[oqeygallery id=18]Here are some of my nicest photos of this year’s dahlias and the dahlia bed.
Small, compact dahlias dominated this year, starting with Art Deco, (saved from 2010) which graces the deck boxes in back. The different colors that you see in the pictures are real; there’s even more variation of golds and rusts along with purplish pink tones than my camera can catch. Dahlia Esther was also a surprise. The online catalogue showed a rather flat orange and this is much nicer. It started early; it’s had the most blossoms of any variety and it’s still going strong. You will see it dominating the dahlia bed in most of the bed pictures. Ellen Houston is a small, solid, deep red dahlia, (deeper red than the camera can handle) with dark stems and shiney dark leaves. It should have been in front of the bed and next year it will go there. It may need some staking, or just more sun.
Two small ball dahlias come next in the sequence. Kasasagi echos the colors of Esther but with a different shape. Little Scotty completes the color transition to a pure yellow. I love their perfectly shaped, minature petals but both of these have minimal impact from a distance. Littly Scotty is a tall plant that needs staking. I think he will go on the back row between some larger-blossomed dahlias next year.
The smaller varieties are also earlier than the large ones, which just started showing off. I’ll be adding to this part of the collection next year for sure. This part of the gallery starts with Croyden Masterpiece. These are not as large as some that I grew a few years ago; those got me hooked and then, tragically, died. These start much pinker than I remember. Then they go lovely shades of peachy orange. Huge, yellow Bilbao was saved from one that I grew last year and planted directly into the ground as a trial. Worked pretty well! I like Ryn Fou best when it develops that deep purple stripe.
Also called: Pride of Gibraltar and Cathedral Bells.
I bought the seed from Renee’s Garden Seeds, who says “They make a show-stopping centerpice in the garden…” Somewhere else, I’d read that they are nondescript until the bracts show and then they are incredible, or words to that effect. In my garden, this is as good as it gets. If somewhere I needed a rangy, succulent looking, grey leaved plant, it might be a good choice but in my garden the single bracts are so subtle that you have to look closely to see them.
Doing further research, I read that they are a mediterranean plant. Maybe more heat and sun than I get would help?
Although the water spray that’s triggered by a motion detector seems to have stopped the deer damage in the garden, the chipmunks have eaten more of my tomatoes than I have. I was feeling a bit deprived as I looked at the chewed tomatos hanging sadly here and there in my late summer garden. But then I looked at my large kitchen island and saw it covered with enough food for a family of six, large and small tomatoes, two kinds of cucumbers, summer squash and baggies of beans and Piracicaba in the refridgerator. (onions and garlic curing in the garage…) Yes, most of the tomatoes on that counter were picked green, that pale light green that they get just before they turn color, but there are more than I need and they will still taste better than anything I can buy at the grocery store. Even local farmers pick them early and let them “counter ripen” for sale. So is that counter half empty or half full?
Just as I was pondering that, sister stopped by with a gift. A beautiful, vine-ripened tomato of the variety called Pineapple, from the plants that I had given her this spring. And that decided it. The counter is definately half full. Overflowing, even.
I bought maybe one plant of a deep red daylilly at a public garden that I visited in New York State many years ago. It was in the bed along the front walk before I planted the roses and I may have split it once long ago. Due to the horizontal supports for the climbers, it ended up under the roses. After this year’s flowers were spent, I decided to move it. It had become quite a clump and I was able to divide it into seven fans without even trying. I decided to pull the non-performing amaranths and from the before and after pictures, you may agree that pulling them wasn’t a sacrifice. I was able to preserve the single perfoming specimens of amaranth “Cinco de Mayo” and “Early Splendor” (from left to right). My plan for this long border is for the display to move forward through the seasons, from the once blooming roses to daylillies and then to the dahlia bed in front. Maybe the amaranths to fill; we’ll see.
It’s still too early for my full season dahlia gallery. The dinnerplate dahlias are tight buds, but starting to show color. I’m enjoying the flowers too much though, not to share. Croyden Masterpiece is not as large as it should be and not really orange, but I love it’s complex coloring. And it shows well with amaranths Love Lies Bleeding and Cinco de Mayo.
I have a nice design element happening (I never actually saw any of these before, just picked them out of a catalogue) which is the color and shape transitions from “Esther” the flat collerette to “Kasasagi”, to “Little Scotty”, the shy yellow ball (He still has a lot of leaf to flower ratio but it’s still early). Next year I will know that Ellen Houston stays shorter and goes in front. It picks up the red in the yellow/red blends.
About dahlias. After so many failures, with only a few successes, I often think that I should just give up on dahlias. Excuses abound. Our climate just isn’t right, it’s too hard to pull and store the tubers. But then, every day I drive by the Weston Racquet Club with a really exceptional display of dahlias. I stopped in to ask permission to photograph last year and I was told that one of the landscapers just likes dahlias. I’ll say. And, to put this in context, I look and look for public gardens with displays of dahlias this time of year and they are almost impossible to find in New England.
I just don’t know how any gardener worth her stuff can look at these flamboyent displays of color and light energy and not lust to grow them.[oqeygallery id=17]
Well, not much and not on this issue. The first year I got this rose, it bloomed about this time of year for the first time. I was really disappointed and called J & P to tell them they had sold me the wrong rose. No scent; and the number of petals didn’t match the description. It’s not supposed to be a flat, single rose. J & P told me that they would refund or send me another the next year. I procrastinated until the next spring and guess what! It was a full and pretty rose with a wonderful scent.
Evidently, there is a difference between what it produces at different times of the year because I’ve seen the same issue with summer reblooms later in the year. It would be interesting to know if this is a characteristic of the rose itself or if it’s something about the root stock or this particular bush.