Tag Archives: dahlia

Happy Halloween

Dahlias From The Garden

Happy Halloween, inspired by pumpkins and peppers from neighbors alongside numerous fading Dahlia ‘David Howard’.

Dahlias From The Garden

These flowers were gathered and photographed two weeks ago. On this last day of October only an odd dahlia here or there is left in the garden, but it was a satisfying year for dahlias.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Next year I hope to try new types and colors. These are the ones grown this year and last.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia sp. (lilac is unknown variety)

Dahlias From The Garden

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlias From The Garden

Wishing you a great weekend!

Yesterday’s Garden

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

As soon as I noticed the ginger lily in bloom yesterday I began photographing it until a soft breeze sent the lemony sweet fragrance my way. It was a reminder to pause and appreciate.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

I gathered dahlias yesterday and finally decided it was time to cut some zinnias too, the latest zinnia harvest I’ve known.

Dahlias and Zinnias

Dahlias and Zinnias

There have been Eastern Tiger Swallowtails in the garden all week, enough that I finally didn’t feel the urge to take more pictures. The first Painted Lady butterfly I have seen this year appeared on lantana late afternoon.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

The number of Fiery and Ocola skippers has declined dramatically over the past two weeks, but I don’t often see Zabulon Skippers, at least that I can identify, but this is one, a female. I encountered it accidentally, thinking it was a Silver-Spotted on I had been following.

Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Late August Garden

I have promised myself someday I will return to painting (but this month I did not).

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Waterlogue. Vibrant

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Waterlogue. Vibrant

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Waterlogue. Rainy

Southern Border

Waterlogue. Rainy

Tulbaghia (society garlic)

Waterlogue. Rainy

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Waterlogue. Rainy

Zinnia

Waterlogue. Bold

Zinnia

Waterlogue. Rainy

Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

Waterlogue. Bold

Sunday Morning Musings

Dahlia sp.

Brief though it was I just experienced my first earthquake.   I noticed, wondered, then forgot all about it until I saw some news reports that confirmed a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported in Sparta, North Carolina, and felt across the Triangle at around 8 a.m. According to the U. S. Geological Survey database the this is the second strongest earthquake to occur in NC since 1900. The strongest was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake near Skyland, NC in February 1916.

The earthquake bookends a week that began with approaching Hurricane Isaias.  Here in central North Carolina we were spared any problems. We had some rain, mostly on Monday, the day before the hurricane made landfall on the coast. By Tuesday afternoon with the weather cleared, the only affected area in my garden was the Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower). Its stems were bent horizontal and its yellow petals had been stripped, leaving exposed the green cone heads.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

We continued to have brief thunderstorms through the week. On Wednesday morning the flowers which struggle so much during the hot days looked much refreshed. Cerinthe, for example, is much wilted by day’s end but gives no sign of the stress after nourishment from the rain overnight.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Rabbits are still driving me crazy but from a second planting of zinnias I finally had one flower open yesterday from a second sowing.

Zinnia (first of 2020)

There is a 15 by 3-foot strip along the fence that was supposed to host the zinnias. Can you see the rabbit sitting in the very spot the seedlings were nibbled to oblivion? I think this is a descendent of the original culprit. I don’t know how many generations there are in one summer but I found two the day I took this picture and one was really tiny.

Run, Rabbit, Run

There is not much satisfaction in chasing the rabbit. It only goes a short distance and waits. He did at last “high tail it” to the other side of the garden!

Run, Rabbit, Run

There were a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails in the garden, lingering longer this week than last among the butterfly bush, verbena bonariensis and lantana. This one on purple coneflower seems to illustrate “life ain’t been no bowl of cherries.” I once was given that title as a prompt for a writing assignment. The expression is stuck in my head lately after recently receiving a surprise in the mail—a packet of themes returned to me by my ninth grade English teacher. Though the “bowl of cherries” paper was not among them, still that phrase crops up every once in a while, as it did when I spotted the poor swallowtail.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Here is the dark form. They both are female.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

I’ve seen a lot of Fiery and Ocola skippers this summer and finally spotted one that looks a bit different.  I think it is [ 8-9-2020 update: Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)  Lerema accius (Clouded Skipper).]

