Skip to main content

A feast of vases on Monday

I owe the dahlias in my vase this week an apology.  Firstly, I have no idea where they came from, and secondly, while I quite like dahlias, they are not at the top of my plant list.   The plants first appeared last year.  I can remember planting the pot up with bulbs (which have never flowered - Aldi bulbs - and I do know the difference between a bulb and a tuber!) but up popped several dahlia plants.  They flowered rather poorly, which is one reason why I banished them to a corner of the garden.  Sort of out of sight, out of mind.  However, this year they have been flowering over the past few weeks, but even so I have more or less ignored them.

I admire dahlias with their rich and beautiful colours, but otherwise I wouldn't choose to grow them.  The only dahlia I have ever, knowingly, bought is Bishop of Llandaff, and that was years ago.  So how I come to have these two, one apricot coloured dinner plate, and the other pinky yellow confection, is beyond me!  Maybe some mischievous garden elves crept in while my back was turned!  Anyway, there they are, doing their thing with vim and vigour.  Guilt has crept in, and I realise that I have neglected them shamelessly, so here they are in the limelight in my vase this week!  There are also a few stems of nepeta and some heather, which I picked in the hills the other day.  Oh, and one rudbeckia, which offers a serious dose of sunshine.
Seeing my dahlias here makes me realise how glamorous they are!  I think I will see them differently from now on.  (Still not keen on the pom pom variety though, too uptight!).
Following on from chat about asters last Monday, I realise that the painting on the wall in our kitchen is a vase of asters, so, with a little bit of licence, I am including photos of a picture I really love, painted by Emma Dunbar in 1990.
And last but not least, happily, the sweet peas are still smelling delicious!


  1. I think with all the Dahlia forms around there will be one to please most...don't the pleats in the petals look splendid. I love the pink one which is paler in the middle....I feel you are starting to mellow towards this plant which add a little perzazz to Autumn.

    1. Yes, I am definitely warming to dahlias! I like the single ones best so might explore finding one or two for next year!! A

  2. What a mystery - the 2 tone cactus dahlia looks especially pretty. Will you give them a bit more attention in future, or is that it for this year now?! Your sweet peas are lovely, and I am pleased to sat=y I have some later sown ones still flowering which I have learned from as I have never had sweet peas inSelate August or September before. The painting, though, is really really pretty - do you know the artist, and is it one you bought yourselves?

    1. Yes, I will try and look after them although draw the line at storing tubers! I suspect that is why I have not explored them much in the past! Can't really be bothered with all that stuff, but they should be fine as long as we don't have too bad a winter. I will wrap the pot with some garden grade bubble wrap - it's the least I can do after their wonderful show this year! Glad you like the painting. We have two of Emma Dunbar's paintings. I will wheel the other one out next spring when the daffodils are out! A little clue there! We don't know the artists and looking at her website now, her style has changed quite a bit! A

  3. Sweet peas in September would be impossible to even imagine here, Amanda! I used to roll my eyes at dahlias too. They were impossible to grow in the main borders of my garden but, when I started my cutting garden (which is watered relatively lavishly by comparison to the rest of my garden), dahlias were a revelation - they bloom well in late summer here, unlike virtually anything other than zinnias. I like the large-flowered, splashy varieties. Your pink and cream colored cactus type is right up my alley.

    1. Hooray! You've convinced me to stick with them! I must admit I am very taken with the big apricot one! She's quite a glamorous girl I think! It's certainly to have something showy for this time of the year because much of my gardening is in pots and they are all beginning to look tired now, at the end of a long hot summer (hot for Scotland anyway!!). A


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Coastal walk from Gullane to North Berwick

By the time I have walked about four miles, my toes are screaming at me - it's the arthritis, you see.  One of the joys of being that little bit older than I was.  However, for a long time, I have been keen to walk along the beaches, and follow the coastal path, between Gullane and North Berwick. So, having worked out the tide times, I decided today was the day, and off we went.
Below is our starting point, the bay at Gullane.  It's a lovely beach, very popular with dog walkers. This is looking east, the direction Tilly and I were going to take.
Looking back, up the Forth, the unmistakable bulk of Arthur's Seat, and Edinburgh's skyline, just clear enough to see.
For most of the walk, there is the choice between wandering along a series of beaches, or following a path along the top of each.
There's no denying it, at heart I am a shell-seeker.  I have loads of shells at home.  We lived on one of the out islands in the Bahamas for a just over a year, a long time ago, and …

A celebratory miniature vase on Monday

Cathy at, whose brainchild IAVOM (In A Vase On Monday) it is, has set us a challenge this week, to produce a miniature vase, no bigger than 6"/15cm tall or wide, to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the weekly Monday post.

I have used an eggcup, with egg, to give some scale to my offering this week.  The nasturtiums have survived a couple of frosts and some cold nights, but possibly not for much longer.  I picked the smallest flowers I could find to fit in a tiny porcelain vase, which is almost completely spherical with a circular off-centre opening.  It was made by a friend from long ago, Ingrid Atkinson, who I have not seen for about thirty years.  She used to live and work as a ceramicist in West Meon, in Hampshire.

The flowers may be small, but they still pack a colourful punch!
We also have another tiny porcelain vase made by the late Austrian-born British ceramics artist Lucie Rie.  Today's challenge seemed too good an opportun…

Flowers from the field in a vase on Monday

This is a good time of year for walking in the countryside.  Before the harvested fields are ploughed, I enjoy walking along the hedgerows and field margins, safe in the knowledge we are not doing any damage to anything.  My vase this week has flowers from the field edges.  Chamomile, hogweed, dead nettle and yarrow.  They are fresh and pure white, a complete change from anything I have to offer from the garden, and without a vestige of autumn colour.  I particularly love the long slender seed pods on stems of a stray oilseed rape plant, self-seeded in a vast field of Brussel sprouts.