Monday, July 24, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: 'Loverboy' gets married


The question is: Is the marriage a good one?  Dahlia 'Loverboy' has been blooming his heart out for over a week now, outstripping the other Dahlias in my cutting garden, so it was a natural choice for inclusion in a vase this week.  However, with its vivid red color, I was at a loss as to which plants to partner with it.  I have other reds in my garden, mostly in the form of foliage, but those generally have yellow-brown undertones, while this Dahlia has purplish-blue undertones.  Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus) fit the purple-blue spec but I'm not sure the marriage is entirely happy.  You can judge for yourself.

If I had a plentiful supply of props like our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, I'd have paired this vase with a wedding cake.  I guess I could have scrounged up a couple of rings but that was an afterthought.

This photo shows that Eustoma grandiflorum deserves the comparison with roses it often receives - could there be anything closer than a blue rose bud than this?  I almost prefer this view of the back of the vase to that I selected as the front.  A lighter touch with the Dahlia blooms may have been a good move in composing this vase.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Loverboy', Aloysia citrodora (aka lemon verbena), African Blue Basil, blue Eustoma grandiflorum, Eustoma 'Rosanne Black Pearl' (which is a LOT smaller than it appears in this photo), and a very dark purple-red Pelargonium peltatum.  My husband sniffed and asked "what's that smell?" when I was preparing this vase and his tone wasn't positive.  I think the combination of the lemon verbena and the basil is lovely but tastes clearly differ.


The first sunflowers bloomed in my cutting garden late last week so I cut the head off the tallest one while I could still reach it without a ladder.

Helianthus annuus 'Lemon Queen' needs little accompaniment but of course that didn't stop me from cutting all kinds of accent plants

Back view

top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Helianthus annuus 'Lemon Queen', Coreopsis 'Redshift', Jacobaea maritima, Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', Phlomis fruitcosa (flower), Phlomis seedpod, and Tanacetum vulgare


Two very different vases!  Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find more.



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

30 comments:

  1. The dahlia centers scream the color of Eustoma grandiflorum, and the color undertones of Eustoma reflect the color of the dahlia. It's a perfect marriage in my estimation. Individuals with their own merits that reflect and support each other. Vase choice is also perfect for the flower colors. Your sunflower certainly lives up to it's name and brightens your dining room table very well.

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    1. Thank you, Peter. I too thought the partners in the first vase brought their own strengths to the marriage.

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  2. I think I agree with you that the vase looks better from the back - I didn't notice the other blooms from the front as the reda and the blue were so dominant. I inwardly swoon every time I see your lisianthus, so keep them coming!! :)I had to smile at your comment about the sunflower, as mine have excelled themselves this year and I will certainly need a ladder if I am going to pick any and not just admire them, which would be a shame as I love to see them in a vase. thanks for sharing yours - and the lisianthus!

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    1. The Lisianthus are behaving oddly this year, Cathy. Many of the stems are unusually elongated and their foliage is yellower than it should be. Unlike most of my other plants, maybe they didn't like all the rain we got this past winter! I hope they hang on for a long run this year but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

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  3. Definitely a happy marriage and their home is the prefect compliment (I meant the vase). That sunflower arrangement is HOT! (love it)

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    1. I thought I'd grown 'Lemon Queen' before but this variety is significantly taller and really, really yellow. Maybe it appreciates all that extra water I've lavished on the cutting garden.

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  4. One of best blog titles ever! That almost purple Dahlia center makes it work for me.

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    1. With a Dahlia named 'Loverboy', I had to come up with something, Linda!

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  5. As well as those lovely richly coloured blooms...its those special little touches like the Phlomis seedpods and flowers that make the yellow arrangement a favourite this week.

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    1. I've had it in mind to use those Phlomis seedpods for some time, Noelle. However, when I went to cut them I found ants crawling all over the plant. I almost abandoned the plan then but I also felt that element was necessary so I drowned the ants and went ahead with the plan.

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  6. Wow, Kris both those arrangements are fabulous! And they couldn't be more different. I love that first color combo and the burgundy accents with the sunflower are perfect. The size and bold form of the sunflower are a great contrast to the grasses and coreopsis and the Phlomis bloom AND seed! Very clever. And it was so great to see you in DC!

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    1. It was great to see you again too, Diana! I hope your leg brace is off and you're as good as new now.

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  7. A match made in florists heaven!

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  8. Beautiful! The Roses and Dahlia are a match made in heaven. I love how the Roses pull the purple out of the Dahlia. I love your country bouquet with the Sunflower. Sunflowers go with everything. (It's un-American to dislike them!)

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    1. The purplish-blue rose-like flower is actually Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) but it does look like a rose, doesn't it? It has the added benefit of lasting longer in a vase than a real rose too!

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  9. The purple in the center of the dahlia matches the purple eustoma perfectly, which does resemble a blue rose. :) And I like the red-brown accents that you put with the sunflower, it's a beautiful specimen!

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    1. I admit to feeling a little guilty taking the sunflower away from the bees, Eliza. But at least there was a second open flower for them to fuss over while they wait for other buds to open.

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  10. I wonder if true loverboys ever get married, Kris! Beautiful dahlia though and maybe –in spite of being a loverboy– happiest on its own. ;) Eustoma is new to me and so pretty. Love the dashing sunflower and the vase you made up for it. As always an inspiration :), have a good week, Annette

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    1. I don't know, Annette - Warren Beatty and George Clooney eventually succumbed. Of course, based on those comparisons, maybe I should have used Dahlias that were a little less fresh. ;)

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  11. I was intrigued by the title! The blue Eustoma is gorgeous, but I am also not sure if it does the dahlia a favour... the dahlia and basil flowers look lovely together, especially from the back of the vase.
    Lovely sunflower vase too - light and summery! :)

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    1. I'll have to cast my net further to see if I can find 'Loverboy's' true soul-mate, Cathy.

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  12. These are lovely combinations, I think the Eustoma picks up the bluish in the centre of the dahlia and works well together :)

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  13. Yes as previously said the Dahlia has purple tones in the center that echo the Eustoma. Cool!

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    1. Maybe I'll try different matches for 'Loverboy' over the course of the Dahlia's season and seek a vote on the best match - the Dahlia version of eHarmony!

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  14. Lemon verbena and the basil seem like they would smell delectable. Eustoma is so lovely--it seems to go with everything.

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    1. Eustoma is both versatile and long-lasting in the vase, usually out-living all its companions. I'm lucky that the plants generally like it here, although getting them started, even from plugs, can be dicey when we get a burst of heat early in the year.

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  15. Even knowing you had Eustoma in there, I still did a double-take when I saw that blue "rosebud"! I love the rich effect of the combination. :) I can see that I really ought to reseed my sunflowers mid-summer!

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    1. That particular blue Eustoma bud surprised even me. It was perfectly formed to masquerade as a rose.

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