Monday, July 17, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: The Dahlias have Arrived!

I haven't had much success growing Dahlias in the past.  I've previously planted them in my mixed borders but, as most of my borders are filled with drought tolerant plants and as I've restricted irrigation in response to California's ongoing concerns with water usage, they never received the water they need to grow well.  So, this year, when I decided to try growing them again, I placed them in the raised planters I'm now using as a cutting garden.  I water the plants in this area more heavily than any other area of my garden.  That's made all the difference with the Zinnias I'm growing this year and it appears that the Dahlias are responding too.

The first of my Dahlia blooms set the palettes for both vases I created for "In a Vase on Monday" this week.  Vase #1 was focused on Dahlia 'Little Robert', a small pom-pom variety.

The dark centers of the pink Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) echo 'Little Robert's' magenta tones so I threw the 2 of them them together in this vase

The color of my noID ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum), used here at the back of the vase, is almost identical to that of the Dahlia, although the former photographs as a stronger red

Top view

Clockwise from the left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Little Robert', Artemisia ludoviciana, Eustoma grandiflorum, Pelargonium peltatum, and the variegated foliage of Pseuderanthemum 'Texas Tri-star'


The second vase was constructed around Dahlia 'Terracotta', a semi-cactus variety.

I wasn't sure about using yellow, even pale yellow, in this mix but there are touches of yellow in the Dahlia and, heck, I have a lot of yellow Lisianthus in bloom too

I relegated the salmon-colored cactus Zinnias to the back of the vase as they competed too strongly with the Dahlia for dominance when positioned in the front

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Terracotta', Abelia x grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid', Eustoma grandiflorum, Tanacetum vulgare, and Zinnia elegans


These 2 Dahlias and a third, 'Loverboy', which just produced its first blooms, have whetted my appetite for more, although I do have space constraints.  I have 4 more Dahlia varieties that have yet to bloom, so perhaps I'll be pulling out some of what I have at the end of this season, which would make room to try others next year.  Or, perhaps I'll simply have to add some large pots to my cutting garden next year.

Coincidentally, on a Saturday whirlwind trip to Roger's Gardens in Orange County to pick up succulents, I discovered that the garden center was having a Dahlia show.

Blooms submitted by customers for consideration


I didn't stay long enough to find out which flowers received the most votes but here are some of my favorites among the submissions:

Very few of the blooms were submitted with cultivar names.  Among those I photographed, the exceptions were the 3 in the bottom row, which are, from left to right, 'Radiance', 'Santa Claus', and 'Thomas Edison'.


If I'd have known about the competition ahead of time, perhaps I'd have submitted 'Loverboy'.

Dahlia 'Loverboy' bloomed on Saturday, after I'd published my Bloom Day post of course...


For more Monday vases, visit Cathy, our IaVoM host, at Rambling in the Garden.

The first vase sits in the front entry and the second on our dining room table


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

40 comments:

  1. Did my comment reach you? I am just trying this test one as the other one seemed to disappear withuts asking me for the usual robot checks...

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    1. Your test comment reached me but it's the only one I received from you today. I don't know what it is about the Wordpress-Blogspot connection but it seems to go on the blink periodically.

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    2. Oh dear, what did I say? Something about the pinkness of your vases and how your vase posts are always such good value as we never get just one! The pink comination in the first vase is especially effective in the silvery vase with the soft silver artemesia foliage too (I will copy this message before I try and send it...!)

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    3. I can't seem to stop at just one vase, Cathy - at least, not as long as there are flowers to cut and now it seems that the dahlias and zinnias may keep me from resorting to succulent arrangements for awhile yet.

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  2. All your perseverance has paid off.....your dahlias are proof. Please don't ask me to choose....

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    1. I'm hoping the other varieties come through too. A couple of the tubers I received from the grower were very small and, thus far, so are the plants that came from them, which also have no buds as yet.

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  3. Hi Kris, Dahlias are incredible beautiful cut flowers, aren't they! I am enjoying mine so much this year and I love to get to see yours!
    Dahlia 'Little Robert' is so adorable and it goes perfectly with the pink Lisianthus and the silver leaves of the Artemisia ludoviciana. Great combination!
    Love the coloration of Dahlia 'Terracotta'! So refined!
    So far I only have thought about going to rose shows, but dahlia shows might be equally fun! My favorite is 'Thomas Edison', which I bought last year, but the tubers didn't bloom for me. This year the tubers had a very late start to sprout, but they did, but I am still waiting for a bloom to been opening for the first time.
    Looking forward to seeing the rest of your dahlia beauties!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. The dahlia show at Roger's (perhaps not so very far from you, as it's an hour south of me) was an amateur affair but it was flocked by photographers with more professional cameras and expertise than mine. I have to remember to check Rogers next March/April to see what varieties of tubers they get in.

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  4. 'Loverboy' is gorgeous! I love Dahlias, but I have a hard time getting them to come back well and flower here. Drainage in our wet winters can be a problem. I don't know why it never occurred to me, having read about you using your raised beds this way, but I should put some in my raised veggie beds. I've grown disenchanted with growing my own vegetables, so I should turn mine into a cutting garden too.

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    1. I threw myself into growing vegetables almost as soon as we moved into this house, Alison, as I'd never been able to grow edibles in my former garden, which was both tiny and very shady. However, I too grew disenchanted with the exercise, and it didn't help that there aren't all that many vegetables I really like. Flower freak that I am, converting the beds into a cutting garden space seemed a natural use for that sunny patch - I hope it works for you too.

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  5. Loverboy is a winner to me. Wow, a Dahlia show that would be cool.
    Raised beds are something I never considered but interesting. Loving the front entry vase and of course your arrangements.

