Dahlia Hill and Toledo Botanical Garden

Harvey Koop

Harvey Koop

I’ve always wanted to grow Harvey Koop but his tubers are a little hard to find.  One year, I ordered two plants; not my favorite way to grow dahlias, I prefer growing from tubers, and one of them died.  The other one’s flowers were all that solid red; which is a nice red but not Harvey Koop.  He does have that tendency.  This shot was taken at Toledo Botanical Garden; Dahlia Hill had some nice specimens, too.  The helpful volunteer who put up with my questions and comments was disgusted that one of their plants had also reverted to solid red. It’s OK, shows us amateurs that it’s the flower, not us.

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

This shot of Lady Liberty was taken at Dahlia Hill in Midland.  It’s the only public display garden that I know in Michigan with this breadth of varieties and number of plants. (Hamilton Dahlia farms has the numbers but is not technically a public display garden — though open to visitors.)

It was my favorite white on this visit but I wonder how it compares with my old time favorite, Hy Mom.  I may have to grow them side by side to find out <g>.

Firepot

Firepot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The big dahlia plants become leggy and unattractive near the soil so I’m always on the lookout for short dahlias that can go in the front of the bed.  I’m trying Firepot next year, for sure.  You can probably tell that I love blends and this one is spectacular.  It should also work well in pots, for my friends who have climate problems with dahlias.  A good one to try.

Bashful, below is a nice single for the same purpose.  Low growing and full of color.  The bees love these singles and some of my collarets, not all of which stay small enough to use in the front of the bed.

Bashful

Bashful

Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Show and Tell is a garden in its own right.  I saw it at both Dahlia Hill and Toledo Botanical Garden.  Dahlia Hill’s volunteer told me that it’s a late bloomer, it had just started there, and on two plants at Toledo Botanical Garden there was just this one fantastical bloom.  But it was the size of my grand son’s head.  I am SO tempted.  So many dahlias; so little sun.

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