Arranging Dahlias

Learning and collaborating with each other on creative ways to make arrangements from our flower gardens

A Recipe for a Successful Flower Arrangement

This month we are adding a new section to the KCDS newsletter focusing on flower arranging for the hobbyist/flower lover (as opposed to dahlias for exhibition).   Each month we will include a new article that will focus on dahlias as cut flowers and on using them in flower arranging. 

Making a gorgeous flower arrangement is easy.  Like any good recipe, it starts with the best ingredients.

There are three critical ingredients you will need to make a great arrangement:

  1. A Thriller
  2. Some Filler
  3. A Spiller, or something light and airy.

Start by selecting your “thriller”.  Think of your thriller as the focal flower in your arrangement, then depending on the size of the arrangement, use 3, 5, 7… (odd numbers are best) of that same variety.   Select an eye-catching variety as your “thriller”.   With dahlias you’ll have a tough time choosing!  I like to use a large formal or informal decorative variety or a waterlily – something like Mikayla Miranda – for my thriller.  This will be the star of your arrangement!

Next, you need to add “filler”.  Since there are so many gorgeous forms and sizes of dahlias, you can use more dahlias as your “filler” flowers but choose a different variety (or varieties) that won’t “steal the show” from your Thriller.  I like to use a small ball (e.g. Snoho Sonia coordinates nicely with Mikayla Miranda) or a pretty little white pom variety.  You’ll need several of these filler blooms to fill-in your arrangement.  You can also use other types of flowers (esp. those with a different form, like a spikey snapdragon, veronica, etc), and/or foliage as additional “filler”.  Be creative, herbs such as oregano or mint make unusual (and scented!) filler.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure your arrangement has “movement to prevent your arrangement from resembling a bunch of soldiers standing at attention. That’s where your “spiller” comes in.  For this you’ll need something light and airy (to contrast with the density of your ball dahlias), and/or something with bendy stems to spill down and over.   Look around your garden and get creative.  I’ve used everything from clematis vine, to ivy, to Queen Anne’s lace, to asparagus fern but there are so many options to choose from!

Serve it all up in a lovely vase or vessel and your recipe is complete! 

Here is a presentation done by Emily which is one of our members

“If I can grow it, so can you!”



To come together as a group in the spirit of cooperation, inspiration and collaboration to learn whys to design gorgeous arrangements though events and internet content.


Our Vision is to impact the way gardeners growers and select plants in there gardens that will be the raw material for creating gorgeous arrangements. Bring beauty and joy to those who create the arrangement and to whom they share there arrangements  with.