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    1. The raised beds came with the house and, after a brief (4 year) flirtation with growing vegetables, I gradually started using more and more of the space for herbs and, finally, flowers. I can't let a sunny space go to waste!

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  6. Oh yes, more dahlias. They are such fabulous cut flowers! The pattern of your first vase is perfect for the arrangement of petals on the dahlia. Both are gorgeous as always!

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    1. I went back and forth about the vase for the first arrangement, Peter. I'm glad you found it a good choice!

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  7. I bet it must be wonderful to have that cutting garden where water is more abundant - those dahlias and zinnias are beautiful! I love the deep reddish pinks in vase 1, but the second is my favourite this week with the lovely terracotta tones in the dahlia and zinnias.

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    1. I admit that that's my favorite vase this week too, Cathy. I found a few other blooms that I thought might also complement 'Terracotta' but I'll save those for a future vase.

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  8. Be warned, dahlias are addictive. I started with one or two and after some success (and some failure), a few years later I now have about 15. I have to dig them up and store them which you probably won't have to do. Enough about me, yours are very beautiful and you must be very pleased with them. I might have to add Terracotta to my list! I do like the fresh colours in the second vase and I'd love to be able to grow lisianthus.

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    1. I should be able to leave the dahlias where they are as we don't get very cold during the winter months. Hopefully, the dahlia tubers can cohabitate with other flowers in the raised planters.

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  9. All gorgeous. I can tell you are in Dahlia trouble. More later, like next summer? Interesting aside, there is something called Florida Lisianthus I need to look into!

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    1. I have a few other varieties of dahlias that haven't bloomed yet but I think all but possibly one may still do so this year. Depending how well they do overall, I may invest in more tubers next spring!

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  10. LOVE! Gosh, these look great, Kris. I love burgundy and pink together and the second vase with the dahlia and zinnias paired with the yellow eustoma and callistemon was inspired.
    There is a public garden near here that plants lots of dahlias and I love to visit in late summer to see all the various hybrids. Fingers crossed mine produce well this year after a late start.

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    1. I hope your dahlias come through for you, Eliza! My local botanic garden also has dahlia bed, which I checked out last year and wrote a post about. I just checked the timing of that post, July 20th, so I guess I should hop on over and see what's up!

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  11. Kris, I think you'd have brought home a blue ribbon. All your dahlias are lovely. I especially love the Dahlia 'Terracotta' and the salmon zinnia.

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    1. So far, 'Terracotta' is my favorite too, Susie. I ordered most of my tubers from Floret Farms on a special offer they made early this year. They offered some truly spectacular varieties but the traffic on their website was so intense that my choices literally flew out of my cart before I could even check out so I'm hankering after some of the selections I missed this year like 'Penhill Dark Monarch'.

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  12. I read somewhere-don't know where so cannot confirm or deny the credibility of the source-that Dahlias are the Next Big Thing. You sure can't beat them or Zinnias for late summer vases !

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    1. I remember hearing something like that too, Kathy - maybe on Gardeners' World (which I watch on YouTube). It's more a matter of what's old is new again, I think.

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  13. Congrats! I'm so happy for your dahlia success, not that you "needed" another gorgeous flower for your vase creations but still... glad the cutting garden is learning it's keep.

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    1. By comparison to my now defunct vegetable garden, I'd say the cutting garden is earning its keep - it makes me smile every time I walk through it.

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  14. First zinnias and now dahlias - I love that you're finding ways to grow them! Did you purchase the tubers locally or online?

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    1. I bought a couple of tubers locally (still not blooming even though they were planted earlier than the rest) but I ordered the majority from Floret Farms. They had a wonderful selection but the demand was so high I wasn't able to get most of those on the top of my wish list before they were gone even though I signed on shortly after their sale started.

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  15. Both vases are pretty, Kris. yes, Dahlias certainly don't like drought. Thankfully I've heavy soil which keeps fresh for longer. But they flower for such a long time and are great for cutting that's why I wouldn't want to be without them. Love the way you colour-theme your bouquets. Best wishes, Annette

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    1. As it turns out, my soil is mostly sand. It drains well but it doesn't hold moisture, which presents a double whammy when you consider our water restrictions.

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  16. Beautiful arrangements! I love those Dahlias, but I'll just have to add them to the list of things we can't grow here in Texas. I'm glad you found a way to be successful with them.

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    1. I'd have thought they'd do better in Texas than they do here as you get some summer rain, Laura, but I guess your Death Star really is as wicked as advertised!

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  17. I remember 'Little Robert' from perusing dahlia catalogues many moons ago. The two dark-leaved varieties I got from Annies are still looking good in the stock tank, leaves not too shabby, starting to bud up. But your situation is ideal. Indulge yourself and fill that cutting garden up!

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    1. This 'Little Robert' (that sounds like the start of a nursery rhyme, doesn't it?) came from Floret Farms. I jumped on their dahlia offering when they opened it up but most of the flashiest varieties went like hotcakes.

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  18. Super pretty. Talented flower arranger meets Dahlias, and good things result.

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    1. I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with that 'Loverboy' dahlia. It's so red!

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  19. Both of the vases are gorgeous, as yours always are. Loverboy is certainly a winner. I love dark red dahlias. I am surprised that you can grow dahlias as even in my garden they need lots of water to do well. And of course, as with all plants, once you start on them it's a slippery slope. You just need more and more.

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    1. Well, now that Grevilleas and Leucadendrons have become practically old hat in my garden, I needed another plant addiction! Keeping the dahlias - and all my cutting garden plants - in a relatively contained space of 3 raised planters allows me to lavish water on them without too much guilt, while the rest of the garden gets by on its usually stingy rations.

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