vase of red and pink dahlias

Last Splash – In a Vase on Monday

The hot weather goes on and with it the dahlias. The bees are in the asters and the salvia, luckily there is a lot of it – this salvia leucantha grows willingly. I was going to say ‘like a weed’, but it doesn’t really, you have to plant it and then it grows where you put it.
dahlia akita
The dahlias are Akita, Profundo, the white and lemon grown from seed, and another pink one ‘Dark Horse’, which I thought I had lost.
dahlias akita and profundo
We are in the throes of harvesting, and have bottled another 19 pints of tomato puree tonight to add to the 3 or 4 dozen already put away, so it’s late and time to sleep. Congratulations to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for 6 years of blogging, and thank you for hosting IAVOM.

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single pink miniature dahlia

In a Vase on Monday – Pink Posy with Roses and Dahlias

Right, these are more favourite Dahlias. Dahlia Profundo is the darker pink one. It’s not a big dahlia, but the little pink single is really tiny; it’s tubers are tiny too. It was a favourite of C’s mum, given to me by his aunt. Although it’s so small it has real presence, with the fully open flowers standing straight up and facing outward.
pink dahlias and roses in a vase

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dahlia bud

In a Vase on Monday – Phormium and Dahlias, Orange and Yellows

Often I only notice flax flowers when the Tuis are drinking the nectar, but this one is from a pot by the door of the greenhouse, so the deep orange of the flowers and the dark brown-purple stem caught my eye. It’s unfortunately disappearing into the background in my photo.
flowers in a vase
The single Dahlias with dark leaves are a mix of Keith Hammett Dahlias and their children. The bees love them the best, so I rarely pick them.

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field of buckwheat flowers with bees

Buckwheat for Bees

I am pretty happy with my buckwheat. After the extra hot spring weather brought early flowering on many trees and shrubs, I wanted to make sure the bees didn’t go hungry later in the summer. I sowed the buckwheat seed in an area of soil which had been dug and flattened for the septic tank runoff, but won’t be completed with the drainage until the plumbing is finished later in the year. We had a couple good rains, and 4 weeks later the first flowers were out and filled with bees every morning. A rainy and hot month later the plants are almost as tall as me and full of flowers.
honey bees on buckwheat flowers
Buckwheat only releases nectar in the morning, so the bees seem to be very business like and efficient in harvesting. They carry a good amount of pale yellow-green pollen as well.

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Red Dahlia Macro

In a Vase on Monday – Dahlias Again

I know this is repetitive, but the Akita Dahlias are doing amazingly well, and I had to rescue them from the lawnmower chewing them up for flopping onto the path. Here are a few different ages of flower, mixed with the dark red dahlias rescued from the dump. You can see how they get more yellow as they age, losing the contrast between the creamy tips of the petals and the dark base.
Red Dahlias in a vase

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Organically grown tomatoes in trug

Peak Bruschetta

Finally, enough big tomatoes! We have had a grafted sweet100 giving us buckets of little tomatoes since November, but I was late getting the big toms in so we have been on Bruschetta rationing until now.
Big orange tomato saved seed organically grown

I like bruschetta to have one thick slice of raw tomato covering a full piece of sourdough toasted on the barbecue with olive oil and balsamic, topped with basil and Parmesan. This is the best way to appreciate the lovely patterns on the inside of these big tomatoes, but it’s very messy to eat.