Why Carnations Deserve More Credit

Did you know that a carnation is like a clean canvas, with a remarkable ability to “drink” any color in which its stem is submerged?

In François Trauffaut’s film Bed & Board, Antoine Doinel, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, dyes carnations in vibrant tones as a profession. He works out of a courtyard set up with green metal garden tables and enamel flower buckets (the kind you only find in France in the 1960s and 70s).

This made us wonder at Gardenista: Why do so many people loathe carnations? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Above: The process of dyeing the flowers takes place in an enamel bucket (for similar buckets see: Design Sleuth: French Enamel Buckets). Photograph via Cinema Burn.

Above: Like the carnation, Limonium (also known as statice, sea lavender, or marsh rosemary) in white, takes up dye as well. These multi-colored stems are seen in the loft of fashion director Massimo Cannavacciuolo in Milan. Photography by Marco Annunziata for Freunde von Freunden.

So, carnations: friend or foe?

And for more floral inspiration, visit Gardenista.


Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

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Wolfgang W4 years ago

Carnation was the flower of the revolution in Portugal in April 1974

Lin M
Lin M4 years ago

Love roses and carnations with baby's breath together. My daughter got me a big plastic pig for out side. She filled it with these, the kind you can wash....I brought it inside because I loved it so much. It is the prettiest smell combo if real.

Angie V.
Angie V4 years ago

I love carnations....

Erika M.
Erika M4 years ago

I've always loved and preferred carnations. They last longer and smell better.

Louis Olivencia
Lou Olive4 years ago

Give a flower to a friend:))

Les M.
Les M4 years ago

not my fav flower but they're great to fill out a bouquet and they last a long time.

Val M.
Val M4 years ago

Love carnations!

Mary T.
Mary T4 years ago

been a fan of carnations since I was a little girl..prefer them over roses

Janice W.
Janice W.4 years ago

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Carnations!! I can't imagine anyone loathing them or any flower for that matter. I have had older folks tell me they reminded them of funerals so that's why they didn't like getting them. However, that's why I do like them. The first time I can remember smelling them was at my grandmother's funeral when I was 7 yo. I loved her soooo much & it was the carnation smell that was so prevalent the last time I saw her. :) My mother once told me my grandmother also liked carnations. So they remind me of her.

Also, I am all about the value of a dollar & for my money (& anyone else's that giving them to me ;)~) carnations out-last any other flower I've ever gotten. Not to mention that most other flowers either don't smell good or their scent is not as strong as the carnation. I can't tell you how many times my DH has given me roses to see a disappointed look on my face when I would smell them & they either didn't smell good or not at all. I tell him, I know carnations are cheap, that's one of the things I love about them. Besides, you can give me more flowers for less money. I'm just too frugal. lol And that's why I LOVE the carnations!

I can also get them in any color I want but I prefer lavender/purple which is so easy to get or make myself! Can't say that about expensive roses! Gotta try that dyeing thing for my kids too! Oh look, one more reason to love them! ;)~