Monday, July 22, 2019

A Bevy of Dahlias

Five of my dahlias have now produced blooms and 4 others have buds.  Only one, 'Diva', living up to her name, has failed to produce any buds as yet.  Caving to their siren calls, I ended up with 3 vases this week despite limitations on places to put them while living in half a house during our remodel.

The impetus for my first vase wasn't actually one of the dahlia blooms but rather the interesting blooms on a succulent.

It took me awhile to formally identify this succulent as Sedum reflexum 'Blue Spruce'.  Although I recognized it as a Sedum, I'd listed it in a bed other than the one in which the blooms appeared this weekend.  I planted it from a 6-pack in 2015 but I think this is the first time it's bloomed.  The flowers appear at the top of an 8-inch stem in an interesting  snowflake configuration.

I picked Dahlia 'Citron du Cap' as its companion

I dressed up the back of the vase with ruffled Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) and the fading stems of Sideritis cypria

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Citron du Cap', Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Lonicera japonica, Leucanthemum x superbum, Sedum reflexum 'Blue Spruce', and Sideritis cypria


Dahlia 'Enchantress' was the first to bloom in my cutting garden this year and she continues to produce a steady series of flowers.

I used a couple new pink-tinged white lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) to bring out the white touches in 'Enchantress'

I used Abelia "Edward Goucher' to dress up the back of the arrangement

Top view

Clockwise from the top: Dahlia 'Enchantress', Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', Eustoma grandiflorum, and Tanacetum parthenium


Dahlia 'Bluetiful' produced her first 2 blooms this weekend.  I'd intended to tuck one into my second vase with 'Enchantress' but I decided that wouldn't do justice to either.

While not nearly a true blue, 'Bluetiful' leans further in that direction than 'Enchantress'

Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterfly' is a near color match for the Dahlia

Top view: I'd ignored Melaleuca thymifolia too long and finding flowers fresh enough to include in this arrangement was a challenge

Clockwise from the left: Dahlia 'Bluetiful', Polygala fruicosa 'Petite Butterfly', and Melaleuca thymifolia


I managed to find spots for all 3 vases.  For more IAVOM arrangements, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Good light inside the house is hard to find these days! 


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. Wow, those dahlias really hold a vase together!

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    1. Dahlias have saved summer for me in the floral department, Denise. July through September used to be something of a wasteland here in terms of floral color.

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  2. Unusually, it is the pale first vase I am drawn to this week Kris - the shape really appeals to me although the shade of pink of the dahlia in the third vase is especially pretty too. How are you bearing up with all the renovations going on around you?

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    1. The renovation activity - and periodic inactivity - is already driving me a little crazy, Cathy. I'd liken our current living situation to camping. It's fine for awhile but grows old quickly.

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  3. Hopefully having three vases full of flowers will help your house feel like a home, even though it's in an altered state.

    Oh and that Sideritis cypria gets me everytime.

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    1. It's amazing how just 2 or 3 stems of Sideritis add movement to a vase. The plant's foliage looks a little sad under our continuously dry summer conditions but the flowers are wonderful, even in decline.

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  4. I love that frilly dahlia 'Citron du Cap', although all the dahlias here are beautiful. Their petals are ordered so perfectly, how can we not love them?
    Sideritic cypria is such a funky-cool plant, it must garner lots of comments.
    Love the second mirrored vase, I need one like that! (Says the woman with over a 100 in the cupboard. ;) )

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    1. One hundred vases! And here I thought I had a problem in that regard, Eliza. I haven't counted mine but I'm guessing that my collection is more on the order of 40.

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    2. I've been collecting them since high school, most have stories to go with them, so that makes them hard to get rid off. Oh, well, it could be worse!

