Last week I complained that I thought I was in a rut with my dahlia-based flower arrangements. In response, my friend HB of Piece of Eden suggested that maybe I could try a minimalist or Ikebana-style arrangement if I felt stuck. I'm not good at minimalism when it comes to flowers, seemingly compelled to stuff everything I can find into most of my vases. The last of my dahlias have yet to bloom, although 'Breakout' is close; however, it occurred to me that maybe I could do something with my mutant 'Fairway Spur' Dahlias. I have two clumps of 'Fairway Spur' in my cutting garden, one of which is producing a large number of deformed - but interesting - blooms. So I used them for my first arrangement, which was also created as a nod to the early days of autumn.
|The form of the mutant dahlias vary somewhat but, in all cases, the inner petals fail to fully develop, and sometimes fail to develop at all. However, the bees seem to like them as the mutated form allows them to reach the nectar at the flower's central disk more easily. Thrip damage seems the most likely explanation for the deformities.|
|Back view: Hibiscus 'Haight Ashbury' provided the autumn flair|
|Top view: As I was arranging the flowers a tiny green grasshopper, perhaps 1/2 inch in size, hopped out of a flower. I tried to catch it but it got away and I couldn't find it. My husband wasn't amused.|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Sutera cordata (aka Bacopa), malformed Dahlia 'Fairway Spur', D. 'Summer's End'. Hibiscus acetosella 'Haight Ashbury', and Zinnia elegans 'Queen Lime Orange' and 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose'|
Last week I also swore I'd finally put together an arrangement centered around Dahlia 'Enchantress', which has been blooming for well over a month now without being included in an IAVOM lineup. Here it is:
|Dahlia 'Enchantress' usually grows taller than it has this year but I think it's stems have been held down (literally) by its neighbors|
It's feeling very fall-like here at the moment, or at least our version of fall with daytime temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70sF (20-23C). Working in the garden is downright comfortable, although I've earned some aches and pains in the process. We filled three jumbo-sized green bins last week (and I topped off two of a neighbor's bins as well). We've already stuffed two of the bins again this week and I fully expect the third to be full by the next waste recycling pickup date on Thursday as well. In addition, current predictions suggest that the El Niño climate pattern is likely to bring us significant rain again in the 2024 "water year" starting October 1st, perhaps not this fall, but in late winter and spring as was the case in the 2023 water year. The latest Weather West summary makes interesting reading about changes in the weather in California and the Pacific Northwest.
For more IAVOM creations, visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.
All material © 2012-2023 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party