Flower Spectrum – Charleston Dahlias

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.




About Ptolemy Mann

Ptolemy Mann is a textile artist, designer and architectural colour consultant
This entry was posted in Art, Chroma, Colour, Flower Spectrum, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Flower Spectrum – Charleston Dahlias

  1. Dahlias are one of my favourite types of flower. My parents ran a nursery in the 1970s and they had a big bed of Dahlias at the back which they would cut and sell in the shop. My mum trained as a florist and did quite ornate flower arrangements at home, that was a big deal in the 1970s. She had some great books about Japanese flower arranging and I remember looking at all the photographs thinking, “I’m going to do that” – I never did! Perhaps I’ll get myself some oasis and get on with it…

  2. Denise says:

    absolutely stunning!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s