Two of my tuber-grown dahlias were finally ready for prime-time coverage and I didn't even hesitate to cut them for In A Vase on Monday, the weekly meme hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Cathy encourages us to forage in our gardens for materials to put together arrangements. When I first began participating in this meme I often had to resort to succulents to fill in for flowers when summer was at its peak. Then, after creating a cutting garden out of an area formerly used to grow what my husband referred to as "very expensive vegetables," I began growing dahlias and zinnias. I'd previously tried growing both in my garden borders but they need more water than the rest of my garden so putting them all in one place where I can give them the water they need without over-watering other plants made sense. Dahlias don't make summer any less hot or dry but they've definitely added the color I was missing as the season drags on.
Although I planted my dahlia tubers earlier this year than last year, they were still late to reach bloom stage. I put them in temporary pots to germinate while waiting for space to open up in my raised planters. Maybe I planted the tubers too deeply; maybe I kept the pots too dry; or maybe the cooler than average temperatures in April and May simply delayed sprouting. Whatever the reason, all were later to sprout this year than even last year when the pandemic delayed my planting schedule.
|Back view: The other contents of the vase are all foliage plants|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Dahlia 'Akita', Eustoma grandiflorum, Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Pineapple', and Leucadendron salignum 'Chief'|
I cut only one stem of the second dahlia but I'd nonetheless intended it to serve as the focal point for my second arrangement. However, I think the white Amaryllis I selected to accompany it may have stolen the show.
|Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' got pushed to the side by a very large bloom cluster of Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba'|
|Back view: I snipped a little of this and a little of that, including the only remaining foxglove stems that hadn't been scorched, to fill in between the larger blooms|
I also combined leftover stems from one of last week's arrangements with two additional stems cut from the garden to fill the small vase on my kitchen island.
|The white Lisianthus and stems of Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated' are holdovers from last week. I added one blue Lisianthus and a stem of our native aster, Symphyotrichum chilense.|
In addition to the two dahlias featured in this post and two single-petaled varieties I purchased as small plants that have bloomed on an infrequent basis, I have four more dahlias with buds. But I also have nine plants that have yet to produce buds so it's too early to say whether this season will be a flop for my dahlia "crop." I've been fertilizing all on a schedule recommended by a well-known grower and I'm hoping that'll make a difference. Or, you may see a succulent arrangement later this summer...
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All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party