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Carnation update

Posted by PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 19, 05 at 8:58

Thought I'd let you all know how they're doing, since you were often on my mind when I was growing and transplanting them, and now when I'm out looking at the carnation bed, and particularly because Cheryl was asking.

So I started four flats of Grenadins and one of Chabaud and Rainbow Mix in those nine-cell packs and ended up with a whopping number of seedlings! I'd never grown them before and wanted to make sure I had enough. They have their own ~8'x15' bed now, are tucked into every corner of the garden, and some were given away to friends. The Grenadins are looking good, standing straight and growing well, about 7". The Chabaud - or Rainbow Mix - one of them - is a sprawling brittle thing, won't be growing that again.

One night not long after planting them out a moose passed about six feet from the bed. Nice old-fashioned moose, appreciates dianthus too ;) Looking forward to some blooms next year.

Cheryl is there any chance you could post a picture of your Floristans? I'm glad to hear they're doing well - they sound magnificent - I'm curious what height they ultimately achieve and the flower size. And you sound pleased with the barbatus too.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Carnation update

Paul,
If I can figure out how to post a pic, I'll be happy to do that. I can also save you some seed from thoses, if you can't locate any. I would also be interested in seeing your carnations when they bloom next year. I also started a dianthus called, "sooty" last year. I don't know that it will be useful as it probably won't get more than 18", but the stalks and leaves are deep maroon with steaks of green, and the flowers will be deep maroon. It should be in bloom around the same time as the peonies, and look great together. The only problem is it's a biennial. Darn.
A moose, eh? I've never seen one in the wild.
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update

More out of curiosity than anything, but are the deep maroon almost black flowers popular? Do other growers sell much of this color? It doesn't seem they would be in a late spring or early summer bouquet. Don't the customers prefer the more pastel blues, pinks and yellows at this time of year?

Since the thread is about carnations/dianthus, I should say I grow Bouquet Purple. Has anyone had success with the Amazon Series?

Erin


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RE: Carnation update

Erin -- email me and I'll send you a picture of the Amazons from 2 years ago. YES -- they were successful. I too grow a few Bouquet Purple -- DH pulled them out during a garden cleaning party last fall! But the ones that were left -- are great!

Cathy


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RE: Carnation update

THE DARK RED DIANTHUS LIKE SOOTY are great! Mixed with pinks they relieve the pinkness and give it a more dimensional look. MIxed with peach it makes a "singing" combination. Mixed with white you have a classic "black and white" bouquet. It is smashing with "Pams Choice" foxglove, another biannual that could be seeded along with it. I am using a lot of it to create depth in my bouquets right now. It is the shadows that give the brights dimension. I would never want to be without it and that is just where I Am at...My bed has lasted well for 4 years but they are getting very puny and I need to rip it out and start a new one.


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RE: Carnation update

Wow. Okay. Thanks LizaLily. The bouquets sound beautiful. Will the Sooty bloom first year from seed? And, when would you suggest I sow them? Do I sow them maybe right now along with "Pams Choice" foxglove, and plant them out in the fall in order for them to get roots established? And they last 4 years. Maybe not in the midwest though, huh?


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RE: Carnation update

I think everybody who has grown the Amazons has been impressed! Their only drawback is their lack of fragrance. But when you see those 6-9" wide flower panicles, fragrance somehow stops being very important. I grow Amazon Neon Duo and some other fragrant varieties, mostly biennial but a few annual. I've grown a few of the Amazon Rose Magic, but am not sure I want to spend the money on more. They aren't quite as big and strong-stemmed as the Neon Duo, so the fragrance trade-off isn't as good.

I'm in zone 5, definitely NOT the Midwest, but most of the biennial barbatus types bloom the second year here (don't they do that everywhere?) The plant might persist for several more years, but bloom is scanty and short, if there is any at all. So I rip them out after they have bloomed in their second year. There are barbatus types that have been interbred with annuals, resulting in annual barbatus crosses. I'm wondering whether LizaLily's are reseeding themselves - or maybe they are just willing to keep blooming in her coastal climate.

I grow biennial and annual dianthus so I can have bloom sooner, and keep having blooms for a longer time. The biennials planted the previous year bloom WAY earlier than the annuals planted the current year. Plant both, and you have flowers earlier AND midsummer. I succession-plant the annuals, so I can have blooms in late summer also.

I haven't grown Sooty yet, but grow plenty of other very, very dark, almost-black flowers. My customers mostly like very colorful stuff, but they all seem to like bits of the black flowers in a bouquet. I use them mostly like LizaLily does, not as main events, but as touches of darkness to contrast to, and really bring out, the brighter colors. The dark ones are wonderful in a pink bouquet, in a pale yellow bouquet, and actually in almost any bouquet! Three-color bouquets, with black, white, and just one other color are elegant, easy, and popular. I make one or two just black-and-white bouquets when I can. Very elegant, but I only have one, sometimes two, customers who will buy them. I grow the blackish sunflowers but find they do best as only some of the main events, with other, lighter main events also. Of course they are GREAT in black-and-white bouquets.

