In a Vase on Monday: It Had to Be You

hadtobeyou.2For a number of months I have prepared my Monday vase post on Sunday to enable it  to be posted promptly on Monday, but having been busy for most of yesterday it was late afternoon before I remembered, almost TOO late for outside photographs. Nipping quickly to the cutting beds I snipped blooms of all the dahlias – as the title suggests, ‘It Had To Be You’. They have been thrilling me for what seems like months, and I shall certainly be adding to their number for next year – let’s hope they are equally successful.

Clockwise from from top left are Karma Fuchsiana, what should be Noordwijk’s Glory but has produced mostly single flowers, a Bishop’s Child seedling (a little paler than the photograph suggests),  Bishop of Llandaff, Karma Naomi and the very prolific Karma Serena:

ithadtobeyou.3The dark leaves of the dahlias suggested an equally dark foliage accompaniment and my old favourite, Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ was quick to offer his services. With light levels rapidly dropping, stems were quickly cut to length and conditioned before being plonked unceremoniously into a tall matte green mug and rushed outside for the photo shoot without the chance of any last minute titivation or touching up of their lipstick.

Scan.BMPPaying homage to the Golfer as well as the dahlias with the title, the separately photographed prop (full version now propped up against the vase), is a cropped wedding photograph, my dress the colour of one of the Bishop’s dahlias. As I had turned up, the dress became the second surprise for the Golfer on the day as he expected me to walk down the aisle in green, my favourite colour at the time…

What blooms or foliage can you muster from your garden or forage locally to put in a vase this October Monday? Doesn’t have to be flowers or foliage – or a vase even – but please share it with us by including links to and from this post. Adding props is optional – but can bring additional pleasure as the Golfer and I have found today, looking through the rest of those informal wedding photographs from 19 years ago!


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70 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: It Had to Be You

  1. Hannah says:

    The red dress and red tie match, so was he trying to wear a contrasting tie color? Your dahlias are so gorgeous, I love the reds and deep pinks, and the lovely forms. They look great with the green background and green vase. That’s a sweet romantic song in your title, do you consider that your song? It had to be dahlias for me today too, it seemed I had waited so long and my dahlias finally are blooming. My link is

    • Cathy says:

      Glad your dahlias made it in the end Hannah! Looking at the photos yesterday we both commented on the red tie – I expect it was a last minute buy like his suit was. One of his sons had to take him out in the morning to buy it! No special song though, although before we were married he used to ring me and sing ‘I just called to say I love you…’ (he only knew the chorus) Memories… 😉

  2. Christina says:

    Lovely, lovely Dahlias, Cathy. Gorgeous colours and as you say they give so many flowers; I am beginning to wonder why they went out of fashion!
    Here’s my link to vases with flowers from my MIL’s garden. Thanks for hosting.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Christina – and I now have a chrysanthemum flowering too but just can’t feel the same way about it at all! Strange about plant fashions, isn’t it?

  3. arlene says:

    What lovely colors you have here!

  4. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – MIL’s garden | Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Your red dress almost steals the show today Cathy–I love it! The dahlias make a beautiful vase, so many nice variations. Happy Monday!

  6. Pingback: Vase on Monday – Chives and marigolds | Wild Daffodil

  7. Oh so lovely! What a wonderful wedding dress – I wanted to wear green – but my Dad had a fit at the thought! (this was back in 1972). Love your red dress – I think medieval brides wore red. Gorgeous post – wonderful dahlias – but I still haven’t fallen for them – maybe if they had a scent and did not have to be lifted in the winter…..
    Here’s my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sandra – my first husband wore a green velvet suit for our 1976 wedding… 😉 Shame your Dad didn’t let you go with your heart… I didn’t have the confidence to wear red when I was younger so perhaps it was an expression of the new me the 2nd time round! I know what you mean about the palaver of lifting dahlias – but I don’t want to risk leaving them in

  8. Noelle says:

    Another charming entry on all levels…I agree with earlier sentiments…so many blooms…I will be growing more Dahlias, and looking for smaller ones to fit my smaller garden. Our ideas are catching…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Noelle – and I have no idea how long the plants will keep going for as it is my first proper success with them, hence my desire to celebrate them today.

  9. Just beautiful. The gardens my way are way into waning now….Here is mine:

  10. Congrats on 19 years Cathy. We just celebrated 18 years yesterday….love the red dress and your wedding photo does fit perfectly with those dahlias and the theme. I am going to try and overwinter my dahlias in hopes they might bloom next year. But one way or the other, I do hope to have more next year as I had no flowers this year.

