Tag Archives: dahlia

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

Summer is in full swing. It has been hot. Grass is browning. Cicadas sing. All week rain clouds threaten but evaporate before release, while all around us heavy storms cause flooding and wind damage. Sunday, the skies finally spill.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

After admiring dahlias from many gardens the past few years I decided to take them more seriously. I’ve picked up a few tubers here and there before but without much success. A pass-along from garden club friend Libby did really well for a few years but failed to survive the 2018 winter, so I took action this spring and ordered a few. Many tubers did not grow, but I have high hopes for those that survived.

Fringed, snowy white Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ was the starting point of this arrangement. Nowhere near the reputed 6-7″ span, it still promises to be a nice addition to the garden.

Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Art Deco’ advertises a “sunset blend of coral pink, apricot and red.” These are barely open, but are small compared to the 4-5″ I hope they will aspire to.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ With Zinnia

I expected “cream and pale pink” Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Cafe Au Lait’ from the plant that produced the flower on the right front. Hope ‘Cafe Au Lait’ will materialize elsewhere because this one is not my vision.  The large pink bloom became the focal point of today’s design, edging out the cactus dahlia.

[The last dahilia in my order, Dahlia ‘David Howard,’ has lovely foliage but no blooms have opened yet. I just mention it here to help me with some record keeping. It is described as having “dark foliage and glowing, golden-apricot blossoms.”]

Zinnias have been slow to arrive this year. I planted seeds from a handful of different packets, but now am unsure of varieties. Most have not bloomed yet but the first to open reseeded from last year and I included several stems to fill out today’s arrangement. I also added a few lavender spikes of Liriope muscari.

Dinnerplate Dahlia and Zinnia

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia Semi Cactus ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladiolus (white)
Liriope muscari
Zinnia
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Shift

With gratitude 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.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Bouquet

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement using materials collected from our gardens.

Summertime flowers spill into each other throughout the borders.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Bouquet

Passalong dahlias and everlasting sweet peas are particularly lush this year.

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Dahlia – passalong from Libby

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ has been a star in the garden for several months. Echinacea too are having a good year, encouraged by frequent rain.

Tucked in the back–Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ and Echinacea

Most of the Lamb’s ear (another passalong) has long ago faded, but several fresh flowers are forming.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

A few gladioli are flowering here and there. This one is from last season. I planted quite a few new corms but they have not begun to bloom.

Sweet Pea, Dahlia and Gladiolus

 

Materials

Flowers
Dahlia
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial or Everlasting sweet pea)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Vase
Dark blue ceramic vase

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Bouquet

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us a chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her to discover what she and others found this week in their gardens to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Zinnias

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Monday brings the chance to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday, where the goal is simply to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

I made lots of simple arrangements last week for a family get-together but did not have time to photograph them most of them. One of my favorites was this earth tone ceramic pot filled with purple and green leaves of Canna, Purple Heart and Pink Muhly Grass interspersed with a few stems of Verbena bonariensis. This became the starting point for my today’s vase.

This vase was the foundation for this week's arrangement.

This vase was the foundation for this week’s arrangement.

After removing everything and discarding the Verbena bonariensis, I rinsed the leaves and the container and inserted a florist’s frog in the bottom.

Next I headed outdoors to gather Zinnias, currently the main source of color in my late summer garden. They are almost all orange or pink.

Zinnia sp.

Zinnia sp.

I found a couple of small Dahlia flowers as well.

Dahlia and Zinnia

Dahlia and Zinnia

To get started I placed the Canna leaves toward the back, then added a few of the tallest Zinnias, followed by the groups of Pink Muhly Grass.

Canna and Zinnia

Canna and Zinnia

A stem of Autumn Joy sedum from last week or maybe the week before, nicely filled a blank space and added a contrasting texture and some extra height.

After placing the rest of the flowers and Purple Heart, the arrangement seemed crowded. I trimmed away some of the foliage, rolled some leaves down and furled some vertically.

Sedum, Canna and Zinnia

Sedum, Canna and Zinnia

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials
Canna sp.
Dahlia sp.
Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ Autumn Joy (Stonecrop)
Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Purple Heart)
Zinnia

I placed the cheery Zinnia arrangement on a cherry table in the hallway, designed and crafted by our daughter, where the play of sunlight brightened and enriched the colors of the flowers.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. It is always fun to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Vivid Summer Color

Design From Above

Design From Above

Monday brings the chance to practice flower arranging by joining in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday, where the goal is simply to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Zinnias are usually reliable but this year very few of the seeds germinated. The plants that grew are very strong though and the colors, vibrant. Several of my favorite deep orange ones opened yesterday so they form the basis of this week’s arrangement. I added a couple of pink zinnias and a salmon one as well, all that were blooming today.

Zinnia and Angelonia

Zinnia and Angelonia

 

There is plenty of Angelonia blooming, making it an easy choice for filler flowers.

Zinnia and Angelonia

Zinnia and Angelonia

Zinnia and Angelonia

Zinnia and Angelonia

I chose the dark pink Angelonia and I really like the way it pairs with the orange zinnia, but in retrospect white would have provided better contrast in the overall arrangement.

The similarity of color tone in today’s flowers made it hard to achieve a good range of light and dark in the design. It is easier for me to see this when I squint at photographs than while arranging the flowers–something to keep in mind next time.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Dahlias are blooming sporadically. I was able to find a couple of dark burgundy ones as well as a sprig of Purple heart foliage. Their contribution to the design is best observed when viewing the vase from overhead.