Lerema accius (Clouded Skipper)

A duskywing raced among verbena bonariensis flower heads (I couldn’t get a decent photo). Tentatively I have identified it as Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae).

Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)

This Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) perched on the favorite bamboo stake near dahlias, steering clear of me as much as it could until it finally allowed a few shots.

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

Nearby on the fence sat a strange insect, rather large and ominous.   iNaturalist is very helpful in identifying most of the visitors that show up in the garden. This is Red-footed Cannibal Fly (Promachus rufipes), a species of robber flies.

Red-footed Cannibal Fly (Promachus rufipes)

I saw four social media posts this week featuring a new introduction, Phlox paniculata ‘Jeana’. All reports indicate this lavender pink phlox is truly a butterfly magnet. I looked it up and found also in its favor is its excellent resistance to powdery mildew.  I would like a color other than pink but maybe I will give this one a try. I have failed multiple times to establish garden phlox in colors other than pink P. ‘Robert Poore’.  Never have white-flowered P. ‘David’ or ‘White Flame’ nor the dark magenta purple P. ‘Nicky’ made it through one season in my garden.

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

We watched an interesting movie this week called The Gardener, which is a lovely tribute to Frank Cabot’s vision and passion in creating a twenty-acre English style private garden in Canada. Cabot founded the nonprofit The Garden Conservancy.

Gardens bring surprises. A single rose bloomed unexpectedly this week on Virgie’s passalong.

Virgie’s Rose

Most of the flowerheads on Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea) turned completely brown during July’s searing heat and no rain. It would be nice to see it one year covered in flowers turning red.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hummingbirds are becoming even more plentiful lately. They used to make morning rounds to sip from salvias and now show up more frequently throughout the day. This redbud branch is a favorite perch. Sometimes when I am in the garden I forget to look up. Do you know that feeling when you finally do glance skyward?

Hummingbird

Sunday Album – Early Morning Light

Early Morning LIght – Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’; Dahlia, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

A little over three months ago I would have risen early on Sunday morning and prepared to teach a gentle yoga class, which I always concluded with a guided meditation. Some classes are resuming this week but on a limited schedule and with a much different format. I feel it will be a long time before I am back in that world, although I am optimistic it will happen.

I spent this early morning photographing the garden in the midst of calm and solitude. Quiet but for birds running through their morning routine. Even bees were asleep.  There is a clarity the garden invites, a stillness not still. Presence, knowing, awareness. The garden makes it possible.

Our house faces east and hides the morning sun from the back garden. Light slips in first from either side softly tapping the back fence and working its way into the western border.

Western Border – Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ and Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Here is one of the sleeping bees.

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ and D. ‘Labyrinth’; Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Southern Border – Sweet Pea and Daylily

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Western Border – Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hope your Sunday has been full of light

In A Vase On Monday – Café au lait

 

In A Vase On Monday – Café au lait

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Finally a Dahlia ‘Café au lait’ bloomed true to its promise. We are very close to our first freeze in central North Carolina and so this may be the only one the garden produces this year.

In A Vase On Monday – Café au lait

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Café au lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Blue Wave (6.5″W x 6.5″L x 2″H)

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Today’s vase began as a feature of pink chrysanthemums and camellias and purple cleome. Unfortunately the camellias proved fragile, with all but one losing their petals as soon as I began arranging. Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’ has been blooming for a couple weeks. Perhaps it will cooperate better another time.

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

There were not enough of my passalong Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ to complete the arrangement. Fortunately I had collected and conditioned an assortment of other flowers, enough to cobble together a finished look. It resembles nothing of the delicate design I had envisioned, but it does illustrate the fair variety of blooms still showing up in the garden the last week of October.

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

Materials
Flowers
Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow)
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Camellia sasanqua ‘Hana-Jiman’
Chrysanthemum ‘Sheffield Pink’ (Hardy Chrysanthemum)
Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Zinnia
Foliage
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary)
Container
Ceramic vase

In A Vase On Monday – Fall Fusion

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.  Some of today’s flowers are from my garden, zinnias and a few small dahlias; the others grew a few hundred feet nearby.