Jeanne


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Oops! - Thanks!

I forgot to thank Paul for the update, which is the reason I started to respond in the first place! I may have to try Grenadins, to add fragrance to bouquets.

Jeanne


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RE: Carnation update

The sooty variety doesn't bloom the first year, and I started mine in the spring of last year, planted them out in June, and let them get a good growing season in before cold weather hit. Thanks Jeanne for the information on planting them again after the second year. Now that I know what they look like, I wouldn't want to be without them.
Paul, where did you get your seed on the Grenadins?
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update

  • Posted by PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 20, 05 at 21:21

After posting here I went out and measured the carnation bed and it's actually 6'x24'.

Sooty sounds like a keeper. Just saw them in Vesey's catalogue. I'm gradually getting more 'black' flowers (thank heavens they're not really black lol) - Queen of Night tulips, black hollyhocks. In the garden they should be interesting with bronze fennel so that's where I'm growing them.

Don't sweet williams self-seed? Or do they not self-seed to a commercial flower grower's satisfaction? The ones we have in the garden must be five years old. I've never been able to figure them out, knowing they're supposed to be biennial. It seems like the same plants are coming back, not new seedlings.

Cheryl the Grenadins came from Stokes in St. Catherine's. I'd like to get some Floristan seed from you - aren't they hybrids though?


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Jeanne, Sweet willoiams shold self seed but in order to do that I wold have to quit picking them, LOL. Actually I hoped mine would but htey don;t seem to. I have read that black sweet williams are more nearly perennial then others though they are mmostly classed as biennials. I think I would start new ones at the end of the second year next time. THey are still going but the flower clusters get smaller and smaller.

After our discussion on the Neons and whether or not anyone had them make it through the winter, well, I find it intersting that the few of mine that did are much shorter and wimpier, inspite of a good compost mulch. THey are blooming though before my ones I started in the greenhouse and transplanted. I keep thinking hte neons will open their buds soon but they just keep getting bigger and more husky. I am getting excited to see them open!

And Jeanne, the Snaps that are so gorgeous are the Costas!
Sure hope there is no crop failure from the seed company next year. I LOVE these!


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Carnations and other black flowers

PAUL, lovely "black" flower is BLACK KNIGHT scabiosas if you can grow it. For me it is a perennial that forms a bush about 5' tall with long wirey stems. I love the black color with the bright fall flowers! They last well too.

I planted a whole raised bed in black and white last year. Some things never came up at all like the black carnations, but the scabiosa were the best of them. I also like the burgundy trachelium. It is less black but still looks great with white.


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RE: Carnation update

I am looking for old fashioned Sweet William seed. Where is the best place to buy it. I grew it several years ago, then sprinkled the seed heads along my very long driveway. Now every year there are more and more growing along the driveway -- but not enough to putin bouquets. I want to put in at least a full 50' row of it. I put some in the arrangement I took out to my Mother's grave on Memorial Day. A few days ago I went out to remove the dead flowers and the Sweet Williams still looked great. Thanks for any help.

Teresa


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RE: Carnation update

  • Posted by PaulNS NS zone 6a (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 23, 05 at 11:41

I just read that Grenadin white and King of Blacks are especially fragrant.
Thanks for all these ideas about black flowers. Looking forward to this winter's catalogues already...
Cheryl the easiest way to post photos is to set up an account at a place like www.photobucket.com, transfer the photos from your documents file to your account, then copy and paste from there - it's either img or tag, I always forget which - to your GW post.


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RE: Carnation update

Teresa, I just bought 4 different kinds of dianthus from Germania. THey come in nice big packets and you will get them in just a few days. Delinda and I decided to order "Sweet" in white since we are enjoying the other colors so much and always need more white flowers. Especially ones that last like it does! I also ordered the "Barbatus Oeschberg", the mixed Kawara series and 1/8th oz of ELectron, which is a biennial. YOu can google "Germania Seed COmpany" to find it.

ANyone know whether I can start these now for next year or do I need to wait until fall. So far we are having a cool summer. (Of course I Have no space until I rip out some of the older things)

Yes, Paul, it was the King of the Blacks that I tried that didn't make it. I have one Carnation plant that is almost ready to bloom so soon I will see which the lone survivor is, LOL. IT is looking very big, strong and healthy!


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RE: Carnation update

Thanks, Lila, I have their catalog, and will get an order placed. I read someplace recently that they should be planted in July for blooms next Spring. I'm ordering a roll of weed fabric, and as soon as I get the dahlias weeded (12th of Never?), I'm going to plant at least 1 row -- maybe 2.