Zinnia, Angelonia, Dahlia, Purple heart and Sweet pea

Zinnia, Angelonia, Dahlia, Purple heart and Sweet pea

I also included a couple of stems of Gomphrena or globe amaranth from a patio planter.  The Gomphrena seems to love the heat. A passalong Perennial Sweet Pea, which has bloomed well all summer, and a salmon-hued Pelargonium, which has not, round out the choice of flowers.

Sweet pea, Gomphrena, Zinnia, Pelargonium, Angelonia

Sweet pea, Gomphrena, Zinnia, Pelargonium, Angelonia

 

Materials
Angelonia ‘Rose’
Angelonia ‘Serenita Raspberry’
Dahlia sp.
Gomphrena globosa (Globe amaranth)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Pelargonium × hortorum ‘Rocky Mountain Salmon’ (Zonal geranium)
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (Purple Heart)
Zinnia

 

From above: Zinnia, Angelonia, Dahlia and Purple heart

From above: Zinnia, Angelonia, Dahlia and Purple heart

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

Gravitating Back To The Garden

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) in Western Border

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower) in Western Border

Autumn arrived this past week bringing a succession of cooler days and rain, lots of steady rain. Fortunately Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower), a native which reached over 10 feet tall before finally blooming about five days ago, managed to withstand the rain without falling over.

Yesterday the sun returned and I felt the pull to get busy in the garden again.

For many months I have often felt disengaged from my garden and as a result the flower beds have wandered through spring and summer with only minimal maintenance. But recently I took some time to enjoy the garden and my outlook changed.

Yesterday and today the weather was so pleasant, we ate every meal outdoors overlooking the borders. This morning while talking to our daughter in California, I sat in the garden on the bench next to a group of tall, colorful zinnias . As we chatted the birds chattered also and the chimes sounded gently in the breeze.

Looking around the last couple of days I noticed how things are still very green and how, despite my inattention, the garden continues to work well as a peaceful respite, at least when I take time for it.  Before long I really wanted to get to work, so this afternoon I spent a few hours cleaning up, trimming away some overgrown spots and pulling lots of weeds.  The time passed quickly and quietly—it was very satisfying. It is not that I have not kept up with some of the essential chores all along, it is rather that today I felt connected again.

Last spring I planted a dahlia at the back of the western border, thinking it was going to grow very tall. It grew slowly and soon got lost behind more aggressive players: Tradescantia, Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’, Physostegia virginians (Obedient plant), and a recently blooming, tiny white daisy-like flower I believe to be native Boltonia asteroides (false aster) or perhaps it could be native Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster).

Dahlia peeking out above Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster)

Dahlia peeking out above Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster)

I gave the dahlia some breathing room and placed a peony ring around it for support—better late than never perhaps.

Dahlia After the Cleanup

Dahlia After the Cleanup

Here is another embarrassing, entangled planting to the left of the dahlia. My goal was to pull up all of these plants today, but first I wanted some before images. As soon as I entered the border to take pictures I noticed a colorful orange and black butterfly that seemed not to mind the weedy, unruliness of this area.
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

As I moved in with my camera it alighted on an echinacea and I realized it was not a monarch as I had hoped it might be. I did not recognize this butterfly.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Nectaring On Echinacea

I managed one more photo as it prepared to take off. Tentatively I identified it as American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), but would appreciate help in confirming it.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Preparing For Take-off

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Preparing For Take-off

In the end I pulled up most of these plants, but the false aster (if that is indeed what it is) was teeming with wasps and bees, so I felt I should leave them some food.

Wasp on Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster)

Boltonia asteroides (false aster)

Symphyotrichum pilosum (frost aster)

I hope my gardening enthusiasm lasts for a while. Blue skies and lower humidity really help.

In A Vase On Monday—Bold Colors

In A Vase On Monday-6

Another week has passed and it is time again to join in Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday. The goal is to fill a vase using materials gathered in one’s own garden.

After going many weeks without precipitation, rain arrived overnight. Today we are having a series of steady downpours alternating with light misty showers. The entire garden seemed especially bright and colorful when I dashed outside around lunchtime to gather some flowers.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) has been blooming profusely this summer and I had been planning to feature it by itself in this week’s vase.  Plans changed when I found some compatible companions.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Multicolored Lantana camara (Common lantana) in foreground

After collecting the lantana, I remembered seeing one flower on the (either misnamed or mislabeled) Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’ that was planted this spring. The purplish-burgundy blossom was still in fine condition even after the rain. I felt the strong, bold color of this flower could work well against that of the lantana.

As the dahlia stem was quite short it dictated using a small, narrow neck vase today.

Dahlia 'Blue Bell'

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’

Nearby the dahlia is planted a hybrid Big Sky Sundown Echinacea that has produced blooms sparsely this summer. Luckily there were two available for my vase day. The sunset coloring of this echinacea’s petals coordinates easily with that of the multi-hued lantana florets. The dark center echoes the deep vibrancy of the dahlia.

With the dahlia in mind I also chose purple succulent leaves of Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart) for accent foliage.

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)

 

I love the rich, bold colors in today’s vase.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate these flowers.

Rich, vibrant colors dominate today’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Materials

Dahlia ‘Blue Bell’
Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ (Hybrid Coneflower)
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Setcreasea pallida (Purple Heart)

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase On Monday

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Discover what delightful things she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.