Monday, September 27, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: Clamoring for attention

After waiting seemingly forever for dahlia and zinnia blooms, I now have several of each blooming at the same time in my cutting garden, all demanding attention.  With our weather subject to sharp changes - hot and dry for stretches at a time with cool and damp intervals in between - I'm inclined to cut them when they're looking their best rather than chancing their availability in later weeks.  Next year, I'll give more thought to growing plants that combine better with one another than those I'm growing this year.

Dahlia 'Break Out' produced its first bloom last week.  It was a soft cream with pale peachy-pink accents and, when examining it on Saturday, I envisioned combining it with flowers that picked up those peachy-pink tones.  However, when I went to cut it on Sunday morning, it had shifted more definitively to a vibrant pink, throwing my plans out the window.

I reused the vase I selected for Dahlia 'Loverboy' last week and some of the very same flowers as accents

Back view

Top view: the vase has a very narrow mouth, only about an inch wide at its center and slimmer as it tapers to each end, which limits what can be stuffed into it

Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia grandiflora 'Hopley's Variegated', Correa 'Wyn's Wonder', Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Dahlia 'Break Out', and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Red Lime'

My second arrangement this week contains neither dahlias nor zinnias.  I've wanted to use the purple flowers of Plectranthus ecklonii (aka  tall spur flower) for some time.  I'd hoped to pair it with Dahlia 'Magic Moment'  but that plant, although now in bud, is taking its sweet time about blooming so I decided to go ahead before the Plectranthus finishes its season.

I stuck to a purple and white mix, making use of the Cosmos, which like the zinnias are in the process of succumbing to mildew

Stems of Vitex trifolia dress up the back view.  Although this plant is obviously prone to drooping when cut, I love its two-colored leaves, dark green on top and purple underneath.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Angelonia 'Archangel White', Cosmos bipinnatus, variegated Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth', Plectranthus ecklonii, and Vitex trifolia purpurea

Dahlias 'Enchantress' and 'Gitt's Crazy' were competing for a third slot.  As they most definitely aren't suitable to combine and as I wasn't prepared to create four arrangements, I went with 'Enchantress''Gitt's Crazy' will probably get a vase on my kitchen island within another day or two but I'll spare the reader a fourth arrangement.

This arrangement is admittedly gaudy, verging on garish

Back view: the coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) combines the bright pink of the dahlia with the red-wine color of the zinnia

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold', Dahlia 'Enchantress, Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Dragon Heart', and Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Wine'

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




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


28 comments:

  1. What an intriguing combination of shades 'Break Out is', and it goes perfectly with that zinnia and the intriguing correa buds, the latter not something I know. The coleus in your third vase works brilliantly with the dahlia and zinnia, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Plants in the Correa genus are commonly known as Australian fuchsias. They do well in my area which, like parts of Australia, is classified as having a Mediterranean climate (summer hot and dry, winter cool and wet). They may not appreciate conditions in the UK ;)

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  2. Wow, D.‘Break Out’ did indeed get pinker. It looks pristine. I'm not familiar with Plectranthus. Love the combination of it with the white cosmos and that coleus is just a perfect match for the dahlias in the third vase. My zinnias and dahlias are getting mildew also.

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    1. Are you familiar with the fairy tale about the Changeling, Susie? That's what I thought of when 'Break Out' changed its coloring so suddenly.

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    2. I just looked up the Changeling fairy tale!😀

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    3. I'll be interested in learning whether your Dahlia 'Break Out' changes like that as the cut bloom matures.

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  3. Gorgeous Dahlias, I just planted Zinnias so ?? we'll see. I have the same Vitex and love the foliage with the blues.

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    1. I'd forgotten that zinnias are fall/winter flowers for you, Amelia. Growing them on that schedule, I bet you don't have the problems I do with mildew.

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  4. I love the photo of the Correa 'Wyn's Wonder' bud: Perfect In Every Way!

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    1. The Correa flowers are surprisingly difficult to photograph, especially as they commonly open on the lower end of the stems.

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  5. Oh yes. All the arrangements are fabulous. I need to try some new techniques with Dahlias next summer. They really are great cut flowers!

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    1. Dahlias changed my entire mindset on summer, Beth! That hot, dry season used to be something of a flower wasteland here.

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  6. Kris, all three arrangements are stunning, but that first one is my favorite-- the vase, the colors and the plants. So fun!

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    1. Thanks Angie. I planted the 'Break Out' tuber very late in the season (June 10th) and wasn't sure I'd see any blooms before the season was over. It's sudden color change also surprised me.

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  7. You never have to worry about "sparing me" any of your arrangements, Kris - they are always beautiful as well as inspiring. I'm a bit envious of anyone able to grow Dahlias, but this time around, that little Correa totally took the cake for me. Sublime buds...

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    1. I love Correas and, fortunately for me, they do well in my climate, although I did lose one of my favorites to our hideously dry conditions this year :(

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  8. All lovely as always. A nice mix of bright and cheery and moody

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    1. Thanks Elaine. The mix was provided by Mother Nature who controls the bloom schedule ;)

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  9. Three lovely vases, Kris. I'm particularly liking the second one with its crisp, fresh elegance. Not to mention the dahlia/coleus combination in the third vase!

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    1. The purple and white combination is my personal favorite this week too, Amy.

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  10. All the vases are exquisite, and I love the use of the Pelargium foliage, it must have smelt lovely as you were making up the arrangement.

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    1. The scent of the Pelargonium foliage is a big plus, Noelle.

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  11. Dahlias can be very chameleon-like, can't they? Changing from bud to full-bloom in unexpected ways. Nice set this week, Kris. I think my favorite is the purple and white combination. I esp. like the variegated pelargonium and vitex foliage, for the added texture and color.

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    1. That Vitex is an underappreciated shrub, Eliza. It's MUCH more vigorous than the more common chaste tree.

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  12. Oh, that last one is such fun Kris! Love those colours together. Not garish at all, but very cheery!
    The Vitex and salvia are also lovely colours.

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    1. The plant with flowers like a Salvia is actually a Plectranthus but both species are in the same plant family, Lamiaceae.

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  13. Well you garden is perhaps not coming up roses all over Kris as the saying goes but is certainly coming up zinnias and dahlias big time. All great for vases and with your weather being unpredictable it makes sense to pick them. Oh I must find out more about the plectranthus. I followed your link to Annie's Annuals which suggests that it is suitable for growing in Zones 8-10 so should be ok here 😄

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    1. My garden has nary a rose to be found, Anna! I suspect that that Plectranthus would be even happier in your climate than mine. I killed it twice before I found what appears to be the right spot for it here. Coleus is now classified as part of the genus Plectranthus so, if you can grow them, I suspect you can grow Plectranthus ecklonii too.

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