    • here’s my link… week I will have to link in late Monday night or Tuesday as I will be away from my computer, but the post will be up early on Monday as usual.

    • Noelle says:

      Sometimes they grow too lushly, some tomato liquid feed usually brings on the flowers, so do try this. They also need to be in a sunny position for the best flowering.

      • Thanks Noelle. I should feed them and will next year. Right now we are getting colder temps so a frost is imminent. They were in full sun with lots of free draining soil which is good as it rained a great deal once I planted them. I think the spring weather was a bit cool and wet and it just kept them stunted for so long. I hope to plant them in a raised bed next year. That may help more too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – and although it is hard to believe it was that long ago it seems equally strange to think it was ever anything different 😉 Hope you have success with your dahlias next year – no idea why I succeeded this time round and not before.

  11. Simply beautiful. I like the rich colors together.

  12. Ann Edwards Photography says:

    your Dahlias really are a success story – such glorious colours. I love your red dress too – such a unique and fitting prop (I look forward to seeing what prop you have used each week!). Here is my link –

  13. Anca Tîrcă says:

    What a great colourful bouquet for October! Time flies, isn’t it?Thanks for sharing such sweet memories, Cathy! Many happy returns of the day!
    And here is my vase:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anca – and as I look at the dahlias now it is good to see that the buds and half-open blooms are opening out fully now

  14. Annette says:

    A lovely selection of Dahlias…quite in love with mine at present and I so wanted to make a vase but alas, think it’ll have to wait until next week. Happy autumn days to you, Cathy 🙂

  15. Lovely vase today and great story! After seeing all the dahlias this fall, they are on my list to order for next year. Usually I try to avoid plants that need to be dug up and overwintered in our climate but they are just too beautiful to ignore any longer. My post is here:

  16. As I scrolled through your post I initially thought oh dear headless photo has slipped in. Ha as I read the post I realised all was good and it was your prop for today. Heaven knows how you find time for props, it’s hard enough to find time to do a vase. I have managed one today:

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely a face-free blog here, Dorris (except for my Grannie last week, as she is no longer with us)! 🙂 Very nearly didn’t have time for a prop for this post though – sometimes I have a title and blooms in mind well in advance of Sun/Mon, but often I am just ‘thinking on my feet’ and it is fortunate that things usually work out!

  17. Eliza Waters says:

    It’s your dahlias that have inspired me all summer to want to try some next year (despite the slugs!). This vase is the epitome of dahlia-loveliness!
    My vase this week: Thanks for hosting!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Eliza – and even though I was a little hesitant at mixing the colours they look surprisingly at home with each other. I think the dark foliage helps. Fortunately I have had no pest problems at all with mine this year – but who knows how they will do next year! Good luck with yours 🙂

  18. susan troccolo says:

    Now you’ve got me singing “It had to be you” at my desk! It could be worse….thank you! Loved your vase and dahlias. My vase in the kitchen is almost solid with red and gold dahlias with some collerette yellows in between with a few sunset roses. Your dress! Beautiful. I absolutely love it.

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee – yes, once a song gets in your head…! Your kitchen vase sounds gorgeous – I hope to add some collarette dahlias next year. I made the dress from red tussah silk bought from a fabric ’emporium’ in Birmingham – sadly I probably can’t get into it now 😦

  19. Anna says:

    Oh what glorious dahlias Cathy. You must be so pleased that you persisted with them after previous disappointing experiences. ‘Serena’ has gone on to my wish list for next year after seeing her here before as well as on a couple of other blogs. I can just picture you in that shade of red. Was the Golfer’s matching tie pure chance or did somebody tip him off? The vase that I wish that I had created is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – and Serena has definitely been the shiniest star, with endless blooms. The tie was pure chance and probably bought on the day from a charity shop! 🙂

  20. Kris P says:

    Even headless, I love the sweet photo of you and your Golfer hand in hand! My husband and I were wed on the sly by a local traffic court judge and, although I’ve never regretted skipping the hoopla of a fancy wedding, I do regret that I have no photos of that day. Your dahlias are wonderful too. Here’s my post: Thanks, as always, for hosting, Cathy.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – we kept things as cheap and informal as possible, doing everything ourselves, and there were no formal or posed photographs, just ones done by friends. It’s mind-blowing how much some people spend on weddings these days, isn’t it?