This past week several sets of neighbors brought us flowers, lovely surprises. The friendliness and generosity of the gestures left us overwhelmed and grateful.  Does anyone still write sentences like, “Such fun I had” and get away with it? Well, such fun I had arranging two gifts of dahlias and another of chrysanthemums. Since mums are coming into bloom around the garden I will save them for another day and focus on dahlias.

The large dahlias in today’s vase were grown by neighbor Eileen, an excellent gardener and first-time dahlia grower.  (Somewhere she has their names recorded and I will try to update them later.) Eileen babied her plants all summer with spectacular results.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

When my neighbor offered me these dahlias Sunday how could I resist? She even conditioned them for me and brought them to the back door. Choosing a container was difficult, eventually I settled on a black raku pot with a red accent in the front. At first I hid the red accent to feature  the orange and black.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Then I rotated the container to return the red accent to front center. I had deliberately used red zinnias along with the orange-sherbet-looking dahlias and decided the red in the pot worked fine with the flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (apricot orange)
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ (sunrise/sunset)
Dahlia (names unknown)
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

I mentioned we received several bouquets this week. The first gift, also of dahlias from Eileen’s garden, was Tuesday. I made several arrangements and photographed them together and apart, swooning all the while.

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Eileen’s Dahlias

Later that evening I noticed some of my small dahlias from last week’s Monday vase had begun to fade, so I began replacing them with the larger dahlias. Before long I had refashioned the entire thing. This may be my favorite vase I’ve designed. My husband and I enjoyed this arrangement all week, marveling at the size, structure and color of the flowers.

Last Week’s Monday Vase Reinvented

Having such a generous quantity of materials for floral designs is fairly rare. As fall moves ahead this past week has felt like a celebration.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

This is not the best photo but I include it to illustrate the size of today’s final arrangement, posed here beside a few other raku pots by the same artist.

In A Vase On Monday – Garden Gifts

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Finally an abundance of cuttings from Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ inspired me to assemble something more lush.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Sublime

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’ (apricot orange)
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ (sunrise/sunset)
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ (white)
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Gladiolus
Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)
Container
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.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Colors

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

These are the same flowers and colors I used throughout summer, same ones I addressed with summery titles.  But today they feel autumnal.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

We’ve had a retreat from the unforgiving heat.  Last week this area set a record high temperature for the month of October, 100 degrees F.; Saturday saw highs in the 60s; today should reach 82. It is still very dry.

The white semi-cactus Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ is blooming better, I assume a result of the cooler nights.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Zinnias and dahlias responded to a small amount of hand watering this week. They are a lesson in resilience.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Gardenia ‘August Beauty’ is reblooming but tiny black insects make the flowers undesirable to bring indoors.  The rich green foliage though is fresh and makes a perfect foil to the fading dusky colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Autumn Mix

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Container
Hand thrown ceramic bowl, periwinkle blue glaze

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Pattern And Shape

In A Vase On Monday – Pattern And Shape

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

With still not a drop of rain for weeks zinnias and dahlias are no longer producing enough blooms for generous, overflowing arrangements.

Switching gears today, I concentrated on using leaves of a tulip poplar that volunteered in the yard this summer. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The tulip tree is one of the largest of the native trees of the eastern United States, known to reach the height of 191.9 feet (58.49 meters)[4] with a trunk 1–2 m (4–6 ft) in diameter.” In other words this tree had no business sprouting up under my deck.

In A Vase On Monday – Pattern And Shape

Actually I am very fond of tulip poplars, remembering long summer days under one at my childhood home. That was a beautiful tree that eventually succumbed to Hurricane Fran in 1996. Another tulip poplar imprinted in my memory grew in woods behind our Wave Road house where we raised our daughter.  Unpacking our car one year after returning from vacation we saw the tree had been struck by lightning, scorched from top to toe.

The leaf form is simple and strong, as broad as tall, stretching 5-6 inches. I envisioned and tried a variety of ways to use the collected leaves but found all more challenging than there was time to come to clear resolution. I settled on one leaf, one dahlia.

The container is blown glass, asymmetrical with alternating bands of blue and green color. its top is loosely pinched together leaving just a small narrow opening.

In A Vase On Monday – Pattern And Shape

Today’s vase has me thinking of shape, pattern, positive and negative space and a touch of nostalgia.

