The Golfer, like many of his sex and generation, has a particular interest in trains and, although not as obsessive as some, as a teenager he used to cycle from the Midlands up to Crewe with his friends to visit the engine sheds (120+ mile round trip) whilst these days we still visit the occasional shed to see ‘what’s there’. As the number of gardens we visit far exceed these excursions that’s fair enough and I have no objection to trains, particularly travelling in them! Of course he inevitably has various notebooks full of train numbers. Unusually, despite the early experience of steam trains, his main interest has always been in diesel locomotives, and when we were first getting to know each other way back in 1995 he used to describe our burgeoning relationship cryptically as ‘50033’. Class 50 diesel locomotives were built in 1967-68 and most still followed the tradition of having a name as well as a number – 50033 was Glorious…as of course are these dahlias…
The size, shape and weight of the blooms meant finding a suitable vase was hard, and I am not entirely happy with the result – perhaps a wider neck with splayed sides would have worked better – but once I began cutting the stems shorter and wedging them in chicken wire there was no turning back, and the only potential alternative was a
different shape of these gorgeous Caithness Glass ‘Ebony’ vases that look like pottery but are in fact very heavy glass with a black interior, delightfully rich and creamy outer body, and a black drip glaze with a teardrop effect at the base. I have all 8 variations of these, bought from the Caithness Glass factory shop in Oban and therefore presumably seconds.
The dahlias were a mixed bag of those that were looking their best when I went foraging yesterday: Dorothy Rose, Blyton Lady in Red, Happy Halloween, Jowey Winnie and another I have forgotten the name of. The first two are new this year and I am especially pleased with Dorothy Rose, the pink ‘small ball’ variety. Happy Halloween had to be cut with associated side stems but the others had lovely long straight stems, making cutting a joy.
As we near the end of August the range of blooms available for cutting in our gardens in the UK and no doubt elsewhere is subtly changing, although here the dahlias are at their peak and could fill several more vases. I always enjoy seeing what other bloggers have found to pick for their Monday vases and if you haven’t joined us yet please do consider it and give yourself the pleasure of blooms inside as well as out. If you leave links to and from this post then we can share your pleasure too.
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So much to enjoy in this post Cathy. Such a sweet story of the 50033.
And those vases! They are extraordinary and very beautiful, thank you for the link.
I love the mix of colours in the dahlias – do you lift yours each year? (that’s what puts me off growing them)
Thanks Sandra. AS the vases were bought quite a few years ago for their decorative value I tend to forget about using them as vases – daft, isn’t it?! I do lift my dahlias but I don’t find it especially onerous and it is worth the slight effort to reduce disappointment – you might get away with not lifting them where you are though
It is so funny how we all suddenly love Dahlias having ignored or disliked them for many years!! I’m not sure why they went out of fashion when there is such a wonderful variety of colours and forms and they flower for months producing sometimes literally hundreds of blooms from one tuber – I can’t really think of another such generous plant. Needless to say I too have used Dahlias in my vase today. Here’s my link: https://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/in-a-vase-on-monday-pink-and-white/
So true – they make such an impact for such a long period, and there is something for everyone. I still haven’t warmed to my golf ball size ‘Willo’s Violet’ yet! Having seen the difference in size of Brian’s dahlias I appreciate what a difference taking out sideshoots make but on balance I am happy with the size most of mine are. The rooted cuttings I bought this year worked well and I may go down that line again for specific varieties although I am perhaps getting towards a space limit as far as dahlias are concerned!
That’s one reason I’m willing to remove those that don’t perform well or the colour isn’t great.
I did that last year too – oh, actually I gave them to a neighbour who has been enjoying my dahlias over the fence and has been encouraged to grow them himself!
Hi Cathy, what a fabulous selection! And love the vase.
No dahlias in my vase this week (in fact mine haven’t been great this year, I think it’s the lack of water) but plenty of bold colour, like your lovely arrangement.
Thanks Jen, I am especially enjoying the larger ‘ball’ dahlias. Not all of mine have flowered yet, which is interesting, as they are now decent size plants
Oh what a romantic tale Cathy 🙂 That was a good round bicycle trip for the younger Golfer. I imagine that there was much less traffic on the roads then and he and his friends must have had great fun. To my shame I have passed through Crewe station more times than I care to remember but have never visited the Crewe Heritage Centre. I must remedy that at some point. Those dahlias are delicious and are a most harmonious mix! My vase has a hidden camera shy dahlia bud in it :
As you say, the roads would have been very much quieter back then, Anna. WE haven’t been to the Heritage Centre yet either, despite a planned visit for the Golfer’s birthday which turned out to be a day they weren’t open – so we went to a garden instead!
Lovely dahlia blooms and train tales to compliment it. I’ve never ridden in a real train – it sounds like a real adventure worth taking.
Thanks Cindy. It seems strange to think there are adults who have never been on a train journey, but there can be all sorts of reasons why that might be the case, I suppose.
Beautiful mixed colors!
