Saturday, October 20, 2012

Speaking of "Horrid Carnations" . . .

Following up on MD's rather snooty quote in my last post, here's an example of how one can arrange "those horrid carnations" in such a way that they don't look like an uglified, nasty FTD mess of carnations, baby's breath, daisies, and freesia:


Boy made this frothy arrangement yesterday evening with white hydrangea and carnations bought at the corner deli.  Yes, Dear Reader, you read that correctly—not all of our flowers come from Plaza Flowers!  I don't think he paid more than $22 dollars for them.  Boy arranged the hydrangea and carnations in a simple, rectangular modern glass vase.  I'm showing the bouquet sitting on a side table in our city apartment.


It really is rather divine to be so fortunate as I to live with a fancy Manhattan decorator—lovely flower arrangements such as these appear out of nowhere, just like that!

So chic, no?

By the way, we're taking a break from Darlington House this weekend to take in some of the current shows and exhibitions in New York.  Reggie needs a dose of city living for a change . . .

More on that to follow, Dear Reader!

IPhone photographs by Boy Fenwick

16 comments:

  1. Hello Reggie, As a proud Buckeye, state flower the red carnation, I am glad to see you help bring these blossoms back into the fold, after their long and ignominious exodus. Likely it was their very attractiveness that caused them to be overused to the point of cliché.

    I never knew why the carnation was Ohio's official flower until I looked it up just know. It seems that President William McKinley always wore a red carnation, and after he was assassinated, that flower was adopted as a memorial to him.

    --Road to Parnassus

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  2. Ever so chic, my dears, every so!

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  3. Beautiful Boy! Zeze' could not have done it any better!

    Dean

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  4. Well said darling Reggie!
    I love to arrange 100 stems of carnations of the same color in a simple vase. The effect is always beautiful and chic.
    And I say, bring back the carnation in a gentleman's buttonhole!
    xo xo

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  5. Not only are they fragrant, historical to Spanish history and the art of perfume making essence...Mona Bismarck, Jayne Wrightsman and the jeweler JAR PARIS have used the flowers and or the essence to this very day for his signature perfume, Golconda.

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  6. I have just returned from a few days in the Brandywine Valley, where I toured Nemours, the spectacular home of Alfred duPont. As each guest entered the house they were handed a very large, freshly cut, pink carnation, apparently a favorite of the last Mrs. duPont, Jessie Ball. They must nor have been considered nasty in her day.

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  7. I was a horrible, unenlightened snob about carnations until one day a former colleague, and intensely gifted, florist made the most astonishing centerpieces for an event. They were gigantic spheres of red: deep red roses packed very snugly next to red carnations. From a distance each looked like a mass of ruffled red beauty. Only when peering closer was it clear that the whole was made up of individual parts. To me that defines the best in floral arrangements for an event: stunning when viewed in toto and fascinating when stared at during dinner.

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  8. Carnations can be quite chic--especially when they're arranged a certain way in a certain container. And (to me) they smell wonderful. I love to have them in my home at Christmas. They can last for weeks!

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  9. MICHAEL HENRY ADAMSOctober 21, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    THANK YOU MR. DARLING. NOW IT'S PERHAPS THE RUBRUM, "STAR-GAZER" LILY AND SUNFLOWERS WHICH HAVE GROWN LESS ATTRACTIVE THROUGH OVER-USE? IT'S REMARKABLE HOW THE LARGE HYBRID HOT HOUSE CARNATIONS AND CHRYSANTHEMUMS OF TODAY, MADE OVER-FAMILIARLY COMMON AND CONVENTIONAL BY FTD'S STIFF BOUQUETS IN THE 1950'S AND 60'S, A CENTURY AGO WERE PRIZED HIGH-STATUS FLOWERS GROWN BY MILLIONAIRES. FLOWER FASHIONS ARE FASCINATING. MASS ARRANGEMENTS EMPLOYING MORE THAN THREE VARIETIES OF FLOWERS WERE QUITE RARE THEN TOO. THERE ALSO SEEMED TO BE A PREFERENCE FOR SINGLE COLOR FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS THEN .

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  10. Charlotte Moss loves carnations, and that is good enough for me!

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  11. well done! Elegant carnations...two words I never thought I'd type together. Such smart readers you have...learned a lot from their comments.

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  12. What a coincidence...just the other day I stopped by a favorite custom frame shop with a print to be framed for a little girl's room. There it was. A tall clear vase filled with crystal clear water containing at least a dozen white carnations. No arrangement, just being themselves bent ever-so-slightly. When I said, "Oh, those are beautiful!" She laughed and said, "Aren't they? They're so old-fashioned. Last forever. And every time I walk by I catch their fragrance."

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  13. Cream and white..I love it!
    Boy's cleverness never fails to amaze.

    I think it was mixing with that babys breath that gave carnations such a bad name. I've always liked them. When I was a child they were popular, they grew well in the sandy soil of Sydney's eastern suburbs.

    I'm waiting for those ubiquitous, potted, white orchids to go out of fashion or should one now say style?

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  14. Isn't it in "The Age of Innocence" that carnations are mentioned as a flower in general use? I believe one didn't send roses, one sent carnations. It shows how fashions some and go. Years ago I had a colleague who was just upper middle class enough to be horrified by use of the word "supper." She was shocked when I told her that the last tsar ate supper, that it was one of his several meals, and came after dinner. The 18th century Brits did the same thing--dinner at midday, supper after tea. But "supper" has suffered since.

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  15. I am a florist and own a floral and gift boutique in Sherman Oaks, CA. It is a shame that carnations have gotten such a bad reputation due to poorly designed arrangements, many of them originating from FTD. Carnations can make quite a lovely statement - as seen in Boy's example pictured above. When used in a modern monochromatic mass and in arranged in a lovely vessel, the carnation presents itself as a truly elegant flower. Additionally, they smell wonderful!

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  16. I once had a (not so close) friend who gauged the quality of boyfriends by the gifts they gave her. A bouquet of carnations with baby's breath and a sprig of fern put one beau at the bottom, while at the top was the fellow who made the down payment on the BMW roadster that she otherwise couldn't afford to buy. I always think of her type when I hear folks denigrate the simple and lovely carnation.

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