Monday, August 23, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Dark & Dramatic or Light & Bright?

I did a lot of aimless wandering in my garden Sunday morning, undecided about what to cut to put into a vase this week.  Somewhat to my own surprise (if not perhaps those of you who are regular visitors), I ended up with three very different arrangements.

The first features a bloom of what I bought as a Dahlia 'Penhill Dark Monarch' tuber, which it almost certainly is not.  'Dark Monarch' is supposed to be a mix of deep pink and plum with a hint of cream (as you can see here).  Instead, my flower is very red, with a base color similar to that of the Dahlia 'Akita' I featured last week but with a very different form.  It doesn't bear a resemblance to any of the dahlias I ordered as tubers.

I cut the dahlia before it was fully open and it looks as though the interior petals could have more white than the outer petals like Dahlia 'Special X Factor' or 'Contraste' but I'll be amazed if it develops pink highlights and that red base color turns a plummy purple.  But I could be wrong... 

Back view: I stuck with red-toned flowers and foliage to accent the mystery dahlia, including what I think is the last of Daucus carota 'Dara''Dara' has popped up in some areas I didn't sow seeds, at least not deliberately, so I won't be entirely surprised if I find the plants all over the garden next year.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Dahlia that isn't 'Penhill Dark Monarch', Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime', Daucus carota 'Dara', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', and Penstemon mexicali 'Mini Red Bells'

My native aster is in full flower, although many of the flower stalks are scorched.  I'm itching to start digging it up, which is going to be a massive task as its rhizomes have spread through a large portion of one border; however, I won't start that until cooler temperatures are in the long-term forecast.  In the meantime, I expect I'll be using the presentable stems a few more times if I can manage not to repeat myself too often.

This is a larger scale version of a mix I've used in a small vase for our kitchen island.  It features the rose-like flowers of Eustoma grandiflorum (Lisanthus), which are waning now.

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', lavender and white Eustoma grandiflorum, and Symphyotrichum chilense 'Purple Haze'

I currently have a plethora of Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange' flowers in my cutting garden.  I cut cut them to encourage the stems to branch, accenting them with some of the old standbys from elsewhere in the garden.

A few stems of Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream' provided the perfect accent for the colors in the Zinnia

Back view

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream', and Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange'

Do you have a favorite?  For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy in Rambling in the Garden.



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

26 comments:

  1. Your color combinations are fabulous, Kris. I especially admire your first arrangement and am intrigued by the color of Dahlia 'Penhill Dark Monarch', which I also am growing this year. I got it planted late and it hasn't flowered yet. Also planted Dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’ and hoping to see it open. Your Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange' and friends arrangement is gorgeous and it's always nice to see your Lisanthus. I don't envy you the job of digging the aster. It's pretty in your vase.

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    1. I hope your 'Penhill Dark Monarch' shows up true to its intended color and form, Susie. My mystery plant seems to be red with a touch of white. In addition to being the wrong color, it's nowhere near as tall as 'Dark Monarch' is supposed to be either.

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  2. They all look wonderful but my favourite is the last one as it is in typical warm Fall colours. We have received a lot of rain over the last week but it is quite chilly. Lots of my heat loving veggies are swathed in frost fabric igloos.

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    1. Your growing season is so much shorter than ours, Elaine. It must be frustrating to see it already moving toward its end in August.

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    2. Yes indeed. Our summer has not been pleasant so feeling a bit ripped off.

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    3. I can sympathize on that score too. That's just how I feel when our so-called rainy season ends with just 4 inches of rain.

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  3. Oh you have excelled today Kris, and the top views of all three show just how much care and attention has been out into them - I certainly can't choose a favourite this week 😁

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    1. Those overhead shots often seem to be the best ones, Cathy!

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  4. All great vases Kris and for once like Cathy I don't have a favourite either 😂 Your daucus carrota 'Dara' looks the same as my daucus carrota 'Purple Kisses'! Your native aster is beautiful. Is it well visited by pollinators?

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    1. 'Purple Kisses' and 'Dara' do seem to be identical, Anna! I often have a hard time detecting differences between selected daylilies and dahlias too ;) I've seen bees on the asters but there are other even more compelling targets for them - and the butterflies - in my garden. The Cupheas, Callistemons and Grevilleas seem to be more popular targets, at least for the bees. I've also seen the hummingbirds visit those plants, although not the native asters.