  21. Lovely colors and memories! I cheated a bit with a purchased element in my vase(s), I hope you can forgive me.

  22. johnvic8 says:

    Love your dahlias; we’re trying some ourselves. In keeping with your wedding remembrance this Monday, my Arranger chose a vase that was a wedding gift.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks John – I hope I didn’t leave people thinking it was our anniversary, although it was only a few weeks ago. Just thought the Golfer should have a look-in!

  23. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Fire! | Words and Herbs

  24. Cathy says:

    What gorgeous colours – your wedding dress is a fabulous colour too! (And your Golfer’s tie even matched, despite it being a surprise!) I have a red theme today:
    Thanks for hosting Cathy!

  25. homeslip says:

    Deeply gorgeous dahlia blooms, so rich and perfect for this time of year. And your red dress – wow. I wore pale lavender grey for mine 23 years ago, never being a fan of a big white wedding. But where is your posy of flowers Cathy? My mum was surprised I hadn’t organised a posy so she made me one the day before with cream roses and freesias and eucalyptus and fern all tied with ribbon. It was a lovely thought and she was right, I did need something to hold with my free hand. Here is my link:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – I was surprised that a motley collection of dahlias would look so fetching together. For the wedding I didn’t bother with a posy , just a little buttonhole from artificial flowers, red roses and ‘blue’ violets’… but the Golfer didn’t make the connection… 😉 What a kind thought of your Mum to make you one on the day

  26. Pingback: In A Vase On Monday – Taking A Break | Peonies & Posies

  27. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy – what a glorious wedding dress!! Your dahlias are stunning and it is as well to use them as the first frosts sound to be on their way which will close the season overnight. Some years I have had dahlias flowering into early December though – it will just depend on how quickly the temperatures deteriorate. You will see when you look at my post that I am still not back in the garden, so I am going to take a short blogging break and hopefully return fully recovered in November when we get back from holiday. For this week you can find my contribution at: I will be back here with a vase on 9th November, but will be keeping an eye on what you are all up to in the meantime.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Julie, the fall has really knocked you back, hasn’t it? I so hope your holiday does the trick and perks you up – do take care. I guessed the dahlias’ survival depended on the weather so I shall enjoy them for as long as I can – we are close to having frosts this week, I believe.

  28. rickii says:

    The colors against the green background are divine. I must confess to Dahlia envy. Mine were not quite up to snuff this year, but I was able to get some for this week’s vase:

  29. Amy says:

    And now I wonder why I ever stopped growing Dahlias – more than the task of lifting them, I think it was the never-ending lack of a good, frost-free place to store them. Hmmm, wouldn’t be a problem now (beginning to have ideas…)
    Too bad you had to crop the photo as I can tell it’s a wonderful one 😉 and congratulations to you and the Golfer on those 19 years 🙂
    One of my roses made an easy job of it for me today:

  30. Derek Yarnell says:

    Thanks for hosting, here is my contribution for the week:

  31. Cath says:

    That Karma Fuchsiana is mind blowing – I really haven’t seen anything like it on the lists here. I have one Dahlia which is so prolific and easy to grow that it made me want more. A huge clump of them were sitting at our local rubbish tip a couple years ago so I took them home and now I have many. They are like Karma in shape but a rich dark red starting with a green centre. Since then I have had good luck with the smaller single ones but not much joy from any of the other large ones. I’m trying again this year though with better soil so fingers crossed.
    My vase today is here:

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, Fuchsiana is indeed neon in terms of colour! The Karma ones I have came from who do post outside UK too. How exciting to find some abandoned ones at the rubbish tip, even if you don’t know the names. I want to try some smaller ones next year too.

  32. Chloris says:

    I love your dahlia selection. I think we have all gone crazy on dahlias this year, probably because they bloom and bloom for ages and they look so good in a vase. I love your pretty red wedding dress. 19 years! You seem like newly weds! We have quite a way to go to catch up with you, we have only been married for 4 years.

    • Cathy says:

      And to be honest, Chloris, we still feel like newly-weds. Those 19 years have gone in a blissful (??!!) flash 🙂
      I nearly picked dahlias for a friend today, but thought no, they will be there for a while yet, and took her sweet peas instead…

  33. Oh, what beautiful photos … exquisite!

    I like dahlias … they were one of the flowers in my mom’s fall garden when I was a girl, and they were the bouquet taken in tightly clutched fists to my teacher when the new school year began. So I have fond memories of the delightful dahlia.

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places…

  34. Dahlias are a personal favorite so it is nice to seem them make such beautiful bouquets for you.

  35. Glorious. I now have all 5 of my dahlias in full bloom, so we are clearly due a frost! I really must cut some before that happens…

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