Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Carnation Breakfast

Breakfast Carnations

This is something that very few men seem willing to do: buy flowers. And I don’t get it. So I’ll come clean, I love flowers. I like giving them, I like getting them (a Spanish poet friend used to bring me a bunch of sunflowers for my birthday) and I really like having them in the home.

I don’t buy them often enough.

Flowers brighten a room, a dinner table and they certainly brighten a breakfast tray, which is what these carnations were destined for after I took the picture. They cost all of USD$1.99.

Try this for the weekend. Your significant other will appreciate it (along with fresh squeezed orange juice.)

Find a little silver cup (this is one of my children’s baby gifts, repurpose your own or find one at an antique store, which are full of similarly sized silver cups.) Polish it. Take the flowers and cut off the stems until the flowers are the right height to just touch the rim of the cup. Hold the stems together with a rubber band. Add water. Enjoy.

The best part? You have a boutonnière for your lapel that evening.

19 thoughts on “Carnation Breakfast

  1. Quite right, to cut those stems down ruthlessly and place the whole bunch in a small silver cup. So smart looking and as you say, only $1.99.
    Towering floral displays are just so funereal, or do I mean to say tacky?

  2. Why am I not surprised you love flowers? My husband is really sweet about bringing flowers. But I do have to lodge a complaint here, never to his face! For our 20th anniversary last month, I’m sure he spent a fortune on this arrangment he sent out to the house. Which I hated – most florist make the most hideous arrangements – they thrown everything in a vase, put a ginger snap on top and call it art. This one even had forsythia with sunflowers, omg – awful! All I kept thinking was why didn’t they just send out some forsythia branches? OH – there were tulips too!!!!! What a mess! Of course I fawned all over them and proclaimed it the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. One day, he’ll remember all the hints – single flower bouquets, por favor!

  3. TW — oh, I like the towering (single genus, if that’s the word) ones, too, just can’t see through them at the table ; } I do like a few calla lilies on the table… or white lilies. Talk about funereal.

    JW — agreed single flower bouquets. There is something about a mass of the same kind of flower. But then, I spent some time in Holland with fields of tulips and some time in France with fields of sunflowers. Maybe that’s why I find them so attractive.

  4. I firmly believe flowers are on earth as easy ways for men to soothe women! Who can resist a bouquet to say I love you or I’m sorry…oh, and gems are a great gift from the earth too and I guess work even better!
    Glad we found each other!

  5. EE… your comment about the tulip fields made me remember a fun afternoon punting through the blooming tulip fields. it felt like sailing through a rainbow.

    as for your carnations… i think they’re very under-rated. they have a nice clove smell and last for ages.

    i have three huge “bouquets” of daisies from the local flower market that have lasted two weeks and still look perfect. I needed some cheer and daisies are just the thing!

  6. Well put, effort shows thought. Something which is often sadly lacking with many men.

    PD, The carnations make a nice flower for a lapel as these are a smaller variety. And I liked the colour. And that is one perfect word picture you just drew.

  7. I wish my husband would buy them for me more often…but I’ve given up waiting and now I buy them myself weekly. I love having fresh flowers in the house, they really add something special.

  8. I remember my father wearing “pinks” which are a small carnation, or batchelors buttons on the lapels of his seersucker or poplin suits during the summer. He’d grab one from the garden on the way to the car. In thinking about it, he was quite fashionable in his time.

  9. Fairfax, how lucky! Exactly the sort of example I’m hoping to set for my children. Thanks for the anecdote.

    ATBB, orchids are very elegant. I have two nonblooming ones now, but at least they’re still alive. Around here the secret to a green thumb is replacement.

  10. Lovely post and luckily I have a great husband who brings me simple single flower bouquets quite often! Brett you are so right…women (at least this woman) appreciate effort more than expense.

  11. We have a lovely rose trellis that produces the most lovely pale rose and I gather them, arrange them in mint julep cups and put them in short glass jars and make rounds with them, I love sharing them. Simply elegant.

  12. My guy just brought in a sprig of mountain laurel from outside placing it in water and a crystal glass. Its already blooming. The fragrance is filling the office. Points for him:)

  13. Hello Londoncalling! True elegance is often found in the simplest things — a sprig of mountain laurel in a crystal glass and a thoughtful gesture.

    Mrs. PVE, send through a photo one of these days! “Simply elegant,” two words that go so well together.

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