Delightful as a centerpiece or displayed on a wall or door, this easy-to-make Valentine's Day arrangement forms sweet-scented carnations into a lovely heart shape.
Martha Stewart Living Television
Prep flowers. Using a sharp knife or pruner, cut stems at a 45-degree angle for better water absorption. When conditioning carnations, be sure to make one cut above one of the nodes that run up the flower's stalk; this will help the stem to draw the water it needs. Mix floral food into a clean bucket of room-temperature water, following label instructions, and remove any leaves that will fall below the waterline. Let stand in water overnight.
Prepare the 8-inch floral-foam heart form for arranging. Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water, and mix with floral food, following label instructions. Submerge heart form in water for 1 hour, then place on a tray.
Cut flower stems about 1 inch from the head. Starting from the middle of the heart form, insert the cut stems into the form, clustering the blooms close together. (If you are having trouble inserting the carnations, make a hole in the heart form with the point of a pair of scissors.) To give your arrangement a more three-dimensional, rounded shape, place flowers at varying depths into the form. Continue inserting flowers, working your way out until the entire form is covered.
To use this arrangement as a centerpiece, set it on a tray or plate; to hang it, make sure to drain the arrangement before hanging to prevent it from staining the surface. Every 4 days, place your arrangement in a sink and water it from above; let it drain. Your arrangement should last for up to 2 weeks in a cool, humid location.
Approximately 75 carnations
Sharp knife or pruner
8-inch floral-foam heart form
For her arrangement, Martha uses a subtle palette of standard-size and miniature blooms, such as the red-and-white-striped 'Lisboa,' and 'Quito,' whose petals have a delicate pink edging. This basic technique can be applied using any color scheme, so long as you balance the color and scale of the flower heads and maintain the curves of the floral-foam shape.