Monday, September 9, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: Divas and Mutants

Dahlia 'Diva' finally arrived in sufficient numbers to warrant inclusion in a vase, although I dilly-dallied a bit trying to decide what I should use to show off those dark dramatic blooms.  I've always liked purple and green together so I sought out some bright greens to sharpen the contrast.

I used 3 types of foliage but the brightest is that of chartreuse Duranta repens 'Gold Mound'

I used Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' to provide a color echo for the dahlias

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Diva', Abelia grandiflora 'Radiance', Duranta repens 'Gold Mound', Digitalis purpurea, and Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy' (shown in the last photo encircled by stems from my peppermint willows, Agonis flexuosa)


As I planted all my sunflower seeds at the same time, I shouldn't have been surprised that most are blooming on the same schedule.  The odd thing is that many of the sunflowers appear to be a mutant form of 'Panache'.

'Panache' is on the left and one of the mutant blooms, identical to one another if not to 'Panache', is on the right.  The mutant's foliage and growth habit clearly identifies it as a sunflower but it lacks the central disk characteristic of Helianthus annuus.  The plants are popping up in the same area in which I sowed 'Panache's' seeds.  An on-line search on "mutant sunflowers" yielded an interesting article referencing the famous sunflowers painted by Vincent van Gogh, which you can find here.

Helianthus 'Panache' is shown front and center here, surrounded by Rudbeckia 

Back view

The petals of both the standard and mutant sunflowers are the same color and shape

Clockwise from the upper left: Helianthus annuus 'Panache', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum', the mutant sunflower, and Rudbeckia hirta 'Denver Daisy'


For more "In a Vase on Monday" creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.




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

28 comments:

  1. Love it all - as always! Have you used Itsy Bitsy before? I really like that! I don't think I have ever seen it over here, or maybe we have a different version. I must check that out - I think it adds a really interesting texture to your arrangement, as well as picking up the colours! Delightful! Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2019/09/in-flat-vase-on-monday-and-afterthought.html

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    1. I can't specifically recall using 'Itsy Bitsy' within the last several months, Amanda, but it's been growing in my garden for over 4 years now and, as it blooms year-round here (except for a brief period after I hack it back), I've used in extensively off and on in vases. Apparently, it's sold in other parts of the US as 'Little Grapes' and 'Teensy Weensy' but no one in the UK or other parts of Europe has reported finding it there.

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    2. Thanks Kris. I used to dress the very elegant Robert Adam building that I worked in, in Edinburgh, before I retired. I arranged about 15 vases of flowers every Monday morning, and sometimes I was able to buy stems of fluffy little bobbles from the florist, not dissimilar to your Itsy Bitsy. I can't remember the name of the plant but it was always fun to use because it lightened things up a bit! Have a good week. A

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    3. What a fun way that was to start your workweek, Amanda!

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  2. As always your arrangements are lovely. Surprised to see foxglove as I wouldn't think it would survive in your climate.

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    1. I'm VERY surprised by the foxgloves too, Elaine. I pulled some of those I planted last winter in late spring, mainly to free up space for other plants in my relatively small cutting garden. I usually pull them all out by early summer because they get ratty (and are prone to woolly aphids) but both spring and summer were on the cool side this year (by our definition anyway) and the plants held up very well. Getting the extra water I give plants in the cutting garden makes a big difference too - the plants never would have survived in my main garden beds.

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  3. That green really works with 'Diva'. I love the limited colour palette. I think maybe the sunflowers steal the show! They are so bright and just right for September, here anyway. I have some very fluffy double sunflowers which I don't remember planting, I must see if I saved the packets. Probably not.

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    1. I checked my seed packets (twice!) to see if I'd simply forgotten what I'm characterizing as a "mutant" of 'Panache', Alison. I planted only 3 varieties and the mutants certainly don't look anything like 'Moonshadow' or 'Garnet Star'. They resemble 'Panache' in every way except their central disk but, if the mutation described in the History article is at play, that's what a mutated form of 'Panache' should look like.

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  4. Interesting twist on your sunflowers. They're beautiful anyway. And Dahlia 'Diva' deserves the attention this week--a lovely thing. The green foliage accents it perfectly. I can't believe you have a foxglove now either. Is that unusual for this time of year?

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    1. I think the foxglove's perseverance is a reflection of our cooler-than-usual spring and summer weather, Susie. No matter how well they were watered, there's a zero percent chance foxgloves would have survived heatwaves of the intensity we've had in prior years (e.g. 110F in July 2018).

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  5. Both vases are lovely, Kris, but I particularly like the nod to Van Gogh, very striking!

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    1. I thought I must have simply forgotten planting some no-disk sunflower but I have all my seed packets. I sowed just 3 varieties and the mutants mostly closely resemble 'Panache'. I kind of like them but not as much as the original form.

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  6. Sunflowers always look great in a vase, mutant or not! Lovely cheerful vases again Kris. :)

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    1. Sunflowers are the cheeriest of flowers in my view, Cathy!

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  7. Lovely as always, but I particularly like the "Itsy Bitsy" addition. It adds so much to the arrangement and in a subtle way, echoing the color of the dahlias. You have so many kinds of flowers I've never seen or heard of before, but I suppose that is because of the climate difference.

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    1. 'Itsy Bitsy' has proven to be a very useful flower, Cindy. She's small but mighty! The fact that she blooms year-round here is also a major plus.

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  8. I like both vases but is it wrong to be so smitten by the mutants? Love their rebellious nature.

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    1. I liked the mutants too, Barbara, although I thought I was going crazy at first, forgetting things. It's weird to be gaslighted by a sunflower!

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  9. Two very fine vases, Kris, which immediately bring a smile to one's face. 'Diva' is stunningly beautiful and I must watch out for that delightful Gomphrena – I only know globosa but this one is so much prettier! Pleased to see you like yellow too :) . The heat will come back again this week so I'm glad it's raining a bit at the moment. It's bone dry but at least it's refreshing. Happy September days, Annette

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    1. I love yellow, Annette. Regrettably, after a brief cool-down, we're due to heat up again as we move into the end of the week too.

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  10. I love that first vase. The contrast with the light green and dark dahlia. I also like those little gomphrena blooms. Both vases very nice.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. Green goes with everything but I have to say it looks particularly great with dark purple.

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  11. The Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' and Dahlia 'Diva' are a match made in heaven. Your mutant sunflower reminds me of the teddy bear sunflowers my grandma used to grow,

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    1. I suspect the same gene that produced the teddy bear sunflowers produced these mutants in my garden, or more likely the seed in the grower's garden, Loree.

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  12. Very nice, I love purple and chartreuse as well and can't believe I am seeing a Foxglove in September! I think the sunflowers are cool!

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    1. I admit to being a little surprised by the foxgloves too, Amelia!

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  13. Two stunning arrangements...I love the Dahlia and the way you have chosen to highlight it with lovely greenery, and the itsy bitsy...

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    1. Thanks Noelle. 'Itsy Bitsy' makes a positive contribution to every party.

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