Monday, August 16, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Dahlias, at last...

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.  

The flowers of Dahlia 'Akita' are 8 inches in diameter, which may be why the buds took so very long to open fully.  Other than the two dahlia flowers (and one partially open bud), the only other flowers in this arrangement are those on a single stem of Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus).

Back view: The other contents of the vase are all foliage plants

Top view

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

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Edward Goucher', magenta and white Cosmos bipinnatus, Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba', Digitalis purpurea, Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata', Scabiosa columbaria 'Flutter Rose Pink', and Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal'

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...

For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.



All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


18 comments:

  1. The accompanying greenery to Dahlia 'Akita' have wonderful colors that mimics the bloom perfectly.
    I wouldn't expect Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' to be pink :-D

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    1. I knew 'Royal' is supposed to be pinker than its pale cousin 'Cafe au Lait' but I was also surprised at just how pink it is. A friend planted the same tuber and her flowers appear to be fraternal twins, one pale and the other pink like mine.

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  2. Nice combinations with the Dahlias. I especially like that last little arrangement--the vase, itself, is special. :)

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    1. Simple arrangements are often the most satisfying, Beth ;)

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  3. Hurrah for the arrival of your dahlias - they certainly grab our attention in the first vase, with the foliage accentuating their intriguing colourway. LOve the simplicity of your third vase too

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    1. As much as I love those huge 'Akita' blooms, it was challenging to think of flowers that could hold their own in combination with them, or even serve as useful accents. I'm glad I found attractive foliage to do the job.

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  4. Kris, glad your dahlias woke up. Mine also were very slow to get going this year. I love your vases--you really have lots of blooms. Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' is gorgeous with the beautiful red dahlias.

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    1. That Leucadendron is among the most useful for arrangements, Susie. It's a beautiful plant in the landscape too, although it requires regular pruning to keep it from taking over.

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  5. Loving it! my very expensive vegetable garden went to flowers this year. Your Dahlias are gorgeous, I have yet to grow one. Would love to see some succulents.

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    1. One of the biggest problems with dahlias is that the tubers readily rot if they get too much water prior to sprouting (even though they need a lot of water afterwards). In your climate, it might be best to grow them in large pots so you can keep them dry when they need to be dry.

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  6. You picked some nice companions to complement 'Akita' this week, Kris. They support them perfectly. I hope the rest of your dahlias come along soon. Mine are coming fast and furious and I must pick them every day to keep them coming. Not quite like zucchini, but close!

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    1. I'd love it if my dahlias would copy zucchinis, Eliza!

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  7. Dahlia Akita is beautiful, and such a nice big flower too. I can't grow them as we have earwigs galore here! The foliage goes perfectly with that rich red. And your last vase reminded me that autumn will soon be here, with asters just starting to show here too. :-)

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    1. Earwigs, yuck! I've had issues with them in the artichokes on my back slope but I've never seen them in my dahlias. I hope they don't figure out how to get to my cutting garden:[

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  8. Well worth the wait for your lovely dahlias Kris! And I love seeing your (what I call) bubble vase again! Two very pretty vases, lots of wonderful colour! Amanda

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    1. That's one of my favorite vases too, Amanda. I bought it at a campus craft fair when I was an undergraduate so I've had it for a very long time.

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  9. Lovely as always. My favourite is Akita. If it is any consolation my dahlias were late to sprout and are very short this year. Flowers are just starting to come now. The season is very short here due to the potential for frost any time after the first of September.

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    1. We don't freeze here and my dahlias should be fine through at least the end of September but, as the morning marine layer returns, it can encourage both dahlias and zinnias to mildew. It's usually mildewed foliage that has me pulling the plants out.

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