august flowers from the garden

by Sharon Santoni

Thank goodness for dahlias!!   August flowers can be tricky.  This is the moment of the year that I find most challenging in the garden.   We’ve seen the best of the roses; the Spring flowers are long gone, and even the lavender has given its best and needs to be cut back.

But the dahlias are just beginning to come into their own.    My favorite this year is this huge dinner plate blush pink variety, whose name unfortunately I do not know.   Paired with a few Polka roses and a rose from the bottom of the garden whose name also escapes me,  (although it may be an Abraham Darby) and we have a quick bouquet, that will last only a couple of days, but give a lot of perfumed pleasure in that time.


For this arrangement I used an antique porcelain basket, with small glass vases stood inside.   About the quickest thing ever to pull together, no wire, no foam and just five minutes to pick and arrange.


Our weather seems to playing tricks with us all around the world right now, and my thoughts are with friends in California where the fires continue to blaze.  I hope that wherever you are, you may also find a few moments to enjoy flowers from your garden.


Freddie Ann July 30, 2018 - 7:43 pm

Such a beautiful (and aromatic) bouquet.

Karen Mary July 30, 2018 - 8:00 pm

I need more dahlias in my life! Thanks for the gorgeous photos!

Anne Eccles July 30, 2018 - 8:00 pm

Could the dahlia be Café au Lait? It’s an all-time favorite.

susana July 30, 2018 - 8:00 pm

Dear Sharon,
Your taste is exquisite and your bouqai are lovely as is your letters sent to many people are always and always lovely!


Stacy July 30, 2018 - 8:22 pm

Nothing brings life into to a room like fresh flowers. Whether arching gracefully out of an empty wine bottle or gloriously arranged in a antique vase there is no finer tribute to gracious living than natures’ bounty. Enjoy your largess and the beautiful season symbolic in each fine petal!

Trisha July 30, 2018 - 8:31 pm

You make some of the best bouquets I have seen! Because of your beautiful bouquets, dahlias have become one of my favorite flowers, too!

Carrie L. Thatcher July 30, 2018 - 8:32 pm

Right now I am using my gardens hydrangea’s. I may need to go find dahlia’s. Thanks for the arranging tip. I have the perfect large container.

Tessa July 30, 2018 - 8:50 pm

Dahlias never used to be one of my favourites – they are now!

Taste of France July 30, 2018 - 8:55 pm

Adding dahlias to the list of what’s going in my “new” garden. It’s good to have things with staggered flowering. Do they need a lot of water? I also am looking for drought-resistant plants; down here in the south summers are very dry.

Becky July 30, 2018 - 9:02 pm

Just Gorgeous!

Roxanne Steed July 30, 2018 - 9:16 pm

Here in Connecticut it seems to have a similar growing schedule to you. I have not tried dahlias yet…are they difficult? There are some gorgeous ones around here, but I sure do love that soft pink variety you are showing! It can be a droopy time in the garden right now, everything is starting to look exhausted (except for the weeds!). Thanks for the flowering encouragement and ideas!!

Our French Oasis July 30, 2018 - 9:36 pm

Such a lovely arrangement. We have the same problem here, so dry and so hot that there is actually not a lot in bloom apart from the hibiscus and in the fields endless sunflowers which are always such a welcome sight.

Kate Dickerson July 30, 2018 - 10:28 pm

I adore dahlias! And it looks like you still have some gorgeous roses, too. Such a pleasure to look at. Thank you!

Sue Malizia July 30, 2018 - 10:40 pm

Your flowers are beautiful! I so enjoy my rust, almost burgundy color dahlias…they are quite hardy and do well in our heat. My grandsons (8 and 10) said it’s their favorite flower in the yard (that’s saying something coming from kids)! =)

adrienne philp July 30, 2018 - 11:09 pm

So beautiful. The heat has almost destroyed my dahlias this year, but I still have hope. Meanwhile it is nice to share yours!

DIANNE July 30, 2018 - 11:27 pm


joie July 30, 2018 - 11:34 pm

Your garden has to be stunning. The weather must be perfect. Living just a few blocks from the central coast of California, it is hit and miss each year depending on the fog. And yes, California is burning again this year, and way too early. It is very sad.

Nancy Wiard July 31, 2018 - 12:35 am

I so enjoy your missives, and am particularly drawn to the lovely flowers you’re able to grow. Here in Southern California we can grow roses and dahlia’s. My mother used to have two dinner plate yellow dahlia plants, one a soft yellow and the other a brighter version. They would last over a week in arrangements. I’m so delighted to know that you’re reintroducing the world the dahlia’s!

Susan July 31, 2018 - 12:57 am

Absolutely gorgeous!! I think the soft pink dahlias might be Cafe au Lait 🙂
I’m coming with my daughters to visit Paris at the end of September. Can you recommend your favorite casual restaurants and one for lunch with an Eiffel Tower view?
Thank you Sharon!

Sheila in SF July 31, 2018 - 3:12 am

Beautiful so lucky you have such a lovely yard.

Colleen Taylor July 31, 2018 - 5:07 am

How glorious these blossoms are Sharon! Fluffy bits of heaven. X

Roses de Papier July 31, 2018 - 6:56 am

Wonderful flowers!

Wendi Yates July 31, 2018 - 8:10 pm

I agree with the others who have put forward Cafe au Lait as the name of the mysterious beauty! I have them growing in my garden and they are magnificent! My father and I have been growing them the past few years and they have adorned the bridal bouquets of both my daughters! The arrangement is fabulous and I think I will try to re-create it with some of the bits and pieces in my garden at the moment. Thank you for the inspiration Sharon.

Esther George August 1, 2018 - 5:52 am

Hi Sharon, it’s such a beautiful bouquet, I love Dahlias we did grow a few French Dahlias here a few years ago they were as beautiful as their names Villandry, Gange and Henri Matisse, you have inspired me to try to grow them again. It’s been cold during the nights and warm during the day, our weather has confused the plant world, our miniature roses named Hilde, Figurine and Hocus Pocus have not stopped flowering … to my delight. Thank you for sharing beauty. Till next time, regards Esther from Sydney.

Marilyn August 2, 2018 - 4:03 pm

Bonjour Sharon, I love the idea of several small jars inside a container to make a bouquet quickly. I have a glass bucket and a sweet silver bucket and will be doing this soon. Here we have daisies blooming but the bouquet show stopper right now is the beautiful pink hydrangeas — one stem makes a bouquet of its own. I also have oak leaf hydrangea — the flowers are parchment colored. I made a bouquet with those blooms and the tried money plant. Thank you for the inspiration.

Roxane Lacroix August 5, 2018 - 9:46 pm

Sigh…..Here in NH, those soft blush pink dahlias are Café au Lait. We’ve had soooo much rain during July and continuing into August that everything is behind schedule. The air has been oppressive with humidity, like a wet blanket. My gardens are all green, with few blooms at this point! I always have such a difficult time overwintering dahlias and I’m so bad at labeling them for spring planting. Goodness knows what colors I’ll be seeing when they finally blossom,lol I’m hoping one of the Café au Lait survived storage. At least all the dahlias are healthly looking and quite full. I have one dahlia that is taller than me at 5’4″! Your photos are always so inspiring, thank you for sharing!


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