We’re lucky enough to have different flowers blooming in the garden throughout the summer season, and I have to restrain myself from making my first bouquet of dahlias in autumnal tones at the end of July. I often choose my dahlias according to the autumn bouquets I plan to make, and it’s very hard not to be tempted as soon as the first flowers bloom! So I wait patiently, composing small, fresh and colorful bouquets that incorporate a few cosmos and other brightly-toned flowers with a summery allure.
It’s not until the first days of September arrive that I can finally devote myself entirely to autumn decorating. As bouquets are an integral part of my staging at this time of year, I can let my imagination run wild by combining these magnificent varieties in warm, coppery colors. Choosing a Medici vase, as shown here, makes the effect even more spectacular, as the flowers stand out even more. I like to add to this explosion of hues a little staging to mark the start of this new season, and take full advantage of it in the evening by lighting a candle or two to immerse myself in an autumnal mood.
Flowers used for this bouquet
Dahlia Penhill Watermelon
Dahlia Honka Verrone’s Obsidian
Dahlia Honka rose
Dahlia Babylon Bronze
Dahlia Thomas Edison
Médicis vase (for the bouquet)
Bonus: fern, oak or maple leaves
When creating this type of floral arrangement, think about the end result. For this bouquet, for example, visualize a triangle to help you create its structure, and think at this stage about incorporating a few elements that will stand out to bring an airy effect. Of course, you’ll need to play with the different stem heights – and even more so when you have several flowers of the same variety, as here where I’ve chosen at least three dahlias of the Babylon Bronze variety. In this case, I cut three separate stem heights and arrange the flowers on three sides of the vase (also in a triangle).
I then add the other dahlias to the bouquet, so that each flower finds its place within the architecture imposed at the start. I then insert the Japanese anemones and eucalyptus branches that protrude from the bouquet to add a little dynamism and airiness. I then place the fruits of the rose bushes under the first flowers for a pretty, drooping effect.
When I opt for Honka dahlias (a deep black for Verrone’s Obsidian or a powerful pink for Honka rose), I always place them last in the bouquet, as these varieties are very fragile and I often lose petals along the way (often between the garden and the house). But they are so original and add such a graphic touch to the bouquet that they are often indispensable, which is why they need to be handled with care.
As for the decoration around the bouquet, in autumn (and at Christmas) I like to create little scenes to add a cosy touch to this floral tableau. It’s actually very easy to achieve a warm result with very few elements. For example, you could place a basket with seasonal fruit (apples, pears), small pine cones, pumpkins and pastries in neutral orange tones. I could have added one or two fern leaves, but I preferred to keep things simple and add two candles, which I light alternately most of the time.