Monday, August 30, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Not a lot of choices

Although many of the dahlias in my cutting garden have buds, they're still taking their time to develop into blooms.  Dahlia 'Gitt's Crazy' was close but I decided it wasn't quite ready.  Meanwhile, many of the plants elsewhere in my garden shut down as temperatures rose into the low 90sF last week.  Overall, by comparison to most summers, things haven't been bad along the Southern California coast this year (although the inland areas haven't been as lucky).  We haven't even hit 100F (37.8C), much less had one of the more severe heatwaves that have become common in recent years.  We're still miserably dry and water restrictions are a looming issue but, as we don't usually get rain during summer months, we can't anticipate any changes on that score until late fall or winter.  And by comparison with Northern California and other areas of the Western US experiencing persistent wildfires and areas of the Southeast US currently facing Hurricane Ida, I know we're fortunate.

Dahlia 'Akita' produced one dramatic bloom this week, which I found I couldn't ignore even though it was already past its peak.  My challenge was to put a different spin on the arrangement so it didn't look like a replay of the one I created two weeks ago.

Once again, 'Akita's' bloom was easily 8 inches in diameter.  The creamy notes at the flower's center were more noticeable in this bloom than those I used in my earlier arrangement.

Back view: I played off the cream colors in the dahlia bloom, using Grevillea 'Superb' and zinnias in the 'Queen Lime' series as accents 

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope', Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', Dahlia 'Akita', Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Blush' and 'Queen Lime Orange', and Grevillea 'Superb'


Several of my seed-sown sunflowers finally bloomed last week so I cut two stems, combining them with the native aster that's slowly burning out in my back garden.

I sowed a few varieties of sunflowers in plantable pots in early June and planted the viable seedlings out in late June.  Those in the well-watered cutting garden did fairly well but those in my south side border all died of thirst.

Back view, dressed up with a few strawflowers

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', Symphyotrichum chilense 'Purple Haze', Xerochrysum bracteatum, and Zinnia 'Profusion Yellow'


For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Best wishes to all in the vicinity of Hurricane Ida's path this week.



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

25 comments:

  1. You definitely have more flowers in your garden (thirsty as it may be) than me.
    I was trying to remember if you I saw Xerochrysum bracteatum in your vases before. If so, I can't recall. Those orange Everlasting flowers are so cool. Seed grown?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've used the Xerochrysum in a vase at least once before but I don't believe I gave it a prominent role. The plant came to me as a seeding from blogger friend Denise of A Growing Obsession. She actually gifted me with 4 seedlings but the 3 I put in one of my borders died due to too little water. The remaining one in my cutting garden has been very happy.

      Delete
  2. Your vases are speaking in autumnal tones today. I love that big Dahlia, it is gorgeous and the asters..there must be some that will grow in my garden. I am going to look for that series of Zinnia again. Love the mixture. Hope your good weather fortune lasts into the rainy season. I have been reading about the lake levels in the west and it is scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried a few different asters, Amelia, but this native Symphyotrichum chilense one is the only one that survived here. Unfortunately, it spreads by rhizomes. The seller said it was manageable in a low-water garden, which it was - until the year we unexpectedly received almost twice our "normal" rain, after which it spread far and wide. The problem is that, in a very low water year like this one, half the flower stems that appear wither without blooming.

      Delete
  3. Yes, sometimes we have to be grateful for our weather relative to other areas - our part of the UK hs seen another dry summer, or at least our little bit does as even locally the weather varies, but overal we do not have a water shortage so I can water if necessary, but try to stick just to new planting and pots. How intriguing to see a yellow zinnia - definitely none of tose in my mix! The yellows with the blie of the asters and peachy helichrysum works so well in the second vase, but you have also come up trumps again with tose peachy colours in your first vase

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, that one yellow Zinnia, which I believe is 'Queen Lime Blush', is the only one of those seeds to reach bloom stage. I sowed more of seeds of the same variety elsewhere so I'm hoping to see additional plants blooming with flowers that color before the season comes to an end.

      Delete
  4. There are so many different perfect blooms, but those zinnias are superlative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I wish I'd gotten my zinnia seeds sown earlier as most are late, Noelle. I hope the rest of the seedlings bloom before mildew strikes the remaining plants!

      Delete
  5. Always a job to see your vases, Kris. Dahlia 'Akita' is a beauty and you amaze me each week finding perfectly coordinated companions. The yellow and lavender make a good combo too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susie. The 'Akita' tuber was purchased on a whim but, thus far at least, it's looking like it'll be my favorite this season.

      Delete
  6. I'm glad to hear that although what sounds hot to me isn't as hot as some of the summer weather you have previously endured. 'Akita' looks a most striking dahlia and you've found some delightful companions for it. The sunflowers and asters are an excellent colour combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Anna, I grew up in one of Southern California's inland valleys, which seemed to get ever-hotter each summer from the time I was in middle school. You could say I was gradually acclimated to the heat. However, when my husband (who grew up in the same city but attended different schools) and I returned to Los Angeles County after securing our undergraduate degrees, we quickly decided we wanted to live someplace cooler. We relocated to an area along the coast and have stuck to the coast ever since. Even so, it gets hot here. Climate change is real.

      Delete
  7. Xerochrysum bracteatum, very cool!

    A deeply disappointing rainy season, but we have had a bearable summer--grateful for that, at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thank goodness for small favors. We should probably get together and perform a rain dance this fall ;)

      Delete
  8. Those big, dramatic dahlias are real show-stoppers, and 'Akita' is no exception. Beautiful work, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought 'Akita' was interesting in its "publicity photos," Eliza but I'm very impressed by the flowers in reality. This dahlia lives up to its hype.

      Delete
  9. How lovely to see your glorious Akita bloom. None of mine have flowered yet and it is getting late! Both your vases are wonderful and inspiring. I must look out for Sunflower 'Lemon Queen' seeds for next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The majority of my dahlias are also late, Allison. I've heard similar complaints from a lot of gardeners (in varying locales) this year. changing weather patterns maybe?

      Delete
  10. Whenever I see your dramatic dahlias, I'm so tempted to make an exception to my garden simplification projects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I find dahlias frustrating in some respects, I don't find that they require extensive care, Nikki. Monitoring the water they receive prior to sprouting is the worst part. They do want a considerable amount of water by comparison to what the rest of my garden receives but growing them in a restricted area helps prevent over-watering other parts of your garden - my 'Akita' is growing in a large terracotta pot. They also benefit from regular fertilization throughout their growing season (after they've sprouted), though, which might not fit into your simplification plan ;)

      Delete
  11. Both vase arrangements are beautiful. The first is quite complex and ‘Akita’ is a showstopper especially with the companion flowers/foliage. I adore your strawflower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the strawflower seedlings required more water than my southeast border provided, I've been impressed by the one in my cutting garden that took off with the regular water there. I recently picked up another plant at Armstrong - they have a couple of colors in stock ;)

      Delete
  12. For having "not a lot to choose from", I think you did a bang up job on both vases. Those little asters are so cute, and I love strawflowers. My grandmother always used to grow them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm developing a fondness for the strawflowers too, Anna. As to the asters, the rhizomatous plants are out of control so I'm intending to pull all that I can up this year (after they finish blooming) even though I also like the flowers.

      Delete
  13. What a very pretty sunflower Kris! Perfect with the asters. And your dahlia is beautiful! :-)

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!