On a blustery day in late August a friend and I went to Charleston House (http://www.charleston.org.uk ) near Firle in East Sussex. Renowned spot devoted to communal living and artistic pursuits of love, truth and beauty we indeed were mesmerized by its multitude of colours and patterns. Dorothy Parker famously quoted that the “Bloomsbury set painted in circles, lived in squares, and loved in triangles.”
Circles were absolutely everywhere and nowhere more so than the amazing wild, messy garden. The Dahlias in particular were in full swing at Charleston. I am currently experiencing a renaisance in my relationship to Dahlias, an unappreciated icon of my 70’s childhood. I have changed my tune and now find their shameless fabulousness…… well….fabulous.
In terms of colour they represent something I think is very important; they break rules. When faced with a mad crazy bed of Dahlias you can’t help but be impressed by the rule breaking. Red and yellow on the same flower, spikey deep black violet browns next to soft pale pompom lavenders. They have a variation of saturation across their colour scheme thats hard to reproduce, from the palest pastels to oily dark reds. It should be a mess but they have a rhythm and dynamic that is exceptional.