Monday, August 10, 2020

In a Vase on Monday: The new arrivals

Two of my long-awaited dahlias finally bloomed last week.  Although the supply of dahlias available for cutting is still very small, there was no question about what I'd use in my vases this week.  The only issue was what I had available to pair with them.

Dahlia 'Sellwood Glory', front and center here, was the first to produce buds and the first to bloom in my cutting garden.  It was described as purple but it reads on the pink end of the purple spectrum rather than the blue end, which made it harder for me to find suitable companions.

Back view: Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' is trying to steal the show in this vase I think.  The plant literally blooms year-round but I'm not sure I've used it much, if at all, this year so it may be making up for lost time.

Top view: Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', selected as a filler, shows up best in this overhead view 

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Sellwood Glory', Cosmos bipinnatus, Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy', Pelargonium peltatum in burgundy and lavender, and Pentas lanceolata


'Sellwood Glory' (which always sounds to me like it should be the name of a thoroughbred race horse) beat out 'Mr Optimist' by less than a day.  Finding a companion for 'Mr Optimist' was easier as my first gladiolas arrived on its heels.

'Mr Optimist' was meant to be the star of this arrangement but Gladiolus 'Green Star' may be eclipsing it 

Back view: I'm disappointed by this view.  The small red Penstemon stems can't hold their own here.  I probably should have added another gladiola stem or maybe more Coreopsis.

Top view: I was pleased with how well the foliage of Coprosma 'Plum Hussey' balanced the gladiolas, however

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Mr Optimist', Coreopsis 'Redshift', Gladiolus 'Green Star', Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey', and Penstemon mexicali 'Mini-Bells Red'


Last week's vases held up well.  I tossed the contents of last week's first vase on Sunday but the second vase consisting primarily of foliage looks almost as fresh as it did last Sunday so it moved to the kitchen island.

The two new vases took pride of place in the front entry and dining room table respectively.

Six more dahlias have buds, including a second 'Mr Optimist'.  Seven other dahlias sprouted and continue to grow but have yet to produce buds.  Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that one of the purple gladiolas was blooming and that a few of my seed-grown zinnias have produced flowers.  While things in my cutting garden are looking up, I'd say it's still running a month or more behind last year's garden.  Cooler summer conditions may be a factor but most of the delay lays squarely on my shoulders.  I planted most of my dahlia tubers between late April and early May this year instead of early March.  I sowed zinnia seeds even later, and I've pinched back both the developing dahlias and zinnias on a more routine basis than I've done in the past.  Hopefully, I've just pushed my peak flower season forward rather than reducing its duration but we'll see.

To see more vases created from materials contributors have on hand in their own gardens, visit Cathy in Rambling in the Garden.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


27 comments:

  1. I never pinched back Dahlias before, it's sounds very brave of you.
    I adore the splatter of color created by Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy'. In the second vase, by sharing the stage that duo is complimenting rather than overshadowing each other.
    Not having a dedicated cutting bed, I enjoy Gladiolus 'Green Star' in the garden.

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    1. It pains me greatly to pinch back the growing dahlia sprouts but more experienced growers seem to strongly recommend the practice to encourage more side shoots and, ultimately, blooms. I admit that I haven't done this with the very last plants to sprout as it already seems late in the season to me.

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  2. I was late with seed starting too, mainly because I hadn't planned to do any -- timing is everything! That lime green gladiolus really invigorates a vase. So glad the dahlias are budding -- should be easy pickings now!

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    1. Dahlias and zinnias have changed summer for me, Denise. I used to consider it a relatively colorless season.

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  3. 'Sellwood Glory' is certainly glorious and it does sound like a racehorse name! You chose its companions well, they were made for each other. 'Its Bitsy' still appeals to me, love it. Does it produce seed? If so, can I beg some for next year's garden? It seems hard to find online.
    'Mr. Optimist' is a fine color and the glads are so pretty. I love to put a whole bunch of one color in a vase by themselves. It's a shame that they are associated with funeral flowers because they are a beautiful and long-lasting cut flower.
    Have a good week ahead. We're in yet another heat wave for the next few days, so work is limited to the cooler hours. I've lost count how many days have topped 90 here. Sweltering!

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    1. I've never seen any self-seeding on the part of 'Itsy Bitsy', Eliza. The individual flowers are tiny but I can try encasing some of them in paper bags to see if I can collect anything that looks like viable seed from them. The only good source I know for the plants is Annie's Annuals & Perennials, where it's sold in 4-inch pots as Gomphrena decumbens "Airy Bachelor's Buttons".

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  4. Yes, I haven't piched my dahlias out either, but I am sure it is recommended! You must be thrilled to finally have some to use in your vases. and both work well - as you say, Itsy Bitsy is a great addition to that first one!

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    1. I'm always pleased when the dahlias start to bloom, even if it is more than a month later than I'd have liked!

