Learn to Arrange Dahlias- with J's favorite tips for Flower Arranging!

Dahlia Arranging Tips – #FlowerArranging

It’s no secret – I love arranging flowers! That’s the whole reason- I created “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” – I love to arrange flowers and I love to share my passion for arranging flowers. I’ve traveled the world- giving demonstrations in all 50 states- many countries in North America, South America and Europe… and I loved every one!

People tell me I make it look easy- and I guess that’s true- it’s easy to do something you love- and it’s easy to do something you have practiced for a lifetime. I’m fortunate- that I’ve always been surrounded by Flowers- and that I’ve always loved picking up flowers and putting them in a vase.

When you're surrounded by Dahlias- you can help but make arrangements!

When you’re surrounded by Dahlias- you can help but make arrangements!

I love to arrange pretty flowers- a great friend and mentor once told me- “It’s all about the Flowers- make sure you always make something pretty”… and that’s been my mantra. The truth be known- half the battle is working with pretty flowers- you’re half way there if you work with pretty flowers- then it just takes a little practice – to make pretty arrangements.

Some people thought I lost my mind- when I pitched a National TV Show about Flower Arranging… but so often- If I just brought a few flowers- and put them in a vase- or gave them an arrangement I made- it won them over- and they started to understand- Flower Arranging- (and Pretty Flowers) are Exciting, Amazing and Incredible!

This week- on “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” I visit my friend Kristen at her and her Mom’s Dahlia Farm- Hope Dahlias… being surrounded by GORGEOUS Flowers- just gets me itching to make an arrangement or two… so I did that- 3 different bouquets- that are fast and easy. I love sharing my tips for Flower Arranging- so let’s get started.

A single bubble bowl is the perfect receptacle for a Single Glorious Dahlia Bloom!

A single bubble bowl is the perfect receptacle for a Single Glorious Dahlia Bloom!

1. The bubble bowl- This is SUPER EASY- there’s something about a bubble bowl- it’s fragile and it looks enticing- and you simple put a little water in the bottle- and add a big Dahlia Blooms- and PRESTO! You’ve created a fun – simple arrangement that is going to last for days.

Imagine a collection of 3 or 5- (even 15 hehehe) on a table in different sizes with different sizes and colors of Dahlias..WOW!

This Mercury Glass Vase is filled with Dahlias- in all shades of Pinks! Monochromatic Colors calm us down!

This Mercury Glass Vase is filled with Dahlias- in all shades of Pinks! Monochromatic Colors calm us down!

2. The Footed Vase- this vase happens to be mercury glass- it’s a reproduction- from Accent Decor … and I love it! It’s not that large so you can use fewer flowers- but the challenge is the wider opening … it’s broad- and the a vase is not that deep- so you need structure to keep your flowers from falling out… That’s where Foliage comes in to save the day.

I love cutting foliage from the garden- and this bouquet has a few of my favorites. Stems of Mint (I have a huge patch and it’s my summer go to foliage) Blue African Basil- I love the purple tonality of this foliage and the fragrance- (and I can make pesto at the end of summer) – it also has little blooms- that make the arrangement look gardeny! Viburnum- I have 3 bushes- and keep starting more- I love the blue berries- and so do the birds… and finally Burning Bush- it seems to start turning earlier every year- but it’s a great addition to any arrangement.

Having these 4 stems of foliage in the vase- provide a structure- while the stems criss-cross in the vase- this creates a natural ‘mesh’ that I can place my Dahlia stems into- and helps the arrangement hold together.

In this arrangement I used all different tints, tones and shades of Pink! A monochromatic arrangement is calming and always classic in nature… the monochromatic color schemes tends to calm people down… so if you’re looking for a peaceful feel – go with tints, tones and shades of one color… another little hint!

This yellow dahlia in the center is a Laceniated Variety- with a fringed or shredded petal look!

This yellow dahlia in the center is a Laceniated Variety- with a fringed or shredded petal look!

3. The Large Cylinder – I like a cylinder- this one is also from Accent Decor- it’s frosted- sometimes that is helpful- because you don’t see the water- but can still see the water level- it’s important that we keep water levels HIGH on any flower arrangement. Flowers need water- and they need flower food- in all cases I used Chrysal Professional 3 Formula for my flowers- and I added a gerbera pill (also called CVBn Tablets) it’s a time released Chlorine – that keeps bacteria in check- this is helpful for Dahlias and fuzzy stemmed flowers- (like the Basil and Mint)… it makes the flowers last longer…

I also use COLD WATER- I mix my flower food into the water at the correct dose- into recycled bottles- and then I refrigerate the bottles- Cold Water- reduces bacteria-I know you hear about warm water- but warm water has more AIR in it- and it also encourages bacteria growth… so COLD is the WAY to go!

With this cylinder it’s another big opening- and that can be a challenge. You can use Water Proof Tape to create a grid on top of the vase- like I did in this short video- the Tape Grid Hack- Check it out! – or you can use Foliage as I did in this week’s show…

I place the foliage in first to create structure- and then place my larger flowers- I love this yellow Dahlia with the ruffly petals- placing that big bloom on the edge of the vase- (cutting the stem shorter) lets the bloom set on the rim- and also creates a focal area for our eye to rest… I add other large blooms at this time… but notice they are not as large as the YELLOW bloom- this keeps my proportion and balance in check…

Then I add additional Dahlias- medium sized- and then fill in with smaller blooms! There is a method to my flower arranging madness… but the methods are simple- and practice is key! Practice allows you to make mistakes and learn from them… but also remember that the mere act of arranging flowers… helps you relax and releases endorphins that help you think happier thoughts- reduce depression and much more!

These are 3 simple arrangements- with just a few of my Fast and Easy Flower Lesson secrets – you can learn more – by getting a copy of my book- Bloom 365 or Fun with Flowers- they are filled with Tips for arranging flowers… or visit my Flower Lesson Archives on uBloom.com. I love to share- and want you to have just as much fun as I do – arranging flowers from the Garden!