Thanks Marian – interestingly they look better together under artificial light, as the colours seemed to contrast more outside
The romance of a diesel locomotive! I love the story and your Dahlias are indeed glorious, The last of mine succumbed to something,though I am holding out hope for the bulbs. Signs of fall are in the air here as well. My mad vase rhis week http://theshrubqueen.com/2018/08/20/in-a-vase-on-monday-many-miniatas
Glad you enjoyed reading about it! I think the trees will lose their leaves earlier here this year, but they have not really started yet.
Wow, fall is really fall there. There are 2 or 3 Red Maples here that change color a bit.
Well we both love our chaps who like trains….That vase is delighful…and the Dahlias Glorious..wonderful post, thanks so much. Here is my contribution this week: http://noellemace.blogspot.com/2018/08/in-vase-on-monday-fuchsia-fairy.html
Aw, thanks Noelle -the Golfer may not be obsessed, but the interest will never go away and he will always look out for the number of any train we might see. Is Mr S the same?
No Mr S likes the engines, trains, the history the railways. He loves modelling as well. We often visit preserved railways and pop into engine sheds…we miss Tysley! We have had holidays on railways, and learnt to drive steam engines and diesel engines too!
The Golfer isn’t interested in driving one, he says
That’s the best train story ever! The dahlias are exquisite, so pristine, and the vase is beautiful. Thanks for hosting Cathy. My vase is
Thanks Susie, glad you like it! Sadly, some of the dahlias were not quite as pristine as they might have looked and I had to pull a few past-their-best petals from the underside of some of them…
Oh Wow! Beautiful.
I grew up around trains. My grandfather was aticket agent and we loved to go to the station to see him and watch the City of New Orleans come through.
Thanks bcp. I googled to find the background to the City of New Orleans train – most interesting
Lilies gone, dahlias taking center stage; days growing shorter; we’ve begun the inexorable glide toward autumn. Your dahlias are beautiful and although wrangling them into this vase was difficult, the finished product is gorgeous. My dad and many of our family friends worked for the railroad in our small town so trains always strike a nostalgic chord for me. I’m so glad that 50033 has turned out to be a stellar endeavor!
Oops, forgot. My borrowed vase is here: https://outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2018/08/in-claudias-vase-on-monday.html
Yes, a love of trains is for life, Peter! Glad you liked the dahlias – they are real stars in the cutting beds
Your relationship was obviously off to a grand start from the outset given that it was rewarded with a code name or, er, number. The dahlias are indeed glorious too – so perfect! I came home from a trip to a somewhat more bedraggled collection of dahlia blooms myself but I used them anyway. Thanks for hosting, Cathy! Here’s my post: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2018/08/in-vase-on-monday-flowers-thrown.html
Yes, Kris, it was indeed 🙂 Shame about your bedraggled dahlias but I am sure you will have made a grand job of rescuing them!
Well, I cheated this week and bought an arrangement at the local Farmer’s Market. But it still counts, right? My English husband loves trains, too. He recently went on a long train trip across the USA. My post is here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2018/08/in-vase-on-monday.html
Is it an English thing, do you think?
I had already read Bonnie Lassie’s train post and was quite amused to discover you had a train themed post (and husband) as well. No vase for me this week so I will go visit others to enjoy what they’ve done this week.
I guessed it would take people by surprise when they read it – but it seemed such an appropriate prop this week
Absolutely glorious collection, thanks Cathy. The bright colours sing of high summer.
My collection this week features ameone japonica which is a well established thug that managed in the dry hot weather much better than the rest of the garden did!
Thanks Jen – I was pleased with how the pink and red and orange blooms blended together after I picked them. And yes, here too the Japanese anemones have shrugged off the weather conditions and carried on as normal 😉
I marvel at the perfection of the dahlias. Isn’t Mother Nature grand?
The flowers look very pretty. Gorgeous colours and great to hear about the trains. Back in 1973 I was on a walking holiday with friends and we stayed at Oban and visited the glass factory. I still have 2 glass bowls, one which was for me and the other back from my late mother. Thank you for generating some happy memories, and yes I guess my bowls were seconds.
Oh, that looks top heavy! Dahlias are so bulky anyway, so they do not work well in delicately slender bud vases. (I broke a very nice Venetian glass vase that way.) Those are some awesome colors. Everyone else’s dahlias look more fun than mine. Every year, I think I should try some of the wilder colors like everyone else grows, but I never do. Dahlias really do excel at the wild colors.
Cathy that wonderful love story around the 50033 diesel locomotive: it’s very romantic. The Dahlias have bright divine colors and are very beautiful and perfect; they form a bouquet that I love. The vase is fantastic and very beautiful, ideal for the Dahlias. The postcard of the train recalls the love story that Dahlias’ precious vase means. It is magnificent. Greetings from Margarita.
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that’s a great story about the train 🙂 what a love The golfer is. Lovely choice of dahlias too 🙂 As usual im late – but I did manage to join in this week and added an overview of some NW gardens.
love Bec x
I just purchased pottery with drips because of this.