Only a week after a fat yellow and red ruffled dahlia anchored a summer bouquet, autumn has descended and that same dahlia looks very different in an autumnal arrangement. Instead of a sunny yellow pitcher, a ribbed wooden cyclinder of a vase (with a glass inside to hold water) in a dark bordeaux color emphasizes that even though October isn't here yet, the garden looks as though it is.
The hot orange single dahlia is 'Forncett Furnace', an old, vigorous variety that blooms like crazy and lasts well in bouquets. A couple of mophead hydrangea blossoms add globe shapes and their blue tint tucked in at the bottom to ground the bouquet. Achillea 'Terracotta' lightens the look with its paler color and finer texture; deep purple Sedum 'Black Jack' adds shadowy, flat flowerheads. The same Peruvian lilies I've used to fill out every bouquet since June make an appearance here, as does dependable golden sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale). The spear-like seed pods of crocosmia add texture and an upright thrust. The cinnamon-colored droopy spikes of love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus cruentus 'Hot Biscuit' ) finishes off the bunch with its weird look of soft, chenille fingers poking up through the blossoms.