A Case for Carnations

Yesterday felt like a flower free for all. I had my first arrangements to do for a new client, Veranda on Highland, here in Birmingham. It's a beautiful restaurant that is located in a gorgeous historic home. Incedentally, that white and grey rustic vase you see pictured was a bit of a beast - I honeslty think it contains at least 36 gallons of water at this very moment. I kept filling it and filling it and filling it. It's so heavy I'm probably going to need to syphon the water out in order to change out the flowers. At any rate, they wanted something that would feel like fall and be nice for Thanksgiving. I had two thoughts about what I was going to do. One - forage, forage forage. I wanted fall leaves and branches while they were still looking so glorious. And two - I'm afraid of orange flowers. I didn't realize this until yesterday. I wanted to use some beautiful persimmons on the branch I had been saving as my inspiration for the fall arrangements so I needed plenty of flowers and foliage to go with them. Once I was flower shopping I realized, my goodness, persimmons sure are orange.

It was the second time in 24 hours that I had found myself thinking deeply about orange and the implications of all of her many shades. I had gotten my hair colored the day before by my good friend Melissa. She knows I'm a former hair stylist so therefore super opinionated about hair color formulation so she asked me if I wanted to formulate my color with her. This led to a 20 minute discussion about red orange versus red violet and the potential risks over using either one. I'm an O/R girl and Mel is a bit more R/V inclined. I'm sure in the end she questioned her kind invitation to let me be a part of the formulation process but I digress.

When it comes to color, I guess we all have our favorites. I don't dislike orange at all, it's just that on some level, or I suppose in certain shades it just reminds me of pylons or those plastic pumpkins kids used to carry their candy in on halloween. I like oranges that have a touch of pink, or ochre. Primary color orange, or pure orange, as in the orange on a color wheel I just find a little jarring. Come to think of it I have a similar issue with pure red. It can feel like a slap across the face when not handled delicately. At any rate, I was pleased to find two varieties of carnations - one a bit more peachy and the other a more true orange with a kiss of fuschia.

While I'm sharing my opinions with you on such potentially mundane topics so openly and in such a detailed fashion, I might as well weigh in on carnations while I'm at it. I love carnations. They come in about a million different colors, they live about as long as a person, they have a lovely ruffely texture and  they are always in season. All that said, you can't imagine how many times I've heard people say - you can use whatever flowers you want, just no carnations. My heart always aches a little for the carnation family when people say that and I feel myself wanting to go into a spiel about how intrinsically valuable carnations are but I try to spare pretty much anyone all that. Suffice to say, there is a strong case to be made for carnations and I'd be happy to make it anytime and anywhere. They shouldn't be counted out just because they happen to be inexpensive.

I had some left overs and made a couple of the arrangements in the photos above. I really liked the simplicity of the third one and think it would be a great option anyone could make for almost any event. All I used was a tallish urn style vase, water, myrtle and bupleurum. I like how minimal it is and how simple it was to assemble. Plus I love green, in pretty much any shade, because for whatever reason it just feels cheerful. Maybe it's because it's a secondary rather than primary color! Or, I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear me suggest, maybe we can dissect and discuss the distinguishing characeristics of green another time. For today, we'll just stick to orange.