In A Vase On Monday – Pattern And Shape

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’ (?) (sold as Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’)
Foliage
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Poplar)
Container
Glass vase

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.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Autumn slipped in with cooler temperatures for a few days last week, but summer persisted. No rain, no rain is the garden’s sad mantra. Week after week the skies are unable to weep.

Dahlias and zinnias, mainstays of the summer garden have given notice.  The plants signal distress through browning leaves and withering stems, giving fair warning they are tired, they are tired. And yet they put on another smile and get through the show one more time.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

The red zinnia palette inspires this week’s vase.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

A few stems of Buddleja and garden phlox bring a hint of purple and varying form.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ is a white semi-cactus beauty that is finally beginning to produce more flowers. Its strong personality adds a vivacious boost to the vase. I read it is an old variety, bred in 1953 and its name means “messenger from the moon.”

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Just ripening Callicarpa berries and foliage make an attractive filler.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Dahlia ‘David Howard’ and ‘Gallery Art Deco’ effortlessly blend into the mix.

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’
Zinnia
Foliage
Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – September Color and Form

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Posy Poses

In A Vase On Monday – Posy Poses

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

This week I pondered what else to do with dahlias and zinnias, the two summer staples of my still very dry garden this year. Both have a “cut and come again” nature that keeps the house filled with fresh flowers.

Zinnias had the limelight last week so I limited today’s offerings to simple monochromatic posies using my two most productive dahlias: Dahlia ‘David Howard’ and D. ‘Gallery Art Deco.’ Without producing rain, cloudy overcast skies have teased relentlessly, making it a challenge to capture the flowers at their best, but I hope you can see the earnest expressions of beauty on their faces.

In A Vase On Monday – Posy Poses

I admire D. ‘David Howard’ for its apricot-orangey color range and the subtle softness of its rounded petals. Its dark foliage is also an asset. This matte-glazed vase in complementary blue came from an Eno Festival artist many years ago.

In A Vase On Monday – Posy Poses

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

D. ‘Gallery Art Deco’ is pretty as a sunset. Its petals are slightly twisted with pointed tips.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

For this quick arrangement I placed a spray of gaura into the floral pin of a favorite Ikebana vase, followed by a few stems of D. ‘Gallery Art Deco’ and a Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’

In A Vase On Monday – Posy Poses

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’ and Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
Foliage
Container
Small matte-glazed blue ceramic vase
Porcelain Ikebana vase. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

First an update from last week: Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ was indeed mislabelled. The vendor suggested Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’ mistakenly was shipped instead. In spring I will receive a replacement for the order. Thanks for your helpful comments and suggestions about it.

This week’s vase is a mixed bouquet of late summer flowers presented in a basket.  Reflecting the shape of the basket, I fashioned a (mostly) round table design.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Zinnias predominate.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket. This dark wine-colored zinnia is a stand-out.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket.  A dahlia peeks out in front among a sea of zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

Most of my vases are designed to be viewed in front. That takes less time and requires fewer flowers. But there were lots of dahlias and zinnias available this week, so it was a good chance to experiment with creating a view all around.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

I should have considered stem length of the materials on hand in relation to the size of the basket and cut longer stems, especially dahlia stems. In trying too hard to preserve future blooms, I had skimped. The result is most of the dahlias I gathered were too short to be included, so they are scattered in little vases outside of today’s feature. They are still enjoyable but my thrift left me shy of flowers needed to assemble the design easily.

I had to compensate by using all the zinnias in bloom with less choice about color. Some of the zinnias were also too short, but I think in the end the basket of flowers turned out fine—an explosion of seasonal color.

The irregular heights lend a more casual, informal quality to this week’s vase, in keeping with the basket theme. That’s my story anyway, though I see no reason to resort to using a Sharpie to prove it.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

I purchased baby’s breath for use as a light and airy filler. Included along with it from my garden are sky blue salvia and rosy gaura. Underpinnings of silvery artemisia and lavender serve as concealer foliage.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

 

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Gypsophila (Baby’s breath)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ellagance’
Container
Round woven basket with handle

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Late Summer In A Basket

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Still Life

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Still Life

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

My Cafe Au Lait Dahlias seem distant cousins to the luscious creamy ones I’ve seen on other garden blogs for a few years. The description from the vendor suggests “lovely, cream and pale pink flowers” but these are not the dreamy ones I expected. Has anyone else seen this much variation or do I actually have a different dahlia? An imposter?

