Monday, September 13, 2021

In a Vase on Monday: A few more dahlias

The dahlias are oh so slowly making an appearance.  There are more buds each week, although the plants still haven't delivered an overwhelming number of blooms and, at this point in the season, it's unlikely that I'm going to see an end-of-season extravaganza but I can hope...

My first arrangement features a single bloom of Dahlia 'Summer's End'.  I'd initially planned to combine it with other dahlias but in the end I decided it had more impact with a collection of supporting players in harmonious colors. 

'Summer's End' is called a water lily dahlia because it resembles a water lily in form.  I complemented its soft peach color with other plants that echoed that color.

Back view: I just happened to notice that the berries of Auranticarpa rhombifolium were ripening.  Including stems of Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange' as a filler was a no-brainer.

Top view

Clockwise from the upper left: Agonis flexuosa 'Nana', Auranticarpa rhombifolium, Leucadendron salignum 'Summer Red', Dahlia 'Summer's End', Eriocapitella hupehensis (aka Japanese anemone), Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream, and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Orange'

I collected flowers of two dahlias in the 'Cafe au Lait' series, thinking to combine them but, the more flowers and foliage I collected to accent them, the more I disliked the pairing.  So I ended up with two separate arrangements, the first of which stars the creamy blooms of Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait'.

The Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait' blooms, especially the one on the lower right, are somewhat distorted.  The upper part of the lower bloom didn't fully open.  Both dahlias were full of ants, which I spent time carefully flushing out with water.  I checked online and found that, while ants won't cause any damage to dahlia blooms, their presence suggests that there may be an aphid problem and aphids can damage dahlia plants.

I dressed up the back of the arrangement with colorful coleus foliage (Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Dragon Heart')

Top view
 
Clockwise from the upper left: Correa 'Ivory Bells' (aka Australian fuchsia), Dahlia 'Care au Lait', noID Gladiolus, Leptospermum 'Copper Glow', Plectranthus scutellarioides 'Dragon Heart', and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Red Lime'

The two blooms of Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' I'd already cut ended up in a third arrangement, with a few stems of Dahlia 'Enchantress' thrown into the mix to flesh it out.  Once 'Enchantress' starts blooming, she never hits the pause button.

Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' changes a lot as the flower matures, starting off a dark purple infused with pink and fading to a much paler pink

Back view, showing the splashier Dahlia 'Enchantress'

Top view

Top row: Angelonia 'Archangel White', Cosmos bipinnatus, and Gomphrena decumbens 'Itsy Bitsy'
Middle row: Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait Royal' in its later and earlier colors
Bottom row: Dahlia 'Enchantress' and Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata'

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



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

34 comments:

  1. It's amazing that Dahlia 'Summer's End', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream and Zinnia elegans, have the exact color scheme (in slightly different distribution)! Even the ripening berries joined in the symphony. Happy to see Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' back in the mix... I love this little plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took advantage of the fact that I haven't done a good job keeping 'Itsy Bitsy' under control this summer and dug out some of the dried blooms this weekend to collect seed. I couldn't find specific instructions on growing this particular Gomphrena species from seed but I'll try following the instructions provided for other species within the genus. The seeds apparently have a relatively low germination rate and the seedlings can be fragile but I plan to give growing it from seed a try!

      Delete
  2. That first might be my favorite ever. Anemones! Berries! Australians! So much goodness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I'm glad you enjoyed it. The combination was pure serendipity.

      Delete
  3. The top view of the first one shows all sorts of hidden delights!! I rather like that Queen Lime Orange zinnia �� So pleased to read that your dahlias just keep on given - and no doubt glorious even when you are not putting them in a vase. Three lovely vases again, Kris, thanks for sharing them with us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the dahlias have been quite miserly with their blooms thus far, Cathy, but that perception may reflect their very late start this year. Only 'Enchantress', 'Gitt's Crazy' and 'Akita' have truly impressed me.

      Delete
  4. Love the purple arrangement with that itsy bitsy gomphrena. Wondering if your Cafe Au Lait dahlia is an imposter? Cafe Au Lait has smokey tints and somewhat wavy/curved pointed petals not rounded like yours are showing. Several of the dahlias I purchased this year are also not who they claim to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought 'Cafe au Lait" as a plant from a well-known SoCal garden center but I suppose they can end up with imposters as easily as the rest of us. The flowers are definitely "off" but my suspicion was that this was due to some kind of insect-caused damage to the plant.

      Delete
  5. Zinnia elegans 'Queen Red Lime' really caught my attention in the overhead view with the Cafe au Lait. I agree sometimes it helps to separate flowers that don't work together into another vase. Love the colors in the first vase--envious of your beautiful 'Summer's End'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always loved the water lily type dahlias myself, although this is the first I've grown in many years.

