Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.
With dahlias and zinnias vying prolifically to outdo each other, the materials for my Monday vases have become redundant this summer. Yet Dahlias and zinnias meet, I think, the Oxford definition of sublime: of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe; and so they greet you once again this Monday morning.
I remain amazed at their persistence throughout the drought this summer. (We had light showers since late yesterday morning, for the first time since Hurricane Dorian brought a few sprinkles our way a month ago. We need more but it feels such a relief to experience rain again.)
I wanted to challenge myself to do something different with the design this week. Dahlia ‘David Howard’ has such a soft orange hue I chose to feature it in a favorite Jugtown pot given me by a dear friend. My vision was the dahlias would be loosely arranged, but I struggled to keep the stems in place. Three other flowers never made it into the vase—they fell apart as I began arranging, scattering petals and leaving a void I decided to embrace.
Next I experimented with a streamlined design using an Ikebana vase. It was temporary. Eventually I removed the flowers from it to use in a third vase, but did not take additional pictures. First to go was the large white dahlia. Interestingly I think without it the arrangement achieved greater balance. Soon I needed the little apricot zinnias too, leaving behind the simplicity of gardenia foliage in the blue vase.
Finally an abundance of cuttings from Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ inspired me to assemble something more lush.
There seemed to be plenty of stems until the project was well underway (thus the necessity to rob the previous vases). Probably I could have used twice as many flowers, but I made do.
To ensure that the placement of each stem remained secure I used floral foam attached to a small plastic dish. The added benefit is I could try several vases with the same arranged flowers. The plastic dish just sits on top of the vase. (It should be secured to the vase safety and definitely for transport, but I haven’t bothered here.)
A crystal pedestal candy dish seems a bit too small.
A red and black raku pot is more proportional to the dimensions of the flowers, though the red is a bit brash. I used an aubergine silk table runner as a backdrop as an attempt to blend all the colors.
The tiny size of the foraged zinnias add interest, their apricot color plays against that of the Art Deco petal highlights and centers. A couple of stems of pink everlasting sweet pea add unexpected spice to the color scheme.
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (apricot orange)
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ (sunrise/sunset)
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ (white)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery
Crystal candy dish
Olive green Jugtown vase
I’ve been reading up on how to dig dahlia tubers for storage over the winter. It looks rather daunting but I’ve enjoyed these dahlias so much I have to try. I will also save seeds and for inspiration will return to Chloris‘ advice to grow dahlias from seed.
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.
Wonderful! I love the slight clash of the red vase very much and the backdrop also makes it seem more dramatic. All the vases are pretty, but the last is my favourite. Beautiful flowers and so nicely photographed. 🙂 Good luck with digging up the dahlias. I grew some once in pots, but didn’rüt bother trying to keep them.
Thanks Cathy. Often I’ve put back that red vase because the color is so strong, but today the “clash” seemed to work. I’ve been smitten this year with dahlias and hope to increase the numbers I grow next year. I’m never actually very good at following through on garden chores like this though!
I could look at that while dahlia for hours, every time! I noticed the runner, and the board backdrop….what sort of lighting do you use? A flash? I rarely can get things right when shooting indoors.
I photograph using side lighting from a window and usually can make it work ok. This day it was way too bright and the iPhone camera had trouble capturing the starkness of the white dahlia against that very dark background, so not the best. Usually I have the opposite problem of trying to bring in light.
Thanks, it works well for you!
Such extravagant beauty and color for this late in the year. My pickings are slim now, but it is nice we can all enjoy each others flowers for a while yet.
We have cooler nights but it’s going to be 78 degrees today so the garden has a chance to keep going awhile. October 23 or so is our first frost date I believe.
Dahlias definitely fit that dictionary definition. I like the Ikebana display but think you are right that the wonderful white Dahlia is too much. But a fun change from the other style of bouquets.
With fewer elements each item in Ikebana has to be just right. A good discipline to explore though and fun.
I think the vase is perfect for this collection of blooms, Susie, and as always I am intrigued by your trial and error approach. What a great selection of dahlias and zinnias you have, and wonderful that they keep on giving. Even the few successful zinnias that I have have been all but neglected and even had a project going on all around them but they are still blooming happily – next year should be promising!
Thanks Cathy–it’s fun to play with flowers for a while and then set them aside to enjoy. I always feel I learn a little bit more from each vase I make. Glad your zinnias are contented. Enjoy and thanks for hosting.
You are very welcome, Susie
Stunning! D. ‘Gallery Art Deco’ looks wonderful, but Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ is a perfect focus.
Thanks. Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ got off to a slow start but is responding better to cooler weather.
Each and every arrangement is wonderful, Susie, although I agree that the larger one looks best in that fabulous red and black vase. I find myself envying that white dahlia more every time I see it. I’ve been hard-pressed to find sufficient white flowers in my garden this summer and fall. I need to keep that in mind when I order dahlia tubers next year.
Thank you Kris. White flowers are valuable in the garden, aren’t they? I’ve enjoyed this particular dahlia.
I covet the White Dahlia as well and was nodding my head when I read about you could use more flowers, I am constantly amazed at the number of stems I can put in a vase. I love the Lambs Ears – a wonderful use of the leaves for contrast, with the Dahlias and Zinnias!
Lovely arrangements, Susie. Nice to see the various vases and flowers. I love the small apricot zinnias…are they second flush or miniature to begin with? Do they have a cultivar name? Also love the color of D. ‘David Howard.’ Most sublime!
The zinnias must be in their 20th flush by now, but after extreme heat in September they became smaller. Sorry I haven’t recorded the zinnia names this year but I planted 4 or 5 different blends.
That is a great variety of beautiful dahlia blooms you have there so I’m guessing digging them up will only produce more for you next year.
Thanks Judy. Hope I can expand my stock of these. Of course I’d also like to try more different types of dahlias next year.
Lovely arrangement. Wasn’t the rain delightful? My garden seems content.
Yes it was great. We could use a lot more rain though. Thanks.
Dahlias and Zinnias–what’s not to love?! And that last vase with the red is perfect, especially with your adjustments. Very nice.
Ooh, I love the ‘David Howard’.
My favorite too.
Did you catch the title of Cathy’s vase? ‘Oranges and Lemons . . . ‘ then your ‘Sub lime’. I sort of like the simplicity of the second one best, even though it is just one in the process.
It’s hard to beat simplicity.
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