…of dahlias, that is. Hard to believe that it was only in 2013 that I tentatively dipped a toe into dahlia waters, only to have it nibbled off by earwigs. Things were not much better the following year until blogging friend Janet of Plantaliscious suggested dahlia tubers from Peter Nyssen, and from 2015 my summers and early autumns have been enlivened (nay! emboldened) by as many dahlias as I can cram into cutting beds and pots – and I haven’t seen an earwig since that first year (except perhaps occasionally in the bath). However, entering the kitchen with today’s blooms the Golfer shuddered, exclaiming “Ugh! Earwigs”, so the myth clearly continues, which is a shame – for us, for dahlias and for the poor earwigs who just go about their creepy-crawly business as they are fully entitled to do.
With this vase being taller than most of my efforts, thus making a blank background outside harder to arrange, I rigged up a spot in the back sitting room which was bathed in sunlight at the time of the planned photographs, propping a large picture up on this plant stand to drape the curtain over without cutting out any light. However, despite my efforts with this albeit successful improvisation when I came to upload the photos the results washed away all the colourful and jewel-like glories of these late-season dahlias and my eyes instead saw a faded pastel confection, which is a shame…for you, that is, as I have the real thing here. But I am generous, so on seeing the FPC I swooped on the original and whisked it outside for an impromptu second shoot in the usual location, sans drapes and thus avec mish mash background and Shock! Horror! avec a smidgen of me reflected in the mirror behind it… Alas, my cover is blown…
Now you can see how rich the colours really are, the colours of Nuit d’Eté, Blyton Lady in Red, Dorothy Rose and Glow, popped into this 50 pence car boot jug which turned out to be made by Denby despite being bought purely for its size and blueness (and cheapness). Even the fern, Asplenium scolopendrium, looks brighter and the wonderful little caterpillars of spores (botanists will tell us they are ‘sori’, clusters of spores) are, well, wonderfuller. This more realistic version doesn’t require a prop, but the original photo needed a miniature crate of wine (grapes of wrath…get it?), normally a humble fridge magnet, to enliven the subdued atmosphere.
How much brighter life can be if we are able and motivated to spend time outside in natural light, a philosophy those of us who are gardeners adhere to without necessarily being conscious of the benefits. Those of us who are also in the habit of finding something from our gardens or foraged locally to pop into a vase on Monday know of the unexpected and deep-seated benefits of doing so – perhaps IAVOM should be prescribed on the NHS…? If you would like to explore these benefits for yourself please join in and share your vase with us by leaving links to and from this post.