Teresa


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RE: Carnation update

LizaLily, we visited our local nursery the other day for the first time this year and I asked the grower if he had any scabiosa. He thought hard - he will grow anything and everything, including, to my surprise and delight, Tibetan blue poppies - then found a pot of them that he'd grown out of curiosity, in a corner of the greenhouse. They were about 4' tall. He really liked them and I could see why. There was one very dark purple-red one - maybe Black Knight?


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RE: Carnation update

That sounds like Black Knight! Glad you were able to find it! Were some of the other colors delicious too? The blues and lavenders can be very useful. I am still looking forward to blooms on my scarlet red ones.


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RE: Carnation update

Paul,
After waiting all this time, I only have one kind of plant out in the field, and that's dianthus. The picture on the front of the seed pack of floristan mix, shows carnations, but all my plants are dianthus, even though the colors are not all the same. The super duplex mix is the same as what the packet shows, but with the carnations, the COLORS are similar, but not the flowers. They are all gorgeous, and a great stem length for cutting, but that's not what I had in mind, and am upset that I don't have a true carnation. No wonder why they don't sell the seed anymore at William Dam seeds!! Also, I am totally illiterate at posting pics. (I probably even spelled the word wrong)HA. I could just email you, I know how to do that!
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update

Here's what Lynn Byczynski has to say about carnations: It is so commonplace and inexpensive, however, that most small growers won't find it profitable to grow." These are available wholesale for less than 25 cents apiece. And, they are the big fancy ones. Unless you are growing them because you just happen to like them, they aren't going to be very profitable. Market customers like the dianthus -- especially the new cultivars. If they want carnations, they go to the florist.


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RE: Carnation update

Flowerfarmer, what you said is true, and they are cheap, I just wanted some growing in the field that would come back every year, to mix in with my bouquets. But the dianthus I got are really nice, and very useful. The fragrance is lovely as well.
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update

I'm glad you posted, flowerfarmer, as it spurred me to do more market research, which in turn supports my plan, I think. My previous thread on carnations has dropped off but Jeanne raised the same issues there. As for where I live, re: commonplace, we're two hours from the nearest florist; the closest thing to a flower shop is a nursery 30 miles from here. Re: inexpensive, in town carnations sell for .99 apiece or 9.99 for 20 at the Superstore, and 1.50 each or 18.99/dozen at the florists.

Not so long ago - say 20 years - cut flowers were considered a great luxury hereabouts. Flowers are still not very well known - there are still people who refer to all flowers as 'lilies' or 'roses'. A few will order flowers for weddings, and rarely for other special occasions, but most do without because of the distance + cost. Interesting to learn how other people live, eh?

My love of carnations (and other flowers), plus the fact we have very good conditions for growing them, plus the dearth of cut flowers locally and requests for same, adds up to an opportunity IMO - or at the very least is worth an experiment.


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floristan

Cheryl how disappointing. And puzzling. You ought to write to them - kind of a major mistake on their part. Seems to me there's a British seed co. that sells floristan - expensive though...We'll have to keep looking. At least what you have is sellable.


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RE: Carnation update

Paul,
I will email them. If you want pics of the others, just email me, and I'll get back to you with the pics I took. I have red and white bouquets out today for Canada day! I hope they sell. What kind of a location do you have, Paul? Are you on a main road, or very rural like me? My husband keeps telling me I need to set up in town, 15 minutes away, But I haven't figured out a way to rig up some shade. I need a flower cart or something with a canopy.
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update

Cheryl, the flower stand that Wendy from Oregon showed us is working very well for me! If you can get a market sized umbella and set it up over it you could set up anywhere. Get an umbella with the heaviest base you can lift in and out of your car without injury, to prevent it being blown over in the wind. Get one that is vented at the top. I don't knw if you have a Costco anywhere near but they have some nice market umbrellas. We modified Wendy's stand so it holds 11 bouquets and I put another in a metal watering pot on top to add noticability (IT is often the first one sold). I also made my stand a bit smaller to fit in my very compact car, a little Scion xB. I have two half circle shelves, one with 5 holes and the lower one with 6. The smallest shelf on top is just big enough to hold a bolted on cash box, the metal watering pot and a very small metal watering pot that holds our business cards. On the bit of "Stem" that sticks up above the top shelf we drilled a channel and holes to put a wire loop and padlock through. Actually, where I have it now I just take off this shelf at night and leave the rest there. THe final item Is a small white board that I applied with stick on velcro strips. On it I write my price and anything else I want.

Thanks a million to Wendy! I love the ease and beauty of this new stand! It looks like a wedding cake when loaded with flowers.


