In a Vase on Monday: Late but Lovely

img_8311Finally, Karma Serena has obliged and produced two blooms for a vase – it seems ironic that this was the first dahlia to flower last year, appearing in a vase on July 20th, almost three months earlier than this time round. Why? I have absolutely no idea!

img_8313I wanted to keep the vase simple so as not to detract from the elegant beauty of the dahlia, having almost forgotten just how beautiful it was – pure white with a green tint diffusing from the centre. Minimal accompaniment took the form of two blooms of Dahlia ‘Twynings After Eight’ (note the hint of pink on the petals, as well as the pollen), a stem of Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’, spent heads of Sunflower ‘Italian White’ and Japanese anemone, and a dark heuchera flower spike – not quite black and white but a similar degree of contrast.

timeismoneyThe vase was one of my numerous Caithness Glass ones, chipped at the rim – but you can’t see that, can you? It was a tight squeeze to include even these austere contents and meant that additional stems were excluded but the result is nevertheless pleasing. The tardy arrival of Serena prompted today’s prop, a vintage tin and card money box, dating perhaps from the 1940s.

I am not quite sure what the benefits are of encouraging small children to place a financial value on time, and what they would do with the time and money saved by the time their money box was full of old pennies, but perhaps working it out can be your teaser for today. If, however, you would rather spend your time more productively by picking what you can from your garden and popping it in a vase or jam jar, then please share it with us too by including links to and from this post.


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71 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Late but Lovely

  1. The more I see the dahlia ‘Twynings After Eight’ the more I want it! Does it do well in the garden? It looks like it might be challenging to mix in a border with its darker foliage. What do you have it mingling with?

    • Cathy says:

      This is its first year with me Chris but I love it too. It is in my cutting beds next to other dahlias but it would work well with roses or shrubs but I am not sure about in herbaceous type of border. I would be intersted to know where you choose to plant yours, as I am sure you will go ahead and acquire one!

  2. Barbara says:

    Simply lovely.

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  4. Cathy says:

    Well worth the wait Cathy! I love the elegant vase as well as the white flowers with lovely dark foliage as a contrast. You always find such amazing props too! Here is my collection for today. Thanks!

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  6. Cath says:

    Beautiful! I love the accompaniment of the spent sunflower heads which are such a dynamic shape, and the two dahlias provide a nice contrast with each other.
    Here is my vase today

  7. petal & pins says:

    I have my first dahlia tubes to plant this season ordered from my local dahlia society show earlier in the year! So fingers crossed!
    My spring vase today can be seen at

  8. Annette says:

    Very pretty, Karma indeed, Cathy, and well photographed. I especially like the last pic, unusual angle. My dahlias are still going strong. Got to have café au lait next year. As for time is money…I sometimes wonder 😉

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – the last photo was taken directly above, I seem to recall. Glad to know your dahlias are bearing up – hope you are too 😉

  9. It always amazes me that very often whatever we learn one season in the garden does not seem to apply to the next, like your Dahlia bloom dates. I must say that Dahlia is worth waiting for, however. I particularly like that last view where you can see the accompanying plants. My vase is here:

  10. pbmgarden says:

    Karma Serena is just lovely Cathy, as is your arrangement. I’ve been away this weekend and hope to put together a vase later today to share.

  11. Beautiful blooms and a lovely idea. I will give it a go! Brighten my window ledge!

  12. I do love your Dahlias, and think I would plant Karma Serena for the name alone. I like the vase as well and have never seen one here. Plants are amazing in their ability to not quite be on schedule. I have a simple white vase today as well, it couldn’t be more different –

  13. Peter Herpst says:

    This simply elegant arrangement was certainly worth the wait. How strange that this dahlia bloomed so much earlier last year. Plants are full of surprises, aren’t they? There are no flowers in my arrangements today.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Peter – the tuber was new last year, but so were the other Karma dahlias I have and they have been in flower for some weeks. Calm before the storm sounds a little worrying…

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Karma Serena is pure loveliness and you’ve spotlighted her grandeur perfectly, Cathy. I love the money box – it’s darling!
    Today’s vase:

  15. Anna says:

    What a charming beauty ‘Karma Serena’ is Cathy. I’ve added her to my ever growing must grow dahlias list which is already in need of drastic pruning. In the white department I grew ‘Snowball’ and ‘Onesta’ this year as well as ‘Twynings After Eight’ which I’ve grown for a few years now. For some reason the latter didn’t do brilliantly this year 😦 Probably just having a year off like Serena. The money box is most attractive despite the motto 🙂 It’s foraged pickings from me this week :

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna -Serena has a smaller flower than some and is just more ladylike than some dahlias. I am glad she wasn’t lost to me. I may add a couple of tubers myself for next year but will grow more from seed after this year’s success. I was espcially pleased with TA8 as it was a ‘free’ fairly dry tuber from a garden centre – PN’s tubers look much more appealing!

  16. Kris P says:

    ‘Karma Serena’ was worth the wait! (I really need to grow some dahlias next year.) My appreciation of your collection of props continues to grow. Thanks for hosting! Here’s my post:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kris – and I hope Serena will manage some more blooms before the first frosts – she has plenty of buds-in-waiting…

  17. homeslip says:

    What beauty in this vase. I will look for Karma Serena next year, although I didn’t have much luck with Karma Choc last year. I can hardly believe the three month lapse in flowering time. Apart from the night’s drawing in it seems as if October is the new September. I have struggled and failed (although I will try again) to add your link to my post Cathy. But fingers crossed here is the link to mine (I am out of practise I think).

