Dahlias make an excellent cut flower, which is the main reason I grow them. Full disclosure: though I thoroughly enjoy the many gardens and beds that enliven my home, when I study a catalog, I think in terms of bouquets—what colors will mix well in a vase, and how I can put together different sizes and textures. Dahlias are especially bouquet-friendly, not only for their variety but also because—unless an exceptionally large flower causes them to droop—they’ve got strong necks. Since I am confessing things, I must admit that I’m also a pothead—that is, I remain hopelessly addicted to collecting beautiful containers for my flowers—and dahlias reward the eye in this regard, too. Though the black varieties can be very chic and exotic, I think of dahlias more as a country flower; accordingly, they fit well with a selection of colorful majolica pitchers I’ve gathered over the years. And as dahlias last into autumn, you can arrange them with clusters of foliage and viburnum berries, to remind you that soon the garden will close its bright eyes and sleep beneath a blanket of snow.
Want more? Follow Carolyne on instagram @carolyneroehm, and at her website. Her book, Flowers, makes a stunning gift. Her latest book, At Home in the Garden, is out October 2015. All photos courtesy of Carolyne Roehm/Clarkson Potter.