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RE: Carnation update

Lizalily,
Thanks for your advise, that sounds like it would wrok great. I need someone handy to build it! We do have a Costco in Halifax, 2 1/2 hours away, but that would be worth checking into when I'm up there. We can get some serious wind here, so it would have to be pretty heavy duty. I really do need to get my flowers to a better location, I don't sell enough here to bother with.
Cheryl


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RE: Carnation update


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RE: Carnation update

I don't know what that scabiosa pic has to do with carnations, but I also grew that annual pin cushion flower this year, and am loving it. Great color, and most have a nice stem length. It looks great with lots of colors.


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RE: Carnation update

I also wondered the same thing about the scabiosa picture; and, we also grew that one this year. Love it!!

We are already looking to grow in the carnation department: 'Chabaud,' 'Grenadin,' 'Enfant de Nice (great fragrance), 'Diana' from cuttings, and some of the 'Miss' series. The only dianthus, Sweet William we will grow again are the 'Neon.' These are bright beautiful colors and strong, strong stems. And, they bloom, and they bloom, and they bloom..........


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RE: Carnation update

you'd have to read the post of 6/27/05 by PaulNS. they were talking about the deep black-red scabiosa going into a flower arrangement, and I grew some this year and thought they were beautiful also. so just decided to post a pic.
T


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RE: Carnation update

Thanks for posting that Tsflowers, it is lovely. Most of our sunflowers this year are a similar very deep intriguing colour. The black carnations are on my list for next year too. Will also look at Enfant de Nice and the Neon dianthus which so many here recommend.

The single Grenadin I planted last year from the nursery is a multi-stemmed bush this year - I counted 98 multi-budded stems on it, no exaggeration, with the tallest stem measuring 20". The blooms seem smaller than last year's though - only about 1 1/2" diameter. Anyway it looks like I planted our 150-odd Grenadin seedlings too close? (12") - I'll be digging some up to give away.

The other few carnations we have going, either Rainbow Mix or Chabaud or both (lost the tag) are a sprawling kind but some are in bloom with flowers twice as big as the Grenadin and a heavenly scent.

I've been showing people these carnations, testing the waters for interest for next year and generally trolling for sales ideas. One person said carnations reminded them of funerals but the rest were interested, some want transplants, one suggested calling up all the B and B's and resorts, which I'll do.


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RE: Carnation update

This post has been very interesting to me. I really like dianthus. I grow biennal sweet william for cutting and always save some seeds to sow in the row for new plants the following year. I tried growing chaubuds from small nursery plants and the rabbits always ate all the foliage and the plants would die, so I never got to see what the flowers looked like. I tried for two years and gave up. Then we got a wild cat hanging around who I think cut down the rabbit population by getting the babies. My favorite is dianthus 'Helen'. I sowed some seed from a Spring Beauty mix and have two very nice plants that I really like too. They bloom real early and I make pretty little boquets with them. I'm currently trying to propogate them from cuttings but don't know what the success rate will be. Have been visiting the plant propogation forum to learn as much as I can from others. I'm looking forward to trying the new sweet william that's supposed to bloom the first year.

Can you start the grenadins from seed? I looked for seed from a couple of my regular seed suppliers, but couldn't find them.


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RE: Carnation update

The grenadins were very easy to start from seed. Stokes has a variety of colours.

The idea of small bouquets interests me too. The Chabauds (or rainbow mix? - the ones with sprawling stems) are making a nice variety of colours - pale yellow, deep red, pink, white, and a white with maroon fringe, and a bunch of them together make a nice bouquet with a wonderful smell. When I delivered beans to a resort restaurant the other day I took along such a bouquet to see if the dining room manager might be interested in using them for table settings; the chef said he'd pass them along to her.

Here is a link that might be useful: grenadins


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RE: Carnation update

My friend and I were discussing the other day: Ever noticed how there are 'guy' flowers and 'girl' flowers? No I do not mean the sexual reproduction aspect of flowers, but our human taste. Guys seem to like strong, dark deep 'macho' colors, and bold form. My hubby likes blue flowers, and burgundy and so forth. The "black" flowers sound like just the thing. If ever you wanted to give a man flowers in hospial, just 'cause ya like him, or wanted to help beautify your son's batchelor life without offending his sense of maleness, it is handy to know these things. That could be a new marketing angle: the GUY'S bouqet. Just a thought.


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RE: Carnation update

triple b, maybe you could start a new thread - 'Black - the manly colour?' or some such...I don't know that bringing black flowers to somebody in hospital would be appropriate though ;).

The 'black' flowers have been growing on me, so to speak. As long as they're not genuinely black.

Carnation update: it's November and they're still blooming. The rainbow mix, which have nicer bigger flowers, gave us a great abundance of blooms, many of which we gave away to the seniors' home. The odd Grenadin bloomed - most should bloom next year. They're nice (12"x 12" x 12") bluegreen bushes. I transplanted a dozen of them into a long stony bed along with lavender, edelweiss, thyme and three buddleia seedlings - looking forward to seeing the bed next summer, will try to post a picture here.


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