Do you hate carnations and chrysanthemums?

Love them or loathe them – carnations and chrysanthemums.

If you love having flowers at home, but only have time to pick them up when you’re doing your supermarket shop what do you do when faced with the choice between two flowers you wouldn’t normally give house room to: carnations and chrysanthemums?

These cut flowers are often maligned because they aren’t seen as being very glamorous. In part, this might be down to the fact that chrysanthemums are often sold in such awful colours. You can get them in shockingly bright yellow, insipid mauve, dyed orange and blue and at various points of the year sprinkled with glitter. This isn’t just a Christmas phenomenon – I spotted a sparkly bunch of pastel coloured chrysanthemums last week. In August. In the height of summer.

And as for carnations? The frilly toilet-roll dollies of the flower world. I wouldn’t write them off. They are a budget friendly choice and last for ages. And ages. However, you can shake off the old lady imagery by ramping up your colour options.

Carnations are now widely available in “antique” colours, which are great for a trendy vintage vibe. Or buy them in pistachio green for a fresh modern look. At Christmas I’d skip over the scarlet red offerings and plump for the velvety tones of the clove carnation.


Did you know that chrysanthemums come in more than the daisy option? Next time you’re in the supermarket look out for the button-headed Kermit green chrysanthemum. If you’re visiting your florist the single-headed Shamrock green variety is another great choice.


Living with flowers isn’t just about what’s on the supermarket shelf. It’s what you do with them once they’re in your vase. I’d suggest grouping them in a bunch and cutting the stems to equal length and tying them with garden twine to create a lollipop tree effect. Rather than getting them to sit upright, allow your flowers to rest at a jaunty angle on the rim of your vase. For more creative impact, repeat with several more bunches and vases and position them side by side across your mantelpiece, a shelf, or down your dining room table.

[Photo credit: images from the Flower Council Holland]

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Until next time, happy flowers


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