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  5. A lovely trio this week, Kris. I like the focal point of the mystery dahlia amidst the sprays of leptospermum foliage. I also like how Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' similarly supports your arrangements, a really nice filler. I've been enjoying the Queen Lime zinnias this summer, too. The colors complement so well.

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    1. Little did I know how important both the Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' and the Leptospermum 'Copper Glow' would be in floral arrangements when I planted them, Eliza. Now I can't imagine being without either (even if keeping their sizes in check is a ongoing challenge).

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  6. Could not have been too aimless of a wander! You've brought a lot of garden indoors this week. Will be nice to have something inside not toasted brown when it heats up in a few days.

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    1. Yes, the heat expected later this week was in the picture when I went on my little clipping spree, HB!

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  7. 3 awesome vases! The gorgeous violet blooms of Eustoma grandiflorum seems so effervescent, like hand painted on expensive china.
    The "surprise" Dahlia bloom could have been more aggravating if that bloom wasn't so splendid. I planted my first ever Cana (Wayoming) this year. According to the photo, it suppose to have bronze leafs and orange bloom. Instead, I have it the rather unimpressive green leafs / yellow flower Cana. I'm determined to try one more time.

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    1. I had very much the same frustrating experience with my first Canna this year. What I ordered was 'Phasion' and what I got was just as unimpressive as the plant you described. I haven't seen any flowers yet either. The seller is now off my list of mail order providers (and not just for that one issue).

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  8. So many lovely things in your vases again Kris! Those zinnias are absolute winners for me - I just love the colours. Always slightly off key and interesting in tone don't you think? Just gorgeous. And I also really love the aster. Delicate and pretty, as is the frilly eustoma - just delightful! Thank you. Amanda

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    1. I didn't always appreciate zinnias but I love them now, especially those in the 'Queen Lime' series, Amanda. They change dramatically from the time they first open through maturity.

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  9. The Zinnias are my favorite. I had some Queen Lime and they did not look like yours! The challenge of growing from seed? And then the mystery Dahlia, it is gorgeous, but that kind of thing irritates me.

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    1. Yes, the dahlia glitch is annoying, especially as I didn't plan to grow so many red varieties again this year. As to the zinnias, there seem to be more varieties in the 'Queen Lime' series than there once were. The local nurseries/garden centers don't seem to carry those plants at all, which I find odd. You're really forced to grow them from seeds - and they DO take their time in reaching bloom stage.

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  10. Your vases this week are all wonderful (as usual!) but my favourite is the second one with that gorgeous aster! My asters are also starting to flower, signalling the end of summer. How I wish I could send you some of the rain we have had this year! The zinnias are also lovely and those colours also remind me of the season to come. ;-)

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    1. It's frustrating to see terrible floods in some areas of the world while others are dry as dust but Mother Nature never promised to be even-handed :(

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  11. All 3 vases are exceptional, Kris! I love each of the 3 equally. I’m impressed with your Leptospermum, Grevillea, Agonis, Daucus, as well as the aster “fillers.”
    Though the Dahlia looks fanstastic in the first vase, I understand how disappointing the unexpected flower can be: 2 of my 5 Dahlias, both from the same source are not as they should be. One of the “surprises” I absolutely love and is prolific and I will keep, though I would prefer to know its name. The other is meh and I will likely not save the tubers. I would have loved to order these lovely Italian ranunculus corms recently that were on sale, but I could not bring myself to give this other, relatively local source another chance after the mess-up of two of my large pre-orders that I was suppose to receive in fall. It is fortunate that I feel comfortable shopping at our local nurseries and Annie’s remains a reliable online source!

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    1. I can certainly identify with how you feel about some of the mail-order suppliers, Kay. The Canna I got from another supplier is definitely not the 'Phasion' I ordered and the daylilies I got from them haven't been impressive either. It may be that the pandemic strained the staff of some of these companies but, once trust is lost, it's hard to recover.

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  12. The first arrangement (dark and dramatic?) was my strong favorite, until you shared the lime/orange creation. Wow! I'll take it.

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    1. The orange and lime arrangement is simple but it was my favorite this week too ;) I'm annoyed by the mystery dahlia.

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