Most of my dahlias are showing signs of finishing up their season. Flower stalks have grown overly tall; blooms are getting smaller; and foliage is mildewing. The majority peaked right in the middle of our last heatwave. Some bloomed out so quickly they ended up in my compost bin. Faced with too many blooms to use even after handing some off to friends, I left six bottles filled with dahlias and zinnias on the curb for neighbors and other passers-by to take last week. Yesterday morning I cut all the dahlias that were in full bloom, filling six vases for the house. Two of those contained blooms that were past their prime but I'll share the other four here.
|Dahlias 'Belle of Barmera' and 'Labyrinth' played the starring roles in this arrangement|
|'Belle of Barmera' has pretty blooms but its foliage is hideous and I don't think I'll be making room for it next year|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia 'Labyrinth' (a winner by any measure), Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Correa 'Wyn's Wonder' (aka variegated Australian fuchsia), Dahlia 'Belle of Barmera', and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Blush'|
|Dahlia 'Mr Optimist' was the inspiration for this vase but, when I discovered aphids on two of the blooms and tossed them, I added two other dahlias to fill out the arrangement, using Alstroemeria 'Inca Sunshine' to mediate their differences|
|Back view: I also used zinnias as fillers|
|Top view: I initially had reservations about this arrangement but now it's my personal favorite this week|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Dahlia 'Mr Optimist', D. 'Loverboy', D. 'Candlelight', Lantana 'Samantha', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', red and yellow Zinnia elegans and, in the middle, Alstroemeria 'Inca Sunshine'|
|Dahlia 'Rip City' is running neck and neck with 'Enchantress' as the most prolific bloomer among this year's dahlia crop but the zinnia blooms may have eclipsed it in this arrangement|
|Back view: Very similar to the front view|
|Clockwise from the left: Dahlia 'Rip City', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', and Zinnia elegans 'Benary Giant Lilac' and 'Benary Giant Purple'|
|Back view: In retrospect, the arrangement might have looked better without the Salvia stems|
|Clockwise from the left: Dahlia 'Iceberg', Baleria obtusa (aka bush violet) with Eustoma grandiflorum, Salvia leucantha, and Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'|
Although yet another heatwave it expected to start today and continue for several days, I expect stray blooms out of many of my dahlias before I give up on them in November and dig up the tubers to make room for cool season flowers in my cutting garden. Dahlias 'Labyrinth', 'Enchantress', and 'Rip City' certainly seem ready to continue blooming for awhile yet. I still have high hopes for 'Gitts Crazy' which finally has bloom stalks (five of them!) studded with buds, and I haven't entirely given up on 'Rancho', part of the last, very late shipment of tubers I received in early May.
For more arrangements this week, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to find links to other IAVOM posts.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party