      Delete
  6. I wonder if your Plectranthus has also been moved to Coleus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My understanding is that the Coleus classification has been "retired" with most of those plants moved to the Plectranthus classification (following an interim reclassification as Solenostemon scutellarioides). You can find one reference to that change here: https://www.epicgardening.com/coleus/ . However, there still seems to be a great deal of confusion on the subject.

      Delete
  7. No Dahlias here, for various reasons, so thanks for sharing yours. The Coleus really adds pizzazz to its arrangement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coleus plants have the most interesting and colorful foliage you can find in my opinion, Beth. I've always thought they needed coddling (which to me means lots of water and protection from the sun) but I've been very impressed by how resilient some of the newer varieties I've tried have proven to be.

      Delete
  8. Loving your dahlias - interesting to see the deformed Cafe au Lait. Mine have been plagued with cucumber beetles this year... rather annoying they way they hide out and chew holes in the petals!
    Beautiful arrangements, as always, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen a cucumber beetle and I hope I never do, Eliza! I've heard all sorts of stories about them decimating one plant or another. I'll happily buy my cucumbers at the market rather than face yet another obnoxious pest in the garden.

      Delete
    2. I never grow cucumbers, but they came anyway. Misnamed, methinks!

      Delete
    3. Probably. Not many insects specialize to that degree!

      Delete
  9. Those color combinations are fabulous; the dahlia and grevillea look like they were made for each other, along with the zinnias. All your dahlias look so luscious... I may have to try dahlias here at some point, though I want to get the really drought-tolerant structural plants in first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dahlias are luscious, Amy, but they do want a LOT of water once the plants sprout. I keep most of mine grouped together in my cutting garden so they get the water they need without lavishing that scarce resource on a lot of other plants that can get by on far less.

      Delete
  10. All 3 arrangements and inspiring, Kris! I am so impressed with the first arrangement. Dahlia 'Summer's End', Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream and Zinnia ‘Queen Lime Orange’ as well as those A. berries are meant to be together! Gomphrena ‘Itsty Bitsy’ is heavenly with Dahlia ‘Entrantress.’ Thanks to you, this is my 2nd year of the Gomphrena, and it is impressive how fast and tall and wide it grew in a container with other plants. Needless to say, I also love your Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime.’ Did you grow these Zinnias from seed? I noticed that Annie’s was selling them back in spring. As always, thanks for the inspirations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I grew all the zinnias in the 'Queen Lime' and 'Benary's Giant' series from seed. Not only are the varieties prettier than those you find in our local garden centers but, in my opinion, they also perform a lot better when started from seed rather than plugs. However, for my part, an earlier start would have been a good idea this year!

      Delete
  11. Should have typed “all 3 arrangements are inspiring, Kris!
    BTW: my first 2 ‘Cafe au Lait’ blooms also opened lopsided and smaller than I expected. A 3rd one should open within the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wondered if you'd have a similar problem with the 'Cafe au Lait' given that our plants came from the same source, Kay. There's definitely something wonky going on there. Given the references I read to a possible ant-aphid link, I sprayed just a little insecticidal soap on that dahlia's emerging buds last evening even though I couldn't see any aphids.

      Delete
  12. That zinnia in the first vase goes beautifully with your dahlia. And such lovely colours altogether for the end of summer. 😃

    ReplyDelete
  13. I do love Japanese anemone. We had a lovely big stand of them in my family home and they came up year in, year out. Lovely to see yours and I particularly love your Queen Red Lime zinnia - great colours (and of course itsy bitsy!). Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Given our terribly dry conditions, worse than ever this year, I'm frankly shocked that the Japanese anemone, inherited with the garden, is alive much less blooming. But then it's near the ginkgo tree planted earlier this year so it may have benefited from the extra water I've given the tree. The pink Japanese anemones in the front garden, which also came with the garden, aren't doing nearly as well but at least they're not dead!

      Delete
  14. Che dire? Sono stupendi! Delle ottime combinazioni dove le dalie la fanno da padrona :)

    Ti mando un caro saluto!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh I do like your aptly named dahlia 'Summer's End' Kris and dahlia 'Cafe Au Lait Royal' in both it's guises. Are your dahlias particularly late in flowering this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they were very late in sprouting and seemingly also show to develop and bloom as well. I expect they got too little water early in their development and that I may have been more stingy with it than I should have been later as well.

      Delete
  16. Zinnia 'Queen Lime Orange' stole the show for me! After taking a couple of years off I think I'll need to grow zinnia again next spring.

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!