Monday, August 28, 2017

In a Vase on Monday: Dinner is served

Two of my dinnerplate dahlias were finally fit to be cut for "In a Vase on Monday" this week so I'm serving them up today.  The first is Dahlia 'Fairway Spur', which turned out to be remarkably similar in color to Dahlia 'Terracotta'.  The height of the plants and the size and shape of the mature blooms are different, but I'm guessing that those differences wouldn't register for most people after a casual viewing.  'Terracotta' is classified as a semi-cactus form.

There are 2 Dahlia 'Fairway Spur' and 4 'Terracotta' in this arrangement.  The grower described 'Fairway Spur' as "tangerine" and 'Terracotta' as "peachy brown."  The earliest blooms of 'Terracotta' were larger than those included here.

I once again used the prolific blooms of the zinnias in my cutting garden to fill out the back of my vase

Top view

Clockwise from the left: Dahlia 'Fairway Spur' next to 2 Dahlia 'Terracotta'; Abelia 'Kaleidoscope'; Agonis flexuosa 'Nana'; Bulbine frutescens 'Hallmark'; Tanacetum parthenium; and peach and pink Zinnia elegans


The second dinnerplate is Dahlia 'Hakuyou'.  I picked it perhaps a day or 2 earlier than I should have but, as the heatwave that began yesterday could extend through next weekend, I decided I should take advantage of the bloom while I can.  It also functions as a nice counterpoint to the first vase, icy in contrast to the more fiery aspect of the first vase.

For the longest vase life, Floret Flowers, the source of all my dahlia tubers except Dahlia 'Hakuyou', recommends picking the blooms when the flowers are three-quarters open, before the back petals become dehydrated or papery in appearance 

White rain lilies, Zephyranthes candida, made a surprise appearance in my front garden this week, despite the fact that we haven't had any rain since April.  Not sure how well they'll hold up as cut flowers, I cut them at the last minute and then wasn't able to maneuver them into the front of the vase, which was already overstuffed, but they pretty up the back view.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left, the vase contains: Dahlia 'Hakuyou' ("hakuyou" is Japanese for "marine" which explains nothing about how the flower was named); Abelia 'Hopley's Variegated'; Aloysia citrodora (aka lemon verbena); leaves of a noID guava tree, which is currently producing a mass of suckers; foliage of Leucadendron 'Pisa'; cones of the same Leucadendron; the mysterious blooms of Zephyranthes candida; and Zinnia elegans 'Envy', which looks more yellow than green


Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', another dinnerplate variety, appears to be just about to bloom so, if the heatwave doesn't put a quick end to it, I may have it to share next week.  In the meantime, to find more arrangements created from materials on hand, visit our IaVoM host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



My thoughts and best wishes are with any blogging friends in Texas dealing with the effects of Hurricane Harvey.  Stay safe!


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

32 comments:

  1. It is always a bit of a surprise when things bloom and you see what they look like in person rather than in the photos online or in a catalog. The second bouquet really complements that vase. It is an unusual shape but always seems to work so well.

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    1. I think I'm going to have to vary my color choices to a more significant extent the next time I select dahlia tubers, Linda.

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  2. Fire and ice! I love both of your arrangements, and I'm a tad jealous of your gorgeous Dahlias. We passed a sign yesterday, on the freeway, advertising the Swan Island Dahlia festival (http://www.dahlias.com/annualdahliafestival.aspx) Andrew asked why I didn't grow any Dahlias..."do you hate them?" No! I honestly just haven't ever thought of growing them...

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    1. Why am I not surprised that there's a dahlia festival in Oregon? I'm going to try ordering from Swan Island next time - while I loved the choices Floret Farms offered, the sale process was a carnival (and I don't mean that in a good way). Dahlias come in so many floral shapes and colors, Loree, I suspect there are some out there that will appeal to you.

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  3. Kris these are stunning but that terracotta dahlia is calling to me....I wish i could grow dahlias like these!

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    1. I honestly didn't think I could grow dahlias at all, Donna. The 2 other times I tried were relative failures - my old garden wasn't sunny enough and it seemed that this one was too dry - but planting the tubers in the small cutting garden allowed me to give them the water they need without over-watering beds of plants that get by with far less irrigation.

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  4. (second try on comment so sorry if a duplicate). Love the colors of the first arrangement. The white dahlia is magnificent. You've spurred me to consider trying dahlias again.

