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.