we like it wild: goodbye dahlia

Dahlia season is drawing to a close (tear), so we thought we’d reminisce this week with some of our favorites from the summer. There are still a few beautiful bunches around the market, but the change in bloom quality is quite noticeable as the weather gets cold, wet and windy. We also had the amazing opportunity to tend a friend’s dahlia field last month and became quite spoiled with an overabundance of these giant lovelies. — Studio Choo

We caught major dahlia fever while we were watching over the field, a little slice of heaven in Half Moon Bay. (If we didn’t have a business to run we would have been out there every morning to baby those plants.) For the owners of this plot, caring for all their plants is a real labor of love. They both have full-time jobs, but during the summer they visit the field early every morning to clean, deadhead and remove all the bugs by hand — there are no chemicals used here. They have also come up with an above-ground planting system in crates that allows for easy tuber splitting in the fall. The passion and excitement they have for these flowers is quite heart-warming; they work so hard growing them because they enjoy seeing the happiness their dahlias bring to others.

*Stay tuned for a beautiful wedding video for which Studio Choo provided the flowers!

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post (and more amazing dahlia pictures) after the jump!

On our first visit to the field, we were overwhelmed with the flowers we had to choose from. We were like kids in a candy store; each flower looked bigger and better as we walked down the rows. We had a difficult time leaving any behind! The owner gave us a lesson on the right time to cut for the longest-lasting blooms, but the open flowers were so amazing that we came back with buckets full of them. They only lasted a couple of days though, so on our second visit we forced ourselves to be a bit more selective.

We even taught a few classes this summer where we shared some of our favorite ways to use dahlias in bouquets and arrangements. Large-headed flowers like these can be tricky to use because they twist and sag, so one of our favorite easy tricks is to layer them on a sturdy flower, like hydrangea. Turning them in the arrangement so they face upward also prevents the flat side effect and creates a lot of depth. We love them because they are so versatile — they are quite at home mixed with other summer friends like garden roses and hydrangea, placed in autumnal combinations of berries and leaves, or kept solo running down the center of the table. Enjoy!

  1. Holy moly, those have got to be the most GLORIOUS dahlias I’ve ever seen! And the biggest!

  2. maggie says:

    dahlias are my fave! in the words of liz lemon… i want to go there….

  3. AnnOnandOn says:

    Be still my heart! Those photos have me dashing to the closest flower shop.

  4. Fantastically wonderful colours, such a treat to see so many gorgeous Dahlia’s together.I grew the “Bishop of Landaff”this year- a great luminous deep red, and very strong- check if you have the time on my blog the post http://moderncountrylady.blogspot.com/2010/10/the-fun-is-in-journey-seed-catalogues.html

  5. think i need to sit down. these are breathtaking…

  6. Laura says:

    such gorgeous photos of one of my favorite flowers! perfect on this cold, grey day. thanks!

  7. caroline says:

    Dahlias are by far my favorite flower … a bit rugged but surprisingly soft. Working on my college’s farm yesterday we visited a section where Dahlias thrived all season the left over flowers were simply gorgeous. Love this post! And the photos are beautiful!

  8. gorgeous, so lovely….swoon!

  9. Val says:

    Not only are Dahlias great cut flowers, they also do well in my garden.
    Does anyone know how I can ensure I am purchasing long stemmed varieties? I don’t dig mine for the winter, so I won’t be sad if the short stemmed ones don’t come back so I can get more long stemmed varieties.

  10. Jemia says:

    I love dahlias! These are such gorgeous photos. I was impressed this summer by some I saw in a greenhouse. Five feet tall and blooms the size of frisbees! No exaggeration. They were glorious!

  11. Emily Adachi says:

    GORGEOUS…..those truly brightened my day!!!

  12. Ahhh, dahlias! They are my absolutely favorite flower, and I’ve had so much fun growing them in my garden this year and taking pictures of them. While some of my blog readers might disagree, I just can’t enough of these flowers!

  13. Michelle says:

    Oh wow, these are some of the most beautiful flowers and arrangements I have ever seen! Thanks for posting all of these! I might have to grab some flowers on my way home… big love for Studio Choo, I adore their style!

  14. ShyViolet says:

    These are so beautiful! This whole post made me happy just looking at the beautiful pictures. Thank you for posting these!

