A Red And White Dahlia With An Exclamation Mark

Dahlia flower, close up

Gresgarth Hall has a walled kitchen garden where fruit trees and vegetables grow alongside flowers for cutting, depending on the season. I was about to describe the dahlia I photographed there as bicoloured, but could not ignore the flush of peach that gives it a sophisticated look. A tricolour, then. I know someone out there is going to want to grow this when they see it, but unless an identification appears in the comments below, I have no idea what it is. The orange blurs in the background are nasturtiums and the feathery foliage, nigella. 

My ability to conjure up names for colours seems to be stymied at the moment, as you’ll know if you’ve read this recent post, so I decided to keep things simple: basically it’s red and white.

The petals have more than a hint of a curl, the red colour wraps itself around the white more or less, disrupting the pattern, and my camera angle makes it almost triangular, all adding up to a spirited look. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this dahlia was captured in the act of surprising a spider with a “boo!”, or spreading out its petals against the wind so it could sway on its stalk with a “whee!”.

Even if there’s no intent, and we’re just sensing a purely physical exhilaration that happens as the flower opens out in the warm, early autumn sun, an exclamation mark seems appropriate.

I’m posting this as part of Cee’s Flower of The Day. She’s sharing a dahlia today too. If you have a spare moment, drop by and look at some of the other submissions for a flower treat to start the week.

17 thoughts on “A Red And White Dahlia With An Exclamation Mark

  1. dawnkinster says:

    Love dahlias. I have grown them some years, but here we have to dig them up and store them over winter and that’s just more than I can seem to do. So each year I’d buy new. They come up late in the garden and just begin to be beautiful when our first frost hits. This year I didn’t plant any…and I’m missing them!

    • susurrus says:

      I visited Rousham Garden a few years ago where they have been digging them up and replanting for decades, but they have a dedicated border for them and gardeners to do it. If they are mixed in with other plants and still flowering when the weather gets too cold for them, it must be more tricky. I suppose it is like baking sourdough. You can buy it and the attention required to make it yourself are not to be underestimated, so if it doesn’t add a certain joy to your life, there are other things to spend your time on.

  2. Chloris says:

    I’ve gone mad on dahlias this year and they have given me weeks of pleasure. This beauty reminds me of one that I loved and lost a few years ago called ‘Rebecca’s World’

  3. Oddment says:

    I vote for scaring the spider. When I looked at the flower again while keeping in mind your suggestions for BOO! and WHEE! it took on a whole other aspect. Of course there is intent! Nothing could have that energy and verve without intent! Those colors will never be captured by words, I fear. I figured out the nasturtiums but I’d never have figured out the nigella. That must be the most gorgeous kitchen garden ever — and, yes, bring out the exclamation marks!

    • susurrus says:

      It is my favourite Lancashire garden, but open just a few days a year. The care they take with everything always amazes me, although I was sorry to see lots of uneaten apples and pears last time I visited. They could add a fruit and veg stand to their open days when the kitchen garden is in full production.

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