Gotta love a floral arrangement pulled straight from the garden–especially when it’s super easy, and when it uses a little something unexpected. This design, in particular, illustrates how you can apply the landscape design principle of ‘The Thriller, the Spiller, and the Filler’ to floral design.
Now let’s put it in a vase!
Start with a low, wide vessel, and make a tape grid across it using floral tape or Scotch tape. Don’t forget to run a piece of tape around the lip of the container to secure the edges of the grid down. Then fill with cool, clean water.
First, ‘The Filler’.
You’re gonna start with a low-profile filler material, in this case, I chose scented geranium leaves. I love these as a floral material because they have some great texture with their frilly leaves, and several leaves per each stem, so they really help fill in the gaps and support the rest of the arrangement. Plus: they smell great. Whatever material you choose, make sure it is dense, low-profile, and not too visually showy.
Next, ‘The Spiller’. As I have explained in previous posts, your ‘spiller’ can either be a material that hangs down out of the arrangement (something like draping amaranthus, or vines, etc.), or it can be a material that sticks out of the arrangement, in this case these gorgeous, tall artichoke leaves.
Adding the artichoke leaves:
Use 6-7 of them, nestled in asymmetrically. Don’t ever try to be symmetrical with anything–it is a battle you will never win. Heed my warning!!!
Now for the Thrillers. In any arrangement, the thrillers are going to be the visual focus of the design. If you are going for color, it’s going to be the color focus of the arrangement. In this case: heart-stopping dahlia blooms.
I added five of the big purple blooms (these are ‘Fancy Mystery Day Deco Purple’). Again, odd numbers seem to work best. Place them centrally, but let them spill to one side. I then filled in with a bunch of yellow-orange single-flowered dahlias (wish I knew the name!) as an accent, 11 in total.
In this case, we have two ‘Thrillers’ in one arrangement (the two types of dahlias). In my experience, you can get away with up to three types of each element in an arrangement (three different types of filler, three different types of spiller, three different types of thriller), and still have a cohesive, all be it more intricate/busy/advanced arrangement. If that feels daunting, keep it simple: one or two of each.
Dahlias, man…they just get me. And also…artichoke leaves. ¡Ay caramba!