If your birthday comes in January, first, let me say "happy birthday to you!" and apologize for the lateness of this post. Now, let me tell you about your birth flower, the carnation.
Long ago in ancient Rome, carnations were known as "Jove's Flower"; a tribute to one of their beloved gods. Later, it became known as the national flower of Spain, the provincial flower of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands and the symbol of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution. In Korea, red and pink carnations came to be used for showing love and gratitude toward parents on Parents Day. Again, on Teacher's Day, the Korean people express admiration and respect for teachers with carnations as the flower carries for them the meanings of admiration, love and gratitude.
In Victorian times, the complex language of flowers known as floriography assigned different meanings to each of the most common carnation colors: pink for a woman's love, white for disdain, purple for capriciousness and whimsy, red for "my heart aches for you", yellow to say "you have disappointed me" and rejection, and striped carnations for refusal. Later still, in 1907 America, as Anna Jarvis founded our Mother's Day holiday, she chose the white carnation as its emblem—the color white to represent the purity of a mother's love, the flower itself because it was her own mother's favorite.
The state flower of Ohio is a scarlet carnation; a choice made to honor William McKinley, Ohio Governor and U.S. President, who was assassinated in 1901. He regularly wore a scarlet carnation on his lapel. And most of us are familiar with the iconic "white sport coat and a pink carnation" of 1950's music and fashion. (Extra credit if you know who sang that song)
The simply elegant carnation arrangements you see here were designed by lifestyle expert and favorite blogger Eddie Ross. Known in design and decor circles as the carnation's biggest champion, Eddie has managed to elevate the status of this humble flower through such creative endeavors as you can see here and here and here. If you are planning a wedding or any other special occasion and searching for big style on a not so big budget, consider using carnations. With guidance and inspiration from Eddie Ross.
While you're clicking around through Eddie's beautiful blog, you may notice a celebration taking place. Recently, Eddie was asked to represent Elle Decor magazine with the design of one of three rooms on view at Bloomingdale's. The 2010 Big Window Challenge was then judged over a two-week period by viewers who voted via text or online. Voting closed on the 28th and results were announced yesterday.
No surprise to those of us watching and voting, Eddie's window won! You can see two of my favorite vignettes below and read the whole story of how the window came to be here. Congratulations, Eddie!
Top image "Carnations" by Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell via sothebys.com. All other images via eddieross.com.