I LOVE dahlias! I truly do! Maybe it’s because to me they are the last flowers that show the abundance of summer! It seems, like nature is celebrating the lush floral variety of the warm months and it all culminates in the numerous variety of the beautiful dahlias. There are so many kinds, that I simply can’t pick a favorite, but if I had to pick, I’d pick the large ‘Cafe au Lait’ dinner plate dahlia.
A few months ago I was asked to give a workshop on a ‘seasonal floral arrangement‘ by the german publishing house Callwey. Of course I said YES! The workshop was held at the Botanical Garden in Munich, as one of the events for the special day where they launched 2 books, and you can read about it here. Months before the workshop, I simply knew that I would love to work with dahlias! Not only because they are in season in September here in Germany, but also because they come in all colors and shapes. So I started working on the workshop pretty early as I wanted to create something special and exclusive for the participants. I started playing with dahlias as soon, as I could find them on the market in order to prepare for the workshop:
I feel so lucky, that I could work with the spectacular team of tollwasblumenmachen.de on this project! Weeks in advance we exchanged ideas and I send them inspirational images I had made before so this way they knew what flowers I wanted to work with during the workshop. These are some of the images I created in the past. Year after year I love to create arrangements with dahlias in August and September – it seems, like I don’t get tired of dahlias, ever!
I love to mix them with blackberries, branches from the plum tree or ripe elderberries. During the process of preparing for the workshop and ordering the flowers I realized why my arrangements may seem exotic to so many outside of Germany. A lot of the flowers and branches I love to use for my arrangements grow in a very close distance to my house. This way it’s easy for me to just go outside and pick the ones I like but there was no way I could pack these flowers in my suitcase and bring them to Munich. So this time a little more planning & logistics was needed to create the same lush arrangement at the Botanic Garden in Munich. But we made it and all of the hard work before the workshop was rewarded with an ocean of flowers that was waiting for me at the Botanical Garden.
With these floral images in my mind I ordered big Cafe au lait dahlias, pink and purple dahlias. I knew that black scabiosa, deep burgundy colored daucus carrota, everlasting pea, astrantia and echinacea would look fantastic with all of the dahlias mentioned above. So these are a few images from the workshop:
To give you a little insight on the workshop, I would love to share a little bit about the workshop. It was devided into 3 parts:
1. a few easy tips & tricks
2. 8 global design principles that I love to use for my floral arrangements
3. the practical part
Some of the tips & tricks are pretty self-evident, but I also know a lot of people, who don’t take these things into account. I wanted every participant to go home with the confident feeling, that they have truly learned something during this workshop so I will share these easy tips & tricks with you here, adding a few important steps I could not share at the workshop due to the little time I had for my talk.
– I try to cut my flowers in the early hours of the day, or in the evening as the water content in the stems is at the highest peek
– No matter where I go, I take sharp scissors with me. I even have scissors in the car, just in case I want to pull over to pick wild flowers. I use sharp tools, as otherwise I would crush the stems and the flowers would not have enough surface to absorb the water
– After foraging I always cut the flowers in an angle, this way they can absorb more water
– this next step is probably the most time-consuming one, but it’s very valuable: I always remove all of the leaves from the stems (by all leaves I mean the leaves that would be covered with water)
– I try not to put my arrangements into direct sunlight, as the warmth will help bacteria growth in the water
– I always use clean vases and pots and use fresh water
– Before I display my flowers at a prominent place, I make sure, that neither kids or pets could reach an arrangement that might contain toxic flowers
– if an arrangement doesn’t require fruits as ingredients, I try not to put my flowers next to fruits as those develop natural gases, that are not very good for the flowers
Additionally to the easy tips and tricks I shared 8 of my design principles, that I love to adapt to my stylings. Because I had very little time to go into deep with all of my design principles, I decided to concentrate on one color palette and this is why I wanted to work with only one color family. This way we were all able to create beautiful and lush bouquets, that were truly harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
I was so happy with the arrangements all of the participants were able to create, one arrangement more beautiful than the other! I was walking around, spreading compliments and a lot of ‘AHHHHH’s…’ and ‘OHHHHH’s’….
If you wish to browse some of the impressions from my workshop, I have collected some of the images, that can be seen here here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here... If I have missed one of the images you have uploaded, or if you have written a post about it, please feel free and comment below, so I can add your review to the post ❤
What a gorgeous day it was, filled with flowers and a once in a lifetime location. This workshop was sponsored by the wonderful team of tollwasblumenmachen.de, I would love to thank them from the bottom of my heart for making all of this possible, I am still beaming with joy….
Because I had very little time to take pictures I would love to share some of the gorgeous images Cris took that day for Sister Mag. It was the most beautiful day I will never forget! ❤