Market Fresh

Week 44, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

Market Fresh, reimagined for 2023
Market Fresh, reimagined for 2023
Page 84 from Slow Flowers Book 2013
A much simpler dahlia display, page 84 from Slow Flowers Book 2013. In my archives, I discovered that I photographed this arrangement in September 2012.

I made this reimagined gathering of local dahlias and grasses, arranged in a French flower bucket a few weeks ago, in the final days of dahlia season, saving the photography for now. Frost arrived here in South Seattle on October 28th, but these beautiful dahlias were harvested from Ojeda Farms and delivered to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market a few days earlier — thank goodness. My, how the end of season dahlias have put on a glorious show this year!

top-down perspective
End-of-season dahlias are so welcome, especially because we cherish their beauty until planting begins next spring.

I wanted to change two key things about then-and-now. First off, I wanted a shorter vessel and selected an 8-1/2-inch tall medium-sized container, nicely weathered. I actually tried putting one of my Holly Chapple pillow mechanics inside, but it was a tad too wide and just rested on the rim. So a similarly-shaped chicken wire insert went into the vase as a way to keep the dahlias upright.

Yellow Dahlia
Apricot-yellow dahlia with subtle tangerine contrast in the center of each petal — so gorgeous!
Red dahlia
Red is always so hard to photograph, so I’m pretty pleased to have captured this stunning red variety.
bicolored red-and-yellow dahlia
This pointed-petal, bicolored red-and-yellow dahlia ties it all together

I only had three bunches of 5-7 stems each, which was really just perfect. The petal palette is in the same family — red, pale yellow, and bicolored, with a little diversity of shape to include waterlily, ball, and decorative forms.

Zinnia detail
Zinnia detail
Grass detail
Ornamental grasses are such lovely accents to fall dahlias, especially with the warmer palette

The grasses came from my own garden – the blooms of several beautiful miscanthus that thrive in our front border. I did not have access to crocosmia, but I did harvest all of the remaining yellow blooms from Johnny’s Selected Seeds ‘Jazzy Mix’ zinnias. The mix has an incredible range and the yellow-red variety is in it for the long haul, even now, after the first frost. Note, the shorter container accommodated these stem lengths, where the 13-inch tall version used in 2013 would have been too tall.

Displayed on our fireplace mantel for a week, this arrangement simply glowed, especially when the afternoon sun peeked through the blinds and washed its horizontal bands across the vignette.

Note: I have one more “dahlia rescue” arrangement to share in a few weeks, as we cheat the seasons and I try to recreate 2012-13 designs for 2023. Stay tuned!

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)