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Decorating Your Gifts with Love in Family Month

Posted May. 05, 2005 23:34,   


May 8 is Parents’ Day, and May 15 is Teachers’ Day.

Simply giving a carnation feels like something is missing, especially at a time when there is even a joke that cash is the best gift. Without spending much money, however, we can still convey our appreciation effectively with a couple of carnations. Florist Wang Kyung-hee of Jane Packer at the Westin Chosun Hotel gives some advice on “how to decorate carnations.”

Choosing Carnations-

Carnations given as gifts are usually worn on the breast or used for decorative purposes. Therefore, when purchasing carnations for gifts, you should choose ones with thick stems and big blossoms to prevent them from being broken. Otherwise, your carnations can soon wither or easily be broken. Mid-sized blossoms are the most appropriate as gifts.

Full blossoms are likely to wither before long, while flowers still not in blossom can go dead without bursting into bloom. Most people are familiar with red and white carnations, but there are more than 16 different-colored carnations on the market, including pink, yellow, green, purple, violet and even mixed-colored ones.

Creatively Decorating Carnations-

a) Carnations and Candles: You can use candles as flowerpots. Candles get their inner side hollowed out as they burn down. Fully scrape the inside of candles, centering around the hollowed-out part, and gently insert some carnations cut into a 10-centimeter length. Place one or two carnations in small candles and five or six in large ones, and you get wonderful carnation candles. Candles lighten their surroundings, and carnations represent a sense of gratitude. A combination of these two features makes quite a significant gift.

b) Carnations and Heart-Shaped Boxes: A heart-shaped box, which stands for love, is quite useful. According to your parents’ favorite colors, you can fill the whole box with same-colored carnations or decorate it with a combination of different-colored ones. You can also make a colorful heart-shaped box by filling one side with red carnations and the other side with yellow ones.

c) Carnations, Water and Acrylic Boxes: Fill water into a transparent acrylic box up to the 15-centimeter level and put small stones in the bottom of the box. Then you can float some carnations in a color that matches the stones inside. Reflections of carnations in the acrylic box create a wonderful mood. Later, it can also be used for ornamental purposes at home.

d) Carnations and Letters: Write down some brief but sincere words of greeting (e.g. “I love you, mom and dad.”) on thick wrapping paper, and roll the paper into a cone shape. Cut off a margin of one or two centimeters on the top and put some carnations in it, and now you get a lovely letter with carnations.

e) Carnations and Flowerpots: You can utilize small flowerpots at home. Take some soil out of a flowerpot, decorate it with floral foam and stick some carnations in it. Tying the flowers with a ribbon adds a sense of creativity.

Carnations and Dinners-

If you plan to have a family gathering at dinner, you can also consider presenting your carnations using cakes and rice cakes.

a) Carnations and Cakes: Cut some carnations into a length of 10 centimeters and wrap their stems with cooking foil. Decorate your cake with three to five carnations matching the color of the cake, and you get a fabulous cake with carnations. After the gathering, you can recycle those carnations by putting them in a mug or a similar receptacle. Some shops sell these carnation cakes at prices ranging from 50,000 to 60,000 won. (Veccia e nuovo / 02-317-0022; Delis, Mayfield Hotel / 02-6090-5778)

b) Carnations and Rice Cakes: There are gift rice cakes designed for the aged, who prefer rice cakes to Western-style cakes. Rice cakes with various ingredients, such as pumpkin, citron, cinnamon and nuts, are on the market. Decorated with Hanji, the traditional Korean paper, these rice cakes are suitable for formal gifts. You can also place an order to have your rice cake decorated with some carnations. (Sadaemyeongga, Bangbae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul / 02-3482-1233)

Gab-Sik Kim dunanworld@donga.com