Monday, August 27, 2018

In a Vase on Monday: Dueling Dahlias

With dahlia buds opening on a daily basis, those flowers currently demand to be cut.  As it is, I don't get around to cutting some of the flowers before they fade, even when I refresh the dahlias in my vases mid-week.  Not that I'm complaining!

Dahlia 'Loverboy' has sat on the sidelines for a couple of weeks now so it was time to bring him back on the public stage.  Blue Eustoma has been hanging out in her bed so long she's looking ragged so there was no serious thought to having her join him this time.  Fortunately, some new blooms were available to perform roles as companions.

The fuchsias and toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) don't challenge 'Loverboy'Amaryllis belladonna is another matter altogether.  'Loverboy' tolerates her because she smells nice but he prefers to keep her in the background.  She's a little tall for his taste too.  (Hey, you already knew he's shallow.)

As for Amaryllis belladonna (who frequently goes by the names "Surprise Lily" and "Naked Lady"), she could care less whether 'Loverboy' accompanies her.  She believes she can hold the stage all by herself.

Coleus 'Dipt in Wine'  went along to keep things loose

Clockwise from the upper left, the cast of characters in this drama includes: Dahlia 'Loverboy', Fuchsia 'Mendonoma Belle', Heteromeles arbutitfolia, Amaryllis belladonna, Plectranthus scutellaroides (aka coleus), and the berries of Prunus laurocerasus


While 'Loverboy' is keeping a lower profile this year, 'Punkin Spice' is living large.  His companions are more diverse and exotic than those 'Loverboy' hangs with.  With his flamboyant personality, it's hard to conceive of him keeping steady company with anyone, though.

'Punkin Spice' isn't inclined to share center stage

Even the colorful characters hanging out in the background find themselves eclipsed in his presence

But you have to admit, he's pretty fabulous

Clockwise from the upper left, this cast includes: Dahlia 'Punkin Spice', Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Grevilla 'Superb', Cotyledon orbiculata, and Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder'


'Punkin Spice's' cast list filled up quickly so the zinnias joined a smaller production.

Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose' and a stem of Heteromeles arbutifolia landed on my desk


To see what kind of drama other gardeners have found in their gardens this week, visit our IAVOM host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. I thought your first vase was very nice until I saw the second one. That Punkin Spice stole the whole show! I did not know "naked ladies" came in white. Seems like around here everyone grows pink.

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    1. I hadn't known the Amaryllis came in white either as those I'd previously grown were all pink. These bulbs (pink and white) were a generous gift from Tammy of Casa Mariposa. They hadn't bloomed for her and she'd thought they might do better in my climate.

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  2. Beautifully toned vases. Dahlias are the stars just now and I seem to be continuously deadheading. I keep seeing new ones I'd like to have too.

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    1. I need more room for dahlias next year, Alison! I also need to exercise more care in watering the tubers before they've sprouted so I don't cause some to rot as I did this year.

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  3. I have to say Loverboy has stolen my heart. I just love the red and white in that arrangement.

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    1. 'Loverboy' is handsome, Alison! My plant was was more robust last year than it's been this year, however.

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  4. Goodness, what with Lover Boy and Naked Lady, your flower arrangements are getting rather racy. Very pretty though. The heteromeles is lovely and frothy and I have never seen a white Amaryllis belladonna, it's so pretty.I love Dahlia 'Punkin Spice' too, I have a similar one called 'Apache'. It looks wonderful with the leucadendron and grevillea. Such delicate colours.

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    1. I'm really pleased with the note that the Heteromeles added, Chloris. I don't think I've used the flowers in arrangements before this, although I know I've used the berries. Unfortunately, most of the flower clusters are well above my reach and as the shrub sits at the top of a steep slope, I'm not going to be rolling out a ladder in an effort to reach them.

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  5. Oh I especially like your first vase, Kris - the colours are just so crisp and prstine and the overall effect so well-balanced

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    1. Thanks Cathy! I liked how the first vase came together too.

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  6. I love your arrangements (especially the use of coleus) and sometimes wish I didn't own a cat who is dead set on eating everything green that crosses his path (and then vomiting it back up on the carpet).

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    1. My cat has batted at my arrangements, Rebecca, usually in what appears to be an ill-concealed effort to garner attention she believes should be directed at her rather than plants. She occasionally chews on house plant but again usually as an attention-getting device.

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  7. 'Loverboy' is well balanced by his companions, I esp. love the way you picked up his color in the coleus and sweet, dangling fuchsia. Belladonna is a star in her own right.
    'Pumpkin Spice' is such a show stopper. Great arrangements, Kris!

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    1. I love that coleus. I can't believe I managed to forget about it for so long when it came to preparing arrangements.

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  8. Beautiful dahlias! Dahlias will always be my first love and this entire vase is the perfect transition palette. so pretty.

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    1. If it weren't for dahlias, my mid-summer garden would be a lot less colorful!

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  9. Your Dueling Dahlias are scrumptious. I love the Zingy Zinnias too. Happy IAVOM.

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    1. Unfortunately, my zinnias aren't as robust and varied as they were last year and I haven't had the influx of butterflies I had last year. I think my mistake was in delaying my seed sowing this year.

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  10. Oh the drama! Loverboy hanging out with naked ladies and the whole crowd dipped in wine; Punkin Spice hanging out with all sorts of colorful characters. Your arrangements this week are as entertaining as they are beautiful!

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  11. Kris, you made me smile! I adore the white Amaryllis. It's surprising to see it in bloom this time of year. Do you have other amaryllis also flowering now? Beautiful dahlias. The colors in the second vase all fit together beautifully.

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    1. Amaryllis belladonna (a true Amaryllis, not part of the genus Hippeastrum) produces its leaves in the fall and its flowers on a naked stalk in summer so it's right on time, Susie. They prefer warm, dry summers so they're probably not so common in your part of the country.

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  12. Kris, lovely. I envy your Dahlias.

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    1. My summer wouldn't be the same without them, Amelia!

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  13. Both your Dahlias are true stars (although I have a sneaking feeling that the Amaryllis Belladonna would be my true love in today's vases. I can understand that D. 'Lover Boy' must be male but do you think of all your dahlias as male? Interesting thought, some plants do seem to be more masculine than feminine.

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    1. No, not actually but classifying the 2 in this week's post as male fit my tongue-in-cheek narrative. 'Strawberry Ice' is clearly female. I'd have said the same for 'Otto's Thrill' if it weren't for the cultivar name.

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  14. Both Dahlia arrangements are suburb! The coleus foliage is an inspired addition, I hope it holds up.

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    1. I expect the coleus foliage will hold up, and possibly even root. The fuchsias are dropping quickly one by one and the dahlias never hold up more than 5 days even when I sear the stems.

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  15. That coleus leaf is superb...and I now understand just how much effort you need to put in growing fucshias...Seeing you post before this one, your garden is full of succulents. This year I put mine outside, which was without foresight of the long hot summer. They will out be frozen to mush soon, so I must take cuttings and overwinter them in the house.

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    1. We don't get really cold here, Noelle, even during the winter months. In the 7+ years we've lived in our current location, we haven't even had frost. The flip side of that is that our summers are very hot - much like the heatwave that plagued the UK this year, only longer and more frequent.

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  16. Oh both your starring dahlias are formidable characters Kris but I've fallen for the oh so aptly named coleus :)

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    1. There are so many beautiful coleus out there now, Anna, but 'Dip in Wine' is definitely at the top of my list.

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