Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Last Little Garden Bouquet of the Year!

With no doubt my garden contains plenty of roses for its size, but not too many other cut flowers. I wanted to change this for quite a while and to make a start, I bought four dahlia tubers this year. Unfortunately, I got them into the ground way too late, in fact I planted them at the end of July (see my post about it here), and only two tubers made it and began to bloom after a couple of setbacks many weeks later.

On Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend I had company over for a little tea party and I went out into the garden to cut a little bouquet for the table. And there it was: The perfect dahlia bloom! I accompanied it by a few roses and some blue flowering ajuga and voila, I had my little bouquet together. I think it turned out so pretty, that even though I gathered it already about three weeks ago, I wanted to show it to you.

So here is my little precious bouquet! It was a very overcast grey day, with not much light indoors. So I decided to photograph it outside on our garden table, together with some white baby boo pumpkins and my brown wooden candlesticks, that I got at a thrift store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As you can see the little plonk contains only seven flowers. The dahlia is the centerpiece surrounded by three white roses and three blue ajuga flower stalks. In terms of floristic this certainly isn't a masterpiece, but I was and am quite happy about how it turned out. I have read somewhere that smaller bouquets are more pleasing to the eye when they contain irregular numbers of flowers and I find that to be true.

I don't know how big the dahlia flower was exactly, but it was huge. The variety is called 'Lucca Johanna' and is described as a dinner plate dahlia, which simply seem to indicate that the blooms can get humongous. Even though I somewhat like these showstopper size dahlias, they can be a bit too much in your face and I think in the future I would choose a smaller variety.

The blue flowering flower stalks are from ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'. This ajuga really surprised me by doing super well even in our hot dry climate. I had bought six small pots of it and didn't get around to plant them into the ground immediately. It didn't take long and the plant decided to do the job for me by throwing out runners that rooted themselves into the ground outside of their containers. They have formed a patch of a good size by now.

I looked it up and ajuga is related to the mint family, which can really mean trouble, since mint is so invasive here. But for now I am enjoying it. It is still flowering today and the flower stalks last a long time on the plant and in the vase.

The name of the rose is most likely 'Moondance', a Floribunda. I ordered a 'Pope John Paul II' Hybrid Tea rose quite a while ago from Jackson & Perkins and they delivered a white flowering rose, but it was clearly not 'Pope John Paul II'. At the time of my order the only other white rose that looked somewhat similar that they had in their program was 'Moondance'. For that reason and because its looks matches the photos on HelpMeFind, I am fairly certain to say that this rose is 'Moondance'.

So far I like it quite a bit. It is still only growing in a two gallon container and was profusely flowering for the first time this autumn. No blackspot or powdery mildew so far. Even though it was not the rose that I wanted, it might turn out to be a blessing that they sent me the wrong one. I like the yellowish center of  'Moondance' as it is opening up, since it gives the blooms this spectacular inner glow, that is fascinating to watch.

At the end of my little photo shooting the sun came out...

...and caused my little plonk to look even better. Brought indoors, this small bouquet truly beautified the tea table and made the tea time all the more enjoyable.

Even though this is not the typically christmassy post appropriate for the season, I hope you still enjoyed it. Especially to those of you, who are snowed in and/or are suffering from the cold, I hope that my little plonk brought you some joy today!

Talking about Christmas it is hard to believe that it is only about one week away. I am so not ready for it this year. At least I bought some small Christmas wreaths a few days ago and intend to decorate the house a little bit this weekend. So maybe my next post will be a christmassy one after all...

See you in the garden!



  1. It's a lovely dahlia, Christina, and, as you said, absolutely perfect. FYI, if you're interested in buying more dahlia tubers, you might want to check floretflowers dot com in January. They plan to make 98 varieties available. They actually launched their tuber sale earlier this week but their site crashed under the demand so they've suspended activity until January to get their system up to the task.

    1. Kris, it was an amazing dahlia bloom for sure!
      Thank you so much for the tip to buy dahlias from floretflowers, I certainly will check this company out. Great, that they had such a demand for their dahlia sale (not so great, of course, that their side crashed). It is rare that there is much demand in the plant department anywhere, nowadays. So I take it as a sign of hope that people are still interested in plants, not just a few eccentrics like us ;-)!

  2. It's lovely to have a bouquet of flowers from your own garden. And I love what I see.
    I don't have dahlia's in my garden because they have to be diged out before winter comes. The dahlia has a lovely color so does the roses. Blue flowers are my favorite.
    And yes time is passing very fast. The strange thing is that the older I get, the less I do for christmas decorations.
    I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a very Rosy and healthy 2017.
    Warm wishes

    1. Marijke, thanks for your nice comment!
      I don't think that I would have dahlias in my garden either, if I would have to dig them up over the winter, simply too much work! But our climate is so mild, that they can stay in the ground of even in containers over the winter time.