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Still Life

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

I am enjoying the semi-cactus Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ although this one struggles a bit in my garden. It probably would like more water, which it may get if Hurricane Dorian arrives as expected this week.

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Materials
Flowers
Canna ‘Semaphore’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Foliage
Canna leaves
Containers
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches); white glass globe.

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

The flowers this week are similar to those in last Monday’s vase, but rather than zinnias, dahlias are in the limelight. Dahlia ‘David Howard’ is the featured flower in today’s design. It has a gorgeous sunny apricot-orange color.

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

The serendipity of an orange canna coming into bloom today supports the dahlias’ golden sunrise quality.

Canna ‘Semaphore’

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

I imagined the design to be a crescent. The crescent design’s Hogarth Curve is based on an S-shape, which I lost track of as I progressed through the development.  During the photo shoot I moved around the canna leaves several times, eventually removing one of them. And the canna flower opened further opened during the day. It is worth noting flowers continue through the life cycle in an arrangement and the design is affected by that shift.

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

Zinnias add zest, textures and color. I do not have umbels, like ammi, in the garden but their softening effect I think is what this design longs for; perhaps eucalyptus would be effective as well.  Nevertheless, these flowers themselves are intrinsically beautiful and it is satisfying to be able to grow them in my humble garden.

Materials
Flowers
Canna ‘Semaphore’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnias
Foliage
Canna leaves
Container
Cut Glass Pedestal Dish

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

In A Vase On Monday – Apricot Orange

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden encourages us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.  I am reluctant to show all the weeds in mine, so that leaves dahlias and zinnias for today, along with a few Espresso gladioli like the one in last week’s vase.

I actually managed an hour of weeding one morning and continue to dream the garden will be reclaimed eventually. There were dark storm clouds every night and twice we actually received rain, though we need much more. It has been hot, hot , hot—and humid. Dahlias are thirsty. Zinnias are thrilled.

There are some beautiful red zinnias this year and I gathered as many of them and other red flowers as were available, at first conceiving a woven basket of summer flowers for this week’s In A Vase On Monday. The result ended up being more formal when I shifted direction and selected a favorite Chrisco’s Pottery vase instead. The pot stands 8 inches tall and is decorated with a black matte and glossy sgraffito design.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Flower hues include the deep red, magenta, reddish-orange, apricot and coral.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

There is also a sassy orange cactus zinnia that I really enjoy.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

The focus flower is Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ and features fringed white petals.

In A Vase On Monday – Red Hot Summertime

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gladioli ‘Espresso’
Zinnias
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Container
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

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.

In A Vase On Monday – Espresso

Gladioli ‘Espresso’

Beginning in early July I took time away from garden blogging and each Monday since I felt a gentle tug knowing Cathy from Rambling In The Garden and many others of you were sharing vases highlighting your garden flowers and foliage.

Time passed, just over a month, with many visits from friends and family and a much wanted trip to the beach. Family health issues continue to be a priority but there is improvement and breathing room. I have taken hundreds of pictures of the garden, dahlias and zinnias and butterflies, writing posts in my head without a chance to publish them. Last week I started scanning blogs again and today I couldn’t resist sharing this exquisite gladiolus. I have watched it open over the past few days—it may be the prettiest one I have ever grown.

Gladioli ‘Espresso’

It is always difficult to capture the essence of red flowers but perhaps you can sense the rich hue and chocolatey accents.

Gladioli ‘Espresso’

Materials
Flowers
Gladioli ‘Espresso’
Foliage
Philodendron
Container
Ceramic ikebana vase, 3 integrated ceramic tubes, built-in stem holders

A rejuvenating walk along the North Carolina shore washed away a lot of worries.

Morning Walk Along Atlantic Beach

My friend’s house where I stayed with college friends recently is located on a saltwater creek at Harker’s Island. The osprey babies are gone but the parents continue to enjoy the nest.

Harker’s Island

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 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.