New Flirty Fleurs Dahlia Collections for 2021
Last summer’s lockdown wasn’t all bad for gardeners. Most of us got to spend much more time in our gardens. That was certainly true for floral designer Alicia Schwede of flirtyfleurs.com. “Summer is usually my busiest time of year,” says Alicia. “Between teaching workshops and traveling for both work and pleasure, I’m often away for several weeks each month.”
Alicia lives about an hour north of Seattle and her ever-expanding flower garden includes more than 400 dahlias — many of them from Longfield Gardens. “With all my workshops, weddings and travel canceled, I spent most of last summer at home,” she said. “I was so grateful to have flowers to keep me company.” As was true in much of the country, Alicia’s dahlias began blooming a few weeks later than usual. But once they got going, they came on strong and put on a great show right through October.
At the end of each growing season, we get together with Alicia to discuss how her dahlias (and other bulbs and perennials) performed and which of our plants she would like to grow in the coming year.
When we were brainstorming about new Flirty Fleurs collections for spring 2021, Alicia proposed exploring the color PINK. This worked out well, and now we are delighted to introduce 4 new dahlia collections — with plenty of pink in the mix. Here are some of Alicia’s comments about the varieties she grew for this year’s collections.
Flirty Fleurs Chelsea Collection
This assortment of 5 different dahlias gives you everything you’ll need for effortless summer bouquets. Two of Alicia’s favorites were Karma Prospero and Stolze Von Berlin, and both were new to her. “Karma Prospero would be a great variety for wedding work,” she reported. “You can count on lots of pretty, mid-size flowers with long, strong stems. The plants were tall and among the first to bloom and last to finish.”
Stolze Von Berlin was another winner. “This dahlia is such a perfect shade of light to medium pink,” said Alicia. “I love the ball shape and its relatively small size. It’s so versatile.” She also noted that the plants have a nice, habit and are incredibly prolific.
Flirty Fleurs Derry Collection
The only flowers Alicia loves more than dahlias are roses. Within the floral design world, she is a go-to expert on rose colors and styles. In her home garden, she grows dozens of different varieties. “Though I didn’t add any roses to this design, they would have worked beautifully with these mid-size dahlias. I love the simple, cheery look of this little arrangement.
Alicia was particularly taken with the dahlia Edge of Joy and noted that “the bees love it.” She said, “the flowers were covered with bees all summer long. Early in the morning, I’d find them sound asleep on the cushy yellow centers.”
Flirty Fleurs Oaxaca Collection
Alicia says she often lets foliage and other plants from her garden inspire her new designs. She said, “I don’t think I would have combined pink and gold dahlias, had it not been for the honeysuckle vine that grows outside my studio. Seeing how well those colors worked together, I had to give them a try.”
This design posed another interesting challenge: combining three very different flower sizes. “Dinnerplate dahlias such as Penhill Dark Monarch can easily overwhelm an arrangement,” Alicia explained. “I find they work best when picked early, at about half their ultimate size.”
In this collection, we love how Penhill Dark Monarch’s fluffy texture unites the decorative dahlia Cantiflora and ball-style Maarn. “Maarn is a great flower producer and such a versatile color,” Alicia continued. “The golden-orange hue works well with soft colors, yet can also stand up to deeper, bolder colors.”
Flirty Fleurs Cordoba Collection
There are two divas in this new collection: dinnerplate dahlias Break Out and Belle of Barmera. To pull them together, Alicia called on Noordwijks Glorie and Maarn. “I thought about using Café au Lait in this collection”, she said, “but the color was wrong. Break Out has a peachy undercurrent and I love how it brightens and softens the entire arrangement.”
Foliage always plays a key role in Alicia’s designs, and that’s certainly true in this Cordoba Collection. The Nandina branches were gathered from a shrub in her garden and they help to unify the four different types of flowers. “The leaves activate the negative space and help move the viewer’s eye in and around the different shapes,” she explains. “It was one of those magic moments when I discovered branches with a few colored leaves that were a perfect match for Belle of Barmera.”
Stretch Your Boundaries and Fuel Your Creativity
Home gardeners use our Flirty Fleurs Dahlia Collections in a number of different ways. You can purchase a complete collection to guarantee you’ll have blooms that look fabulous together in a vase. Or, use the collections as inspiration and add or subtract varieties to make your own unique medley of colors and textures.
We now offer 11 Flirty Fleurs collections for spring planting. You can see them all HERE.