  3. El ramo esta precioso Chistina y la dalia me encanta. Muchos besos.

  4. Liebe Christina,
    wunderschön und stattlich ist deine Dahlienblüte.
    bei uns liegt der Schnee nur auf den bergspitzen herunten im Tal ist alles braun und matschig. Nur in der Früh liegt ein Eiszauber auf alte blühtenstände und Ästen. Deine Bilder vermitteln wunderbare Erinnerungen an die letzten sonnigen Stunden im Herbst. Wunderschön!!
    Auch ich bin erstaunt wie die Zeit verfliegt...aber das Weihnachtsfest steht wirklich schon bald vor der Tür.
    Hab noch stressfreie schöne Tage und genieße diesen vierten Adventsonntag.
    Alles Liebe,

  5. Your so called little plonk is just what I like Christina. I think flowers cut from own garden are always the best. Your dinner plate pink Dahlia is a lovely centre-piece between the roses and the Ajuga. I think Ajuga is a great groundcover betwee the roses in your garden. Love their colour and texture.
    Wishing you with your husband and Dobermans a Merry Christmas!

  6. What a sweet bouquet Christina! So nice to be able to pick flowers from your own gardens and bring them inside to enjoy.

    Have a wonderful Christmas week and day ~ FlowerLady

  7. Dear Christina, showing Dahlias at Chrismas time ! No wonder you don't get the feeling! I personally like to see a Dahlia at this time of the year. It reminds me of summer... I never choose those large flowers. We live so close to the sea. The wind will distroy everything. Happy Christmas. Groetjes Hetty

    1. Hetty, maybe you are right and I shouldn't blog about dahlias in December, so that I can finally get into the Christmas spirit ;-)!
      You have a good point in saying not to choose big dahlias because they don't hold up in strong winds. We don't live close to the see, but on top of a hill and it can get very windy here, too. I will try to have that in mind when I am placing my dahlia order and not get carried away by these the look of the big dahlia beauties.

  8. Beautiful, Christina ! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, my friend !

  9. Your flowers are gorgeous. I would love to grow my own like these. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. Have a great week.

  10. Liebe Christina, ich wünsche euch ein frohes Fest. Kommt gesund ins neue Jahr!


  11. I would say that your flower arrangement was absolutely gorgeous. Loved it, both the Dahlia and the Moondance Rose. It's really like a moondance. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. KL, so nice to see a comment from you on my blog, again! Thanks for your kind words about my little bouquet, it makes me happy that you liked it so much.
      I really enjoyed putting the little plonk together and have the intention to bring in more flowers from my own garden into the house next year. Planning already what cut flowers, besides roses of course, to plant and sow :-)! So much fun1

  12. I'm glad you got a flower or two from your late Dahlias--there will be more next year, don't you think?

    Moondance--has a lot of petals for Moondance. Is there any fragrance?

    1. Gail, I sure hope that I get a few more flowers from my dahlia tubers next year, but who knows? I am completely new to dahlias and for now just trying to get them over the winter. I will cut the plants down soon and then wait and cross my fingers that they they come back in spring.
      Sounds like you have doubts that my white rose is 'Moondance'? Any ideas what it could be instead? Yes, there is a mild fragrance.

    2. Hmmm, mild fragrance...does it normally have so many petals? Perhaps it is just my 'Moondance' that doesn't get sufficient water.

      Dahlias really are easy. Mine come back every year--just don't give them any extra irrigation besides during winter--cool and dry in the soil is a good place for them. Mine start sprouting again late March into April. The key thing is staking or supporting the stems so they won't fall over--I use tomato cages.

    3. besides "rain" during winter--forgot the word "rain", sorry!

    4. Gail, I can't answer the question is my 'Moondance' normally have that many petals. It is a very young plant that is still growing in two gallon container and the flowers that I cut for the bouquet have been the biggest and fullest ever.
      Thanks for the advice regarding how to grow dahlias. I won't water them, besides the natural rain water that they are getting this winter. Staking is very important, I could't agree more. I didn't do it this year and I had a lot of breakage during strong winds.

  13. Beautiful! No blooms left in my garden after the recent freeze. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dear Sarah, welcome to my blog! Yes, I remember from living in Germany how the frost brings the blooming in the garden to a screeching hold. There is something about this natural pause in the garden that I rather like, though.
      Here in Southern California gardening is a year round affair, as a matter of fact December is one of the busiest months in my garden, because all the roses need deleafing, pruning and fertilizing and it is also a very good time to plant new plants to get them established before the summer heat arrives.

  14. Gorgeous blooms! I planted dinner plates one year and they were giant. I planted regular ones tis year in May and enjoyed them right up until our first freeze. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  15. Liebe Christina,
    dein Blumengesteck ist so wunderschön!
    Ich wünsche dir und deinen Lieben
    friedliche und besinnliche Weihnachten
    und einen guten Rutsch in ein
    gesundes und schönes Jahr 2017
    Ganz viele liebe Weihnachtsgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte

  16. Christina, Amazing to have fresh flowers from the garden this close to Christmas. Thanks for sharing this bouquet. Sylvia D.

  17. I absolutely love that dahlia and have added it to my wish list for next year. You have such lovely blooms so late in the year Christina. Happy new year to you x

  18. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home! Happy New Year!