Dahlias and Roses on a Painted Shelf


It’s turning into a mini tradition of mine to arrange my ‘Café-au-Lait’ dahlias in this yellow jug on our kitchen shelf in autumn (for previous years see here and here). This dahlia is a late bloomer, but once it does it’s pretty reliable and always lovely. After idly wondering what I could do to make this year’s vase a little different, I found that I had only the one bloom out at the moment (with three or four more on their way) and decided to add some pale roses into the mix.




Here we have ‘The Lady Gardener’ to the left of the dahlia, the pale pink single ‘Many Happy Returns’ above, and ‘A Shropshire Lad’ to the right.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I recommend visiting her page to see her vase and follow links to all the other vases created by garden bloggers across the world today.



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  1. I love white dishes! Beautiful arrangement of perfect flowers.

  2. In your first photo the roses almost looked like fine porcelain! I am so glad I decided to include a Cafe au Lait amongst my dahlias afer having seen yours in the flesh. My concerns about is height have nort been realised and the blooms tend to vary in size too. I have just cut all the blooms from mine for a neighbour’s funeral, to go in vases in their window, arranged by another neighbour, and I was pleased to have had a good number of blooms to include. Happily it is throwing out more buds now. I wonder why it flowers that little bit later than others? A Shropshire Lad is such a pretty rose and one to remember if I manage to create yet more room in the garden one day!

    • Thank you Cathy – yes, I see what you mean about the porcelain. The effect of rainwater on petals. Oh good, you got yourself a CAL tuber – I’m sure you won’t regret that! The first couple of blooms can be dinner-plate sized, but the final ones are of much more civilised dimensions. Do you find that the single dahlias come out far sooner than the more complicated ones? It must take time for the plants to gather enough energy to produce those complicated flowers.

      • Hmm, not generally so, although CAL was much slower and later to flower than any of the others – but none of its flowers were especially huge this year

  3. Just lovely! I have a very similar yellow pitcher (a bit brighter I think) and use it all the time. That Cafe au Lait is so popular I will have to see how it will do here in the heat!

  4. Alas, my ‘Au Lait’ has been a disappointment. But it is lovely enough in your vase that I think I should try to overwinter the rhizome and give it another try next year. That is a nicely evocative location for a vase.

    • What a shame you had a disappointment with it, Linda. We had a dreadful summer over here, and my dahlias (and everything else) did badly compared to other years. I’m not sure how you fared weather-wise in your location, but do give CAL another shot. It perhaps won’t produce as many blooms as some of the more prolific dahlias but the ones it does are such showstoppers that it’s worth the space in a garden, in my opinion. I don’t bother digging mine up, life’s too short and our winters are so mild. But if you have severe frosts or a lot of rain over winter then it may be more worth your time to do so.

  5. Lovely arrangement and also lovely white china. What make are your white jugs? I have a growing collection and am very tempted by yours!

  6. Lovely! A friend is sharing a root of CAL with me for next year – so excited!

    • Oh, that’s brilliant! I’m giving a chunk of mine away too to a friend on a gardening course I’m attending, I do enjoy spreading the CAL joy. I do hope you enjoy having this beautiful flower to add to your beautiful vases and I look forward to seeing them next year!

  7. Very pretty delicate colours, Cafe au Lait is fabulous but I wish you could get that colour in smaller dahlias too. This one looks as if it has had a course of steroids. Gorgeous though.

  8. Oh so beautiful Joanna!

  9. So pretty. I love your shelves. Good thing you can’t see mine. Sigh. Thanks for sharing and giving me such a lot of inspiration. All the best. Karen

  10. Since we are shortly to undertake major house renovations, my question is – what is the paint colour on your wall? (The flowers are lovely too!)

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