Carnations are the flower of choice for several occasions and act as a sign of both friendship and support. Still, in an arrangement, all flowers including carnations benefit from having secondary or support flowers. Fortunately, several species of flowering plant complement the appearance of carnations either in a bouquet or in an arrangement for the home.
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Perfect in either a support or lead role in an arrangement, several variations of chrysanthemum, or mum, are available from florists. These plants range in color and configurations from bright green and fuzzy globes atop delicate stems to large blooming, thick stemmed bright white blossoms that demand center stage in an arrangement. Because of their variation and their wide range of colors, they are often paired with carnations, which also grow in a wide range of colors.
With long green stems and explosions of tiny, snowy white blossoms, baby’s breath is an accent flower for several flower arrangements including carnations. These flowers often act as filler, providing an interlude between other, larger flowers such as carnations and chrysanthemums.
Distinct petals that curl downward along with very prominent stamen are the trademark of the lily, a flower adapted to stand out. Unlike some other flowers, which work as a backdrop for carnations, lilies are often center stage, with carnations providing a colorful backdrop. Still, some smaller varieties of lilies are available for arrangement and these are sometimes used as support flowers in carnation dominated arrangements.
Available in colors from deep red to yellow, white and pink, colors of rose are almost as numerous as colors of carnations and fit neatly in an arrangement with carnations. Roses are about the same size bloom as carnations but instead of an exploding blossom, the rose features a more conservative, half open bloom. Still, in arrangements with carnations, roses are often represented on equal terms, since they are too small to outshine carnations and too large to act as accent flowers.
Available in both large, single flower and smaller globed bunches, the waxflower makes a good counterpart or support to carnations. Larger varieties are big enough to steal the center spot in a flower arrangement, so use them sparingly when pairing them with carnations. The waxflower ranges from white to pink and even purple with five distinct petals and prominent stamen.