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Falling for Dahlias

During my flower arranging classes, I am often asked how do I plan my flower recipes. The first step is to find my focal flower. This morning at the San Francisco Flower Mart I fell in love with these crimson dahlias. Once I have my focal flower, I then find flowers that are complementary shades, like the orange roses and helenium used in this recipe. I also add in different textures, like trick dianthus, and silver feather grass for height to add more of a wild, garden feel I love. For my greenery I used Italian Ruscus, which really creates an interesting shape to the arrangement. This gorgeous recipe is perfect for any fall tablescape.


3 Italian Ruscus

5 Roses

3 Dahlias

2 Helenium

2 Trick Dianthus

4 Silver Feather Grass


  1. Measure your floral ribbon by wrapping it around the outside of your vase. Cut the ribbon slightly larger, and place inside the vase so there are no seams.

  2. Using clear floral tape, create a tic-tac-toe grid on the mouth of your vase.

  3. Fill your vase halfway with water, make sure to add water to the vase when you get home.

  4. Use 1/2 bunch of Italian Ruscus to green your base. Cut the Italian Ruscus into multiple pieces and fill in your tape grid. Remember to remove the leaves that would go into the water.

  5. Strip your 5 Roses and add them around your vase. Remember to remove the guard petals.

  6. Add 3 Dahlias, using laterals either together or separate.

  7. Add 2 Helenium.

  8. Fill any gaps with 2 Trick Dianthus.

  9. Finish your arrangement with 4 Silver Feather Grasses.

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