Dahlias 2017

One of those dark-foliaged Dahlias
 Dahlias have become a summer highlight.  I hope to add a couple more next year, including a "cactus form" flower, like one we saw recently at Sherman Gardens, and another dark-foliaged variety, because the dark foliage is as pretty as the flowers.  
 Why do they call them "cactus form"?  Doesn't look like a cactus flower to me. 

One of the terraces in the back gully is proving an excellent place for Dahlias--sunny just at the right time of the year, sharp drainage.  I can turn the irrigation off when they go dormant.  Since it is an out-of-the-way spot, empty space in winter is fine.  
Dahlia instead of nothing is a good thing:
New this year:  wish I'd saved the label.  Thanks to Nell for the ID:  'Funny Face'.  The other purchased this spring, dark magenta and white, did not grow.  One or two usually fail to return each year.  I've had fine luck with the inexpensive bagged packs from the big box stores.  Cheap thrills. 
 This was at Sherman Gardens.  They had three big beds crammed full of Dahlias--two were a mix of non-spectacular seedlings of all sorts of colors, and then there was this bed of orange and magenta.  Oooh!  That is a thrill of intense color:
 Last year I bought three tubers of 'Cafe au Lait'.  One did not grow;  one was a very weak plant that produced only two flowers, and one grew enormous and produced a boatload of huge gorgeous flowers.  This year,  the enormous one did not come back;  the weakling survived.  It seems a bit stronger this year:
 'Arabian Night', I think.  I've had it for several years. 
 I've had this one for several years and have several plants of it.  Very vigorous.  My least favorite one, of course, and name lost.  

Update:  