Dahlia Disaster

I try really hard to be a good ‘plant mama’ but I fall short each spring and summer. This year it was the dahlias that took a hit.

The dahlia ‘Nonette’ got left in the bag until I discovered it in June when I almost threw it away. It could not be revived.

The lovely ‘Kelvin Floodlight’ got a disease again this year. My overzealous treatment killed it. I will miss its giant yellow blooms.

I had two batches of ‘Thomas Edison’ dahlia. My usual potting soil messed up the mix this year. It was too wet. Many of my plants rotted including one pot of ‘Thomas Edison.’

‘Cafe Au Lait’ is spindly and floppy with no blooms. I keep propping it up, hoping for improvements. The weather has cooled so there is hope for it.

I know this row looks lovely from afar. I know how it could look. That’s my problem. Gardener’s Guilt is real!

The “glass is half empty” and the row is half empty. I am extra grateful for ‘Firepot’ and ‘Snow Country.’

They have survived the many mishaps and are happily blooming.

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Dahlia Row

There are some new beauties in the line-up this year.

These were introduced to me last fall by the famous pianist, Harold Brown of Bramwell.

The three new faces are Nonette, Cafe’ au lait and Kelvin Floodlight.

I ordered these from Old House Gardens. https://oldhousegardens.com/

The Kelvin Floodlight photo does not do it justice.

Kelvin Floodlight Dahlia

Cafe’ au Lait is even more gorgeous than I expected.

Cafe’ au lait dahlia

Nonette needed some extra water to make bigger flowers, but did not disappoint.

Nonette Dahlia

My heart still belongs to my three favorites Thomas Edison, Firepot and Snow Country.

Thomas A Edison Dahlia

Firepot Dahlia

Snow Country Dahlia

Dahlia Row has taken a lot of feeding, composting and watering BUT these blooms are worth it.

Dahlias

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Cool Dahlias

Dahlias need four things to thrive.

First, they need rich soil. I enrich mine with homemade compost and mushroom compost.

Second, they need a lot of water to grow. Mine are at the bottom of a hill with a berm.

Third, they must be supported. I have been negligent in this so excuse the messy stake job.

The fourth thing that MUST happen is cool weather. Dahlias struggle until it cools down.

Then they show off with giant, heavy blooms.

These are my three favorites, Thomas A Edison, Snow Country and Firepot.

Thomas A. Edison Dahlia
Snow Country Dahlia
Firepot Dahlia

I love the cool weather, also.  I have wilted and withered all summer. Hooray fall!

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Worth the Water

I have had to water these dahlias during the drought.

I knew if I could just get them through to cooler weather

they would return to their glorious blooming condition.

I have been rewarded for my efforts.

They have pulled through and prospered.

Definitely worth the water.

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Dahlia Row

I usually do not plant in rows.

But I envisioned a bed of tall dahlias along this walkway through a hill.

I thought it would be great to look down on the blooms.

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Snow Country Dahlia

Last fall I amended the soil with all the ingredients dahlias love…

compost from the kitchen, bunny poop and mushroom compost.

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Firepot dahlia

I even topped them off with a special stinky concoction that included fish emulsion and Epsom salts.

They have grown wonderfully.

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Thomas Edison dahlia

They were so beefy they needed extra staking.

I think my dahlias are happy in a row.

Don’t you?

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My Three Favorite Dahlias

I have many dahlias.  It may not surprise you that most of them are purple.

I have three favorites.  Only one of which is purple.

These three are the most trouble, because they are dinner plate dahlias.

The blooms are so large that plant must be supported by stakes and fences.

These three need more water that the smaller dahlias. They need more nutrients.

It takes a lot of work on my part and the plant’s part to produce those big beautiful blooms.

I have decided to let some of my dahlias go.   I can’t bring them all in.

There is not enough space… or energy… or time to save them all.

So which three will be dug up, stored and treasured?

Firepot Dahlia

The three big, needy ones will.

Thomas A. Edison dahlia

Snowy Country dahlia

Because when we work together, we make something beautiful.

Synergy in the garden.

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