers, these guys have been getting a bad rap for quite a while now. Case in point, there’s an episode of Sex and the City (the most relevant reference of them all) where Charlotte questions whether or not she can continue to date a man who brings her carnations, which she and Carrie refer to as “filler flowers”. In the end, Carrie tells her own boyfriend, Berger, carnations wouldn’t be a deal breaker for her, but only because she happens to like carnations. Always ahead of her time, Carrie was on to something; carnations have slowly been coming back to the scene among the It girl floral designers as trendy, and dare we say, cool, stand-alone blooms. We’ve been seeing some really interesting colors in the market—from bright and variegated petals to more subtle and illusive dusty tones (not your bodega varieties dyed bright, unnatural colors). So next time you meet with your florist, have an open mind! Carnations are having a renaissance moment, and can be really beautiful—just don’t mix them with red roses and babies breath.
Carnations are pretty much available all year round, luckily!
Carnations can be used in any number of styles—from modern (think: ombré and mono-fleur) to romantic (paired with lush face flowers) to boho (adding in wildflowers and lots of greenery)—you just have to make sure they don't veer cheesy. Ask your florist for a mock-up to make sure they're adding the carnations in with a proper dose of cool.
Carnations come in almost every color you can imagine in nature. Like we said, don't even look in the direction of those fake-dyed monstrosities in your local bodega/supermarket.
One of the best things about carnations: They're some of the cheapest flowers you can buy! Of course, this all depends on the variety, but they're an awesome budget option…and why they're sometimes called "filler flowers."
Around 6 to14 days—so very hardy!
See more: Flower of the Week: Anemone
Works Well With
It's better to know what carnations DON'T work well with: Don't pair them with other low-budget flowers you'd usually see in your local grocery store. Steer clear of red roses and babies breath, lilies, daisies, and blue or white hydrangeas. We love seeing carnations in clusters by themselves—it feels effortless and modern in a new way!