Abundant garden

Why try to explain miracles to your kids, when you can just have them plant a garden? – Robert Brault, American author

Since we had our dahlia garden rejuvenated and backyard landscaped, we have been blessed with an abundance of beautiful flowers. Seems the last time I posted, May 28th, nearly six weeks ago, I have made myriad bouquets. Apparently, too many to try to keep track of, as I try to label them for this blog. Alas, let’s just say that all of these flowers were either a continuing birthday present for a good friend or an auction bouquet for the winning bidders from Korematsu Middle School or El Cerrito High School.

While I have an abundance of dahlias, which I am absolutely giddy about, I have been experimenting with a number of different kinds of flowers. Gaillardia, rudbeckia, echinecea, helenium, helichrysum bracteatum, osteospermum, to name a few. And I have been lurking in and out of the various nurseries in our area. Of course, Annie’s Annuals, but also Flowerland, East Bay Nursery, Westbrae Nursery, and my first foray into Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. I’ve been trading jewelry and clothes for nature’s jewels, so to speak.

So without further ado, my weekly bouquets – at least four a week, sometimes more – up to the 4th of July. Enjoy! Even though I consider the 4th of July the midpoint of summer, there is so much more summer to bask in.

I had so many cut flowers that I was able to make four bouquets on this Sunday, June 4th, so everyone got a bumper bouquet for the week.

First bouquet’s other side – it looks like a completely different bouquet. I love gerbera daisies, but after the initial impressive blooms, the blooms grew smaller, and then they just withered.

The second bouquet with the mighty ginger plant in the middle.

The third bouquet.

Close-up of the third bouquet. One of my favorite flowers – scabiosa “fama blue.” I bought several small plants at Annie’s Annuals to ensure a larger crop. I’ve not had success getting more than a handful of these beautiful flowers all season. We’ll see what I get next year.

The fourth bouquet, anchored by an ongoing crop of ginger.

Early June Korematsu bouquet in monochromatic burgundy, magenta, and pink.

Ginger plant, dahlias, scabiosa, dianthus (carnation), osteospermum (African daisy), and hydrangea.

Another close-up. This spikey deep burgundy dahlia has been a strong performer this season.

The second Korematsu bouquet in yellows and oranges.


And zinnias, gerbera daisies, scabiosa, and alstromeria for a dwarf bouquet.

A June 11th bouquet for Kelly – orange and yellow with a hint of burgundy.

June 13th El Cerrito High School auction winner’s bouquet.

An extra dwarf bouquet in burgundy and pink.

Close-up with chocolate cosmos, dahlia, daisies, and featuring African daisy “Zion Copper Amethyst,” so named because these daisies are prolific at Zion National Park.

June 16th, first Korematsu bouquet.

Close-up featuring a delicate miniature pinkish creamy calla lily.

A tiny arrangement with chocolate cosmos and Zion Copper Amethyst cape daisies.

Close-up overview.

Second Korematsu bouquet.


Second miniature bouquet companion for the second Korematsu bouquet. Hot combo of purple and orange.

June 18th ECHS bouquet.


June 18th bouquet for Kelly.

Close-up featuring gaillardia “Arizona red shades” at the lip of the vase and frilly red geums on the left and top.

Close-up showing off the gaillardia, geum, alstromeria, and, of course, dahlias.

June 20th saw a bumper crop. Four bouquets when I usually only deliver one for the ECHS auction winner.

Close-up of a ginger plant and hot pink and deep burgundy dahlias.

Second bouquet featuring the very pretty helipterum roseum “Pierrot” and scabiosa caucasica “Fama Blue.”

The second bouquet with a rare dahlia, which is one of my favorites.


Favorite dahlia in the light.

Another close-up of the favorite dahlia.

The third bouquet.

Close-up of the third bouquet.


After all was said and done – four floral arrangements.

June 24th Korematsu bouquet. The light yellow dahlia on the left, right, and below the one on the right, is also a strong performer.

The same bouquet on the other side – it’s like another bouquet.


Second Korematsu bouquet.

June 25th bouquet for Kelly.

June 27th’s ECHS bouquet with alstromeria, dahlia, venedio arctotis, sacbiosa, and featuring helipterum roseum “Pierrot.”

Close-up. One of my favorite but rare dahlias in the garden is the pink variegated version in the middle.

I succumbed to three dinner-plate-size dahlias from Costco – white, deep burgundy, and pink. An extra bouquet was happily given to Joann, our fearless LUNAFEST film festival chair.

A close-up.

And another close-up, which never gets old for this photographer.

I made a bouquet to greet my cousin Janet and her husband, Tim, when they arrived for their annual 4th of July visit. Against the backdrop of my favorite painting (by Gary Stutler) The Lamp Lady, this bouquet complements its setting.

Close-up. It never gets old.

I made two large bouquets that I gave away to my friends Jane and Raissa after our 4th of July party. I forgot to take pictures of them. But I did make a lot of small arrangements that I sprinkled throughout the patio and house. Here is an arrangement destined for the patio bistro table.

This red-and-white beauty has been a staple in our dahlia garden for years. It is just now popping up. And how!

My cousin Janet and I checked out Urban Ore in Berkeley, one of our traditional destinations over her 4th of July visits. I found this heavy beautiful rectangular vase, which was perfect for displaying the dinner-plate-size white and pink dahlias.

Luminous. The small bouquet for Janet and Tim’s guest room.

More luminosity.

One of two Korematsu bouquets for July 7th.

The second Korematsu bouquet – with the first gladiola of the season. Usually gladiolas come up in early June, but they were disturbed during the front yard landscaping. On the upside, there are a lot of little blades of gladiola leaves popping up!

Korematsu bouquet close-up.