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sarah – I failed with Karma Choc last year too, the only one of the Karma ones that did so. I wonder why there is a problem adding the link – are you able to add links to other blogs?

  18. Nice and simple to keep the focus on those beautiful blooms, where it should be! My contribution is a lot “busier”…

  19. Dahlia ‘Karma Serena’ is a true beauty. Those deep folded green tints are perfect. I love the addition of the geometric seed heads to the vase too. Great shapes and colours.
    Here is my vase for today:

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  21. Sam says:

    Wow, that’s a gorgeous dahlia. A lovely, elegant vase, Cathy. I haven’t managed to do a vase this week and I’ve missed it. I’ll have to enjoy everyone else’s instead!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for finding time to read about other people’s, even if it makes you realie how much you miss your own vase – why don’t you stuff something in a vase anyway, even if you don’t post about it?

  22. Julie says:

    Hi Cathy – I was determined to join in today so have not quite managed to make a vase but hope it will do for now. Its funny but I have found a few of my white dahlias slow to flower this year – including one that may well be Karma Serena although I seem to have lost the label. Lets keep our fingers crossed that the dahlia season keeps going for a few more weeks!

    My flowers this week are at:

    • Cathy says:

      Oh it’s nice to have you with us, even if it is not a vase (I am curious…) – and it’s a curious thought about white dahlias too…I wonder if anyone else has found their white dahlias are slow to bloom?

  23. Simplicity at its best. Thankyou. The more I see the Dahlia flower the more I want a cutting garden full of them! It poured with rain this morning and my chance of putting any flowers together would have been a sorry wet mess! Maybe next week when my boys have their half term break.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – we too have had a couple of really wet starts to the day recently but then it has brightened up after helping to refill the waterbutts

  24. Pure and simple – and very beautiful! It’s interesting how plants have personalities of their own, sometimes throwing little tantrums and refusing to come out of their bedrooms. Maybe this year a new competitor taking the food or light has put Karma Serena off her stride? Oh, and ‘Time is Money’? I would rephrase it to a child as ‘Time is Valuable’, and leave it to each one to work out the value of that time to themselves. Here is mine today:

  25. karen says:

    I love white flowers and those dahlias are just gorgeous. I’ve still got some buds on my deep red dahlia to pick. Luckily they are under a plum tree and protected from the frost.
    He’s my vase for today. A little late by the time I got home from work, so in a gloomy potting shed, I’m afraid.

    • Cathy says:

      Let’s hope all our buds open in due course ps I wouldn’ t expect your potting shed ever to be gloomy!

      • karen says:

        Must admit, the dusk came on faster than I expected. Had to dash round the garden after work. Lucky there’s a couple of light bulbs in there. I’m just rigging up some fairy lights for winter cheer 🙂

  26. smallsunnygarden says:

    I love the near-monochrome, Cathy; Serena was certainly just right for it, and the sunflower heads are a brilliant touch. I’m beginning to be cross with myself that I didn’t order some “Italian White” seeds, but there was so much to choose from…
    Coming to think of it, my vase this week is nearly monochrome too, but in a different way…:

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks – and yes, so many varieties of plants to choose from that it’s hard to be selective. I shall certainly grow I White again though!

  27. Chloris says:

    Well worth the wait indeed. Karma Serena is indeed serene. I love Twinings After Eight too. Are you going to try a few from seed? Dahlia seedlings are such fun, you never quite know what you will get.

    • Cathy says:

      Collecting the seed from mine? How readily do they set seed? It would be exciting to give it a try – I was just thinking I don’t collect enough of my own seed…

      • Chloris says:

        Single dahlias set seed readily. If you squeeze the spent flowers,( they look like pointy buds,) you will find they are full of moisture and will probably rot if you leave them to ripen on the plant. Cut some off with their stems and put them in the greenhouse in a jar of water. In about 4 weeks the heads will be nice and dry and ripe..Simply find the black seeds from inside the papery bits. Each head will produce quite a few seeds as long as your bees have been busy. Sow them in the first week in March. Easy peasy.

        • Cathy says:

          Oh that’s really useful Chloris – spent dahlia flowers do look so squidgy that I couldn’t imagine seeds forming and wouldn’t have thought of cutting them as you have suggested. I shall try a couple of different heads and see what I get. Do say if there is anything seed or plantwise that I could provide you with (on the odd chance there is anything that you haven’t got already!) – many of my witch hazels have seedpods if you would like to try any of their seeds?

  28. I love both of these dahlia variety in the White vase, perfect! How funny plants are, who could predict such timing.

  29. Christina says:

    Love the white Dahlia and I even think I may have it but didn’t know the name. Sorry no vase this week, I do have a vase of mixed dahlias in the kitchen but no time this week so far to post.

  30. rickii says:

    The whole setup is lovely but I especially like the last photo, taken from above. Here’s my even later entry:

  31. Cathy says:

    Can’t see the chip at all and the vase and contents are beautiful. Karma Serena is definitely a must have!

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