Monday, 4 July 2016

How to Create a Simple, Cheap but Gorgeous Flower Arrangement - Carnations

Happy Monday Friends!

I must admit, I am a bit of a flower snob, but then you can't blame me having spent a good many years living and breathing flowers. So like anyone, I have my favourites such as cymbidium orchids, Sarah Berndhart peonies, hyacinths, stocks,  lilies.... I could go on! There are so many varieties of flowers that standard flowers such chrysanthemums and carnations, tend to fall into the background. As a florist these standard flowers are used as filler flowers when creating a mixed bouquet and they are there as a backdrop to more choice flowers and rarely take centre stage.

It used to be that you could only buy basic flowers such as roses, chrysanthemums, carnations etc from supermarkets, but as the years have melted by, the big guys have stepped up and provided the public with a more diverse range of flowers that you could only once get from your local florist. The problem with this diversity is that you end up forgetting about those once common traditional flowers such as carnations.

Today I am going to show you that carnations can be the star of the show and that they should by no means be overlooked.

So without further ado, here is a little summary of how to create a beautiful hand tied arrangement with just carnations.

I managed to get two large bunches of these gorgeous dusky pink carnations for £6 from a local florist - a bargain!!

The first thing you need to do is strip any leaves that are going to fall below the waterline in your chosen container. This is essential for all flowers, as the leaves will cause and create bacteria and your flower life will be shortened. It also helps keep the water clearer so no slimy water!

Once you have stripped the leaves you can start from holding a central stem to work from.

Just add each carnation to start forming a dome. One flower should be added at a time by placing one in front of  and one behind the central flower and turning after repeating the process. If you do this correctly, the stems will start to form a spiral. I would have done a series of photos to show you this process, but unfortunately, I was completely on my own today and had to photograph everything one handed!!

As you can see the heads are roughly about the same level and the stems are not crossing each other but fall nicely downwards.

Keep going until you have formed a dome and you've used up all your flowers. 

The stems should spiral as you put one stem/flower in front and one behind and turn as you go. 

The next step is tie off the arrangement with some string. 

The easiest way to do this is to pull the string around several times to hold the stems in place and then lean it on a worktop edge whilst you tie it off. 

It should look something like this when tied. I have cut the stems ready to add to my container. 
A tip when cutting carnation stems is to cut above or below the nodules that find along the stems. By doing this the water will be able to flow up the stem to the flower head. If you cut on the node, you will find the carnation will struggle to take up water and will die.

Then all you need to do is place them in your desired vase. I have used an old coffee jar and just added a rustic raffia bow. (Ribbon would have been my second choice).

They will look even more gorgeous once the flowerheads have started to open out and the dome will be more fuller and frillier.
 So there you have it, a simple, long lasting handtied arrangement to enjoy.

What I love about using the humble carnation in this grouped style arrangement is that several flowers suddenly become one and create a unique frilly pretty domed flowerhead.

Have a good week friends!!

Maria xx


  1. Lovely arrangement.
    Carnations & 'Mums are a favourite of mine as they bring a lovely splash of colour at a reasonable price.
    Toni xx

  2. Lovely arrangement, thanks for sharing how to put together. You can never go wrong with pink flowers & mini carnations are one of my favourites. I discovered Lisianthus a few years back & have been hooked on them ever since.


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