Transform an Old Jewelry Box with Gem-like Dahlias

Jewel dahlias' intricate petals and intense colors shine like gems in an old jewelry box, while the mix of buds, semi-open and fully open blooms add interest and texture.

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Dahlia DisplayEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This mass of dahlias is designed to create a sensational impact. Whether you gather dahlias from the garden or buy them, make sure their strong colors mix harmoniously together and don't clash. This display of jewel dahlias will look lovely on a chest of drawers, a traditional writing desk or a hall table, and should last for a week or more.

Materials

Flowers
5 'Black Fox' dahlias
5 'Boy Scout' dahlias
5 'Red Fox' dahlias
5 'Stratus' dahlias
5 'Red Cap' dahlias

Other Materials
old wooden box or similar (approx 12-by-8-inches)
cellophane
4 large plastic water bottles
chicken wire
florist's scissors

Possible Substitutions
Large and small sunflowers, big-bloomed chrysanthemums, hydrangeas

Several Dahlia Varieties Used in ArrangementEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

How to Arrange

1. Line the inside of the box with cellophane or a similar material. Cut the tops off four water bottles (or more or less, depending on how large your box is) and arrange them so they fill the box. Arrange chicken wire in the two rear bottles for the taller flowers, then half-fill all the bottles with water.

2. Arrange some stems at the back first: trim the stems so the flower heads cluster together just below the edge of the box lid, and arrange them in the bottles so they rest against the opened lid. Use the chicken wire to guide their angle and position. Place about five stems in each bottle.

3. Cut the stems slightly shorter as you fill up the front of the bottles at the back, and shorter still for the bottles at the front, to create a graduated effect. Arrange some shorter-stemmed flowers at the sides, too, to balance the design. Put the wooden box in position and top off the bottles with water.

Simple Supplies Used in Floral ArrangementEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Harmonious Hues

Although these are all strong colors, they sit next to each other on a color wheel, so they harmonize well and have a pleasing effect when mixed together in an arrangement.

Dahlias Display Harmonious Jewel Toned HuesEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Fresh Flower Arranging © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Excerpted from Fresh Flower Arranging

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2011

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