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    1. Dahlias are certainly worth a try, Susie - this was my 3rd attempt. I'm sorry you're still having some trouble leaving comments. I checked my settings after you and I talked at the Fling and Captcha isn't activated in my blog set-up so I'm guessing that there's a Google overlay somewhere in the chain between BlogSpot and Wordpress.

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  5. I love the terracotta colours I the first vase and l don't have that colour of dahlia... There is a beautiful contrast between the two vases. When do you find it's the best time to cut dahlias? I find the don't open if i cut too soon.

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    1. I've generally followed the guidance offered by Floret Flowers, the source of most of my tubers. They recommend cutting the blooms when the flowers are 3/4ths open and before any of the back petals begin to dry out. They also recommend scalding the stems in hot water (just below the boiling point).

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    2. I discovered Floret this spring and was enraptured by the site, the photographs and the whole idea. What a way to live! I was lucky to get Erin's book for my birthday and it's gorgeous. Whatever she says goes as far as I'm concerned!

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    3. I've followed Erin for quite some time too, Alison, and I also have her book.

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  6. Your arrangements are beautiful, Kris. I love the color of the Dahlias and I certainly can't tell the difference between the two. We are doing the kitchen over and I want to do the walls in tangerine. Love your art deco vase, too and am very impressed with all the blooms since you haven't had rain in forever!

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    1. Well, I couldn't get by without an automated irrigation system, Sally. Coastal SoCal is usually dry from May through at least October - most of our rain is restricted to the winter months.

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  7. Wow, gorgeous! Your arrangements get better and better and better.

    It's downright inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, HB. I'm afraid I still mainly stuff my vases until they can take no more - artistic arrangements are beyond my ken.

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  8. Ooh, such scrumptious dahlias! They are beautiful!

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    1. They've given me a lot of pleasure this summer, Eliza.

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  9. A few years ago I bought a Dahlia that looks a lot like your 'Fairway Spur/Terra Cotta', but it didn't like the spot it was in, and never got enough water in the summer, so it declined every year till it finally just produced a few leaves and never any more flowers. I dug it up and potted it last year, and now I'm thrilled that I'm going to be planting it in my raised veggie beds next year, where it will get plenty of water and hopefully produce flowers again, and maybe even a vase or two as lovely and luscious as yours.

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    1. I hope you get the cutting garden of your dreams, Alison!

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  10. All those fabulous dahlias...! I love those hot colors (no surprise!), but it is Hakuyou that really makes me wish dahlias were more amenable to this climate. I love that whole arrangement anyway - especially with the Zephyranthes peeking out!

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    1. Those rain lilies have been a huge surprise - I noticed more blooms just this morning. I gave the area in which they're planted a good deep soak about a week ago so maybe that's what made the difference (although I'd been told that they aren't fooled by irrigation) - or maybe it's a response to the increased humidity we've experienced this summer. Nature is mysterious!

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  11. Hi Donna, you've created some awesome vases again. Love them both but the warm, orangey colour appeal most to me. The Dahlias are stunnning although I usually don't fancy the giant varieties. Delighted to spot Bulbine, one of my all-time-favourites. Mine is the species though, flowers are smaller. Must keep an eye out for yours! I always enjoy the way you present the flowers on their own. Keep cool, the temperature will drop before too long. Best wishes, Annette

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    1. It looks as though this heatwave has at least another week to go but thanks for the good wishes, Annette.

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  12. Those Dahlias are simply beautiful!

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  13. From your images Dahlia 'Fairway Spur' ans Dahlia 'Terracotta' do look identical colours but none the less lovely for that. Last year I tried to buy mostly orange Dahlias but in different forms but I wouldn't say any were very successful. They were locally sourced from a DIY store rather than a nursery and I think they are probably not the best varieties. My Zinnia 'Envy' is also slightly yellow but I think a bit more on the lime side than yours. Benary's Giant Lime is a more strongly lime green, at least in my soil.

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    1. I've noticed that the blooms of 'Fairway Spur' are lightening to a more tangerine shade as they age, while the blooms of 'Terracotta' retain their reddish-brown tinge, Christina. Thanks for the tip about 'Benary's Giant Lime' - I'll look for those seeds next year.

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  14. What a wonderful collection of blooms...and foliage. Both your vases show how wonderful dahlias are.

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  15. Wonderful! Those dahlias are stunners! :)

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    1. I'm happy that I finally decided to give them another try, Cathy.

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