Carnations should be much easier to grow in a cooler summer climate than here (lucky for you, not-so-lucky for me!). The number one rule is they must have well-drained soil. Well-prepared, enriched garden soil on the sandy side is what I've always read as being the best. Depending on where in Canada you live, you could possibly start seeds indoors now. The florists' carnations are a bit more challenging than the more compact garden carnations, and much more work is usually involved (i.e. removing side buds to get large flowers, staking the stems so they don't break in the wind).
I'm sure others can add more info to the little I've supplied. You might also do a Google search for "growing carnations." It gave several results which look somewhat informative as well. Best of luck! :-)
Carnations are so easy to grow from seed. Even, down here in zone 9, they survived our 27 degree nights (just a couple of them)...they are in the garden growing great. Now I need to look at my seed lists to see what I grew as they are not blooming yet.
I grew Carnation 'Enfant de Nice' from www.reneesgardens.com. You should have any problem...start them inside 2 months before you last freeze date. We have winds that exceed 40mph lots of the time. Even my Rocket snaps have pulled through fine. Mine are growing in nothing but blackland clay soil...that is all I can tell you...will take pics soon of what we can grow in the winter and early spring here.
You didn't say what zone you are in????