  15. Crystal says:

    honestly, the flower posts on Fridays are my favourite. the pictures are always so beautiful. thanks for always cheering up my days :)

  16. notabilia says:

    I agree. These flower posts are my favorites. I am hoping that “O” will be for “Orchids” because I am hoping to embark on an orchid growing adventure soon!

  17. Tereza says:

    Stunning images, these arrangements are pure joy.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Amy says:

    I absolutely love dahlias, they might just be my favorite flower! They are so architectural. I love the tight little compact heads and the great big ones! The colors too, oh my! I just wish they lasted longer once cut!

  19. Elm says:

    So beautiful! Flowers are such instant pick-me-ups and Studio Choo never disappoints! I’m going to miss all the summer flowers at the farmers’ market, especially dahlias, ranunculus and peonies.

  20. Breathtaking! The most gorgeous dahlias I’ve ever seen. I was recently and Santa Fe, and snapped a few shots of Dahlias growing in front of an adobe, it’s one of my favorite photos from the whole trip. Your post inspires me, to find more dalhias

    Thanks for sharing

  21. lavantalimon says:

    Very nice:)beautiful.

  22. oh how I love this blog.beautiful and inspiring.

  23. Barbara says:

    The arrangements! Each more gorgeous than the last!! Your dahlia-lust is quite understandable with all this glory at your fingertips.

  24. Bethany says:

    I want every single one of those arrangements!

  25. Rachel says:

    Dahlia’s always remind me of my six-year-old self. I was in love with all things pink and frilly and gaudy. Truth be told, sometimes I still am — especially when I see the flowers so elegantly displayed. What a pleasure to have them brighten my dining room table!

  26. Rachel says:

    Dahlia’s always remind me of my six-year-old self. I was in love with all things pink and frilly and gaudy back then. Truth be told, sometimes I still am — especially when I see the flowers so elegantly displayed. What a pleasure to have them brighten my dining room table!

  27. Cinny says:

    Amazing flowers, arrangements, pictures! Do you know the names of any of those varieties?

  28. alison says:

    Love dahlias so much! They were my wedding flowers. But I never see them around the midwest hanging out in flower shops. You have to special order them. Such sorrow.

  29. kat says:

    Can’t say enough how beautiful this pictorial was. Thank you.

  30. Clotilde M. says:

    Love those flowers! Especially the old-fashioned rose and the huge as a dinner-plate dahlia. Really lovely!

  31. hi-d says:

    Wow…absolutely gorgeous!!! Amazing colors. Just Brilliant!

  32. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing some of the most glorious and enchanting pictures of these beauties I’ve ever seen. I’ve loved dahlias since I was introduced to them when a neighbor was digging them all up (they went a bit wild) & gave me some 20 years ago. Your post opened up my world to more of the rarer sorts I’ve never seen before. Is the place in half moon bay open to the public? I venture there a few times a year & would love to visit if so & of course buy some or their bulbs.

  33. Style Maniac says:

    spectacular! so wonderfully wild yet elegant. especially that top photo and the one with the yellows&oranges … wish you lived on my coast

  34. Decor Girl says:

    I want! I want! I want! These are absolutely stunning. Hmm, and a good reminder to go out and dig mine up to save the tubers!

  35. Robbie says:

    In the very first picture, what is light light pink flower above the white pansy-looking flower and below the white hydrangea-looking flower called? I LOVE IT!

    1. grace says:

      hi robbie!

      it’s a juliet rose :)


  36. WOW, those are amazing. That is an explosion of color. I am sad they are almost done for the season. I used burgundy dahlias a few weeks back and love working with them.

  37. Love them! Thanks for all the gorgeous shots!

  38. Joanna says:

    Beautiful photos – would it be OK if I used some of them as a reference for some of my paintings…?

  39. Homan Rajai says:

    Love the Dahlias
    and those birch containers are sublime!

  40. Jnahh says:

    wow these are beautiful!

  41. Michelle... says:

    Holy crap, I want to get married right now and have these flowers in my wedding!

  42. Linda Landig says:

    This is just Dahlia joy in overabundance! Your pictures fill me with JOY!

  43. Sarah says:

    consistant inspiration…especially love the bittersweet mixed with the pinks and oranges. gonna try that today

  44. nickeaita says:

    I’ve never seen any thing like them, but there are magnificent.

  45. Danielle says:

    Hello! What is the name of the white flower with the black center that is under the juliet rose?

  46. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.