I know exactly what to do when someone brings home a bunch of carnations from Safeway….bind them tight, cut them short and use a really cool and vintage vase (if you have one) to display them in.

Someone brought home a bunch of carnations recently and I did just that.

Here is the pink carnation arrangement posing with some rather cute (and vintage) salt and pepper shakers I picked up in Sonoma last week. I tossed the carnations out today. The lasted 3 weeks. Seriously 3 weeks.

I feel the way about Carnations the way I feel about Baby’s breath. There’s nothing wrong with them, but use them all on their own. Many people still turn their noses up at the thought of using either, but it takes some imagination to turn them into something fabulous. As my dear friend Charles once told me when faced with a “cheap flower’ dilemma, “You have to know how to make lemonade out of lemons.”

Here are some past arrangements I’ve designed using carnations. Below are images of a pink and orange carnation arrangement. Makes me think of sherbet. Used in a glass cube that has pepper berry floating in it.

Here are the heads of purple carnations tightly clustered in the bottom of a bubble bowl to complete the look of an orchid arrangement. Again, carnations can look really cute and quite tolerable if done in the right way. Some shades even, such as the pale pink and peach can also pass along with spray roses.

With their long-lasting reputations and decidedly crinkled petals, I’m not scared to play with carnations. I just think it is all part of the challenge…

So when life gives you carnations, use them!