If you’re addicted to looking at flower photography on instagram like I am, you’ll know it’s still dahlia season. (See #dahliaseason.) My own garden dahlias disappointed me this year. I picked up the plants at a local garden center without paying much attention to the variety and I ended up with these short, mottled white and magenta flowers.(above) They still look pretty enough, but I found the high contrast of bright pink and white together a bit jarring and I didn’t like the way they looked with other flowers.
In past years, I’ve grown softer pink and yellow dahlias, like these flowers from 2014 (above and below).
So, I’m already dreaming about what I’m going to plant next year. So far, I’m thinking about ‘café au lait’, ‘apple blossom’, or some type of pompon dahlias like ‘Eveline’, all pictued below. (Photos are not mine – they’re from wikimedia commons, details and links at the end of this post.) If you have any particular favorite dahlia varieties to recommend for growing next year, I’m all ears.
My daydreams also led me to make some dahlia-inspired white line wood cuts.
Clearly, pink dahlias have been on my mind. I wanted these prints to be softly colored but now, when I look at them in comparison to photos of real dahlias, they look positively washed out and I’m not sure what I want… Other than to grow more and different dahlias next summer.
Photo credits for dahlias I’ve never grown:
Cafe au lait dahlia: Mark Twyning (Marktee1) via wikimedia commons
Dahlia ‘apple blossom’ : Mark Twyning (Marktee1) via wikimedia commons
Dahlia “eveline’ : Mark Twyning (Marktee1) via wikimedia commons
8 thoughts on “Dahlia daydreams and a little bit of printmaking”
Dahlia’s where one of the favourite flowers of my grandfather. His garden would be full of it. Don’t remember with variety, but a lots of different colors. I do think your prints came out pretty well, especially the last one! love the way it goes almost to abstract and I don’t mind the softness of the colors, I would call it more subtle and sensitive 🙂
Thank you. The idea of taking a flower and making it abstract was sort of the inspiration… I love the way dahlias can be so geometric. And I’ll thinking “subtle and sensitive” and see if that helps me like the prints a little better 😉
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I used to think I didn’t like dahlias but now I realise it’s just because I wasn’t looking at the right ones. I shall have to find a place in the garden for just a few next year.
Its so funny how we can have these opinions. I was always sure I hated mums but I think I’m coming around on them this year. On growing dahlias… In my experience, they’re not always the lovliest of plants if you don’t stake them carefully (and I usually don’t) but they do make nice cut flowers!
I love the pastel effect you’ve achieved on your woodcut. It’s beautiful. My dad always grew dahlias and they remind me of him.
Thanks so much, Gina. I think a lot of grandparents grew dahlias (and cosmos and roses). I love that. I love feeling connected to those old times. 🙂
I just say, there is something very “strawberries and cream” about them that makes me want to gather an armful. And your work is some of my favorite, as always!
Thanks, so much, Monica! There is something quite delicious about dahlias, isn’t there?