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  5. Love the Dahlias, aren't they water hogs? I keep trying (and failing) to get enough water on any. Those Gomphrena are so cute...and you can grow Gladiolus while I can't..and I think those are the biggest Cosmos I have ever seen. All gorgeous.here is my Firesticks story, I used some as potted plants in a office building (adults only) a guy tried to suck the sap out of the plant and it burned his throat, so weird, don't eat em..

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    1. In my estimation, both dahlias and zinnias are water hogs, which is why mine are generally confined to the raised planters in my cutting garden, the only area that gets relatively lavish amounts of water. I planted some zinnias in one of my regular garden beds this year just to get some interim color in an area I'd torn up and it feels as though I'm always watering them.

      With respect to your firesticks story, some people are just downright crazy! Who would confuse milk and latex sap?

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  6. Itsy Bitsy has stolen the show for me again Kris! She always does! Wish we could get that plant over here. All your other flowers are gorgeous too! Just lovely. Amanda https://therunningwave.blogspot.com/2020/08/sweet-peas-in-vase-on-monday.html

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  7. I’m glad you showed the foliage vase of last week! It is such a winner. I think I’m understanding more and more about floral arrangements by observing your IAVOM posts over the last months. Did you use Gladiolus ‘Green Star’ in the 2nd vase because it picks up the yellow tips on ‘Mr. Optimist’? I also see the various colors in ‘Sellwood Glory’ reflected in the Cuphea, Gomphrena, two Pelargoniums and the Pentas. I’ll have to do more studying to figure out all the wonderful textures you use. I have now added Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' as well as Cuphea 'Starfire Pink’ to my Kris P. Desired Plant List. ; - ).

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    1. I generally prefer color harmonies to strong contrasts, Kay, but you're correct that I played off the yellow tips of 'Mr Optimist' when I selected the 'Green Star' Gladiolus. It was an added bonus the the Coreopsis echoed both the bright yellow and the red.

      Annie's Annuals carries the Gomphrena. They call it by a different name (Gomphrena "Airy Bachelor's Buttons") but I've purchased it and it's identical to the plant I originally purchased as 'Itsy Bitsy'. I've also heard bloggers in other states refer to it as 'Little Grapes'.

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  8. I've admired Itsy Bitsy before in your vases, and each time am disappointed that it is still not available here. Obviously a difficult one to grow in our climate, and probably would only work as an annual. Kris, again you have come up with wonderful vases, and I think Mr Optimist has brought out the best with his joyful friends.

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    1. Thanks Noelle. I'm wondering if the problem locating 'Itsy Bitsy' may be related to its name. I've also heard it called 'Little Grapes' and one California grower that offers the plant by mail order lists it simply as G. decumbens "Airy Bachelor Buttons".

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  9. Itsy Bitsy is lovely -such a fun flower to use in a vase! And I love the lemon gladioli. I must look out for some to buy, as I don‘t grow them myself... maybe I should!

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    1. I've grown some of the smaller gladiolas but had never grown the larger-flowered varieties until now, Cathy. I bought the corms on a whim during a late sale offering by one vendor in large part because I was so impressed by Susie's gladiolas. The lemon-y yellow one was supposed to be green so I was a bit disappointed there but it's still pretty.

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  10. The gladiola used to remind me of funeral flowers. Since they don't use them much for that anymore I have learned to love their seemingly delicate blooms all lined up on a stalk. I have grown them several times the past few years. Seeing yours makes me want to do it again next year. The Itsy Bitsy Gomphrena is so sweet. I must find that for next year too. I like both vases over all. It seems that Dahlias are the It flower this time of year.

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    1. I had exactly the same feeling about the large-flowered gladiolas, Lisa. I remember them all too vividly from my father's funeral when I was six, which is probably what had me shunning them. I still probably wouldn't grow a white variety but I'm pleased with the "green" and purple ones I planted this year.

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  11. D.'Sellwood Glory' looks right at home with the companions you chose for it, especially the Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy'. The glads are spectacular. I just had a single zinnia bloom a couple days ago, 5-6 weeks late because of the rabbit! I've been lost without them this summer. My dahlias haven't done well at all. Guess last year's successes were beginner's luck. Have a great week Kris!

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    1. Your gladiolas were my motivation to grow some this year, Susie! Your weather has been on something of a roller-coaster this year, which I suspect had an impact on your dahlias.

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  12. Your dahlias are gorgeous! I used to love gladiolas, buying big (cheap) bunches of them every summer. Then a friend mentioned they reminded her of funerals and I soon attended a funeral with loads of them. That was the end for me...

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    1. Yes, as I mentioned in response to Lisa, the association between gladiolas and funerals was off-putting for me too. I probably still can't bring myself to grow a white variety but I found the chartreuse and purple varieties in my garden don't bother me at all - and they were VERY easy to grow.

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  13. The boldness of the dahlia makes an excellent contrast to the daintiness of 'Itsy Bitsy'.

    There are some species gladiola that are quite nice, and don't look like the florist versions. I keep meaning to try a few.

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    1. I was tugged toward the sale offer of 'Green Star' Gladiolus by the color. Although it turned out to be more chartreuse yellow than green, I still like it. And it's really easy to grow!

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