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    3. My oldest vases date back to my freshman year in college so we're on par there, Eliza. However, according to my husband, I have a tendency to "purge" my belongings at regular intervals, especially when we move - or remodel ;)

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  5. Another feast of colours and textures Kris! Not sure how you manage to produce such beautiful arrangements in the midst of renovations! I do admire you - and all your gorgeous flowers! Amanda

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    1. Thanks Amanda. Doing something - anything - that's "normal" for me helps maintain my sanity despite the chaos surrounding me.

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  6. The yellow dahlia is a knockout! I'm afraid that I may not have much luck with dahlias this year - seems I messed up when purchasing soil mix for potting up this year and almost all of the plants that I used it for (including the dahlias, hoping to give them an early start) are not doing anywhere near as well as they should, even after being planted into the ground.

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    1. My dahlia tubers did best the first year when I planted them directly in my raised planters without the intermediate step of planting them in temporary pots, Margaret. However, given my space issues, I expect I'll continue to start them in large (2-3 gallon) plastic pots in future years despite that fact. In my experience, the trickiest part of using pots, especially plastic pots, is striking the right balance in watering them. Too much water and the tubers rot; too little and they fail to grow. Adding a balanced fertilizer when the tubers are planted also seems to help.

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  7. A beautifully tasteful yellow and white vase. Those trailing seed heads are just gorgeous. I like to add that sort of thing. All the dahlias are fab. I have a few so far and lots of buds. The rain we have had will help. I also have Bluetiful so I look forward to seeing how blue it is.

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    1. 'Bluetiful' is more light purple than blue but it's very pretty, Alison. I'm checking my budded specimens daily to see which will be the next to bloom. My money's currently on 'Punkin' Spice'.

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  8. I can tell that summer is full on with blooms. Your vases look grand, full of color and texture.

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm glad I have dahlias and zinnias to rely on in summer. I'm hoping I'll have sunflowers too but, once again this year, I was late in getting my seeds in.

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  9. LOVE the Dahlias, what a wonderful display in all of the vases. I seriously am in love with those Shastas. I hope your contractor is treating you well and the construction is on schedule. Fingers crossed.

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    1. Schedule, what schedule? There was a rough goal to complete the project in 4 months but no milestone targets - it's not what I was used to in the corporate world, that's for sure. In any case, as the removal of the weird indoor barbecue and a new roof for the entire house were additions to the plan, I'm guessing even the projected end-date has already been blown. And then there's the complication over the architect's original roof design, the need to modify it, and the requirement to go back to the city for approval...Ugh!

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  10. Yes, love those Dahlias! Mine are starting to bloom now, too. Some of the tubers didn't make it, but one variety most certainly did, and it's fun to see them come back again. Great floral arrangements, as always, Kris!

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    1. It's funny but I had zero problems with my tubers the first year I grew dahlias. Beginner's luck perhaps. I lost several last year when I planted them in temporary pots first, all due to rot from overwatering the pots while they waited for space to open up in my cutting garden. Even being more careful this year, I lost 3 tubers, all new-to-me varieties. On the flip side, I was able to divide some of last year's dahlias, giving me extras for use should any fail. I still have 4 of those sitting in temporary pots - if/when they produce buds, I'll offer them to friends or neighbors as I'm already short of space.

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  11. Lovely, all of it. The Sideritis makes a wonderful quirky accent. Abelia is vastly underrated. Feeds the Hummers, on top of all its other virtues.

    Finally, the heat is on, ain't it? Stay cool.

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    1. Yeah, the heat wasn't too bad here yesterday but today - ugh! It was humid during the first half of the day too. My friends in a nearly beach city got a brief splash of rain but we got zip. One of the downsides of our remodel is we can't run the existing house AC system. We're making do with a stand-alone unit in the master bedroom but it cools only one room - my office felt like a sauna. And tomorrow, on the hottest day this week, I'm doing a docent tour of the botanic garden from 10:45ish to noonish for grades K through 5. I'm thinking of carrying ice packs in case any one keels over.

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  12. Really love the lemon creation Kris! Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Cathy! It's held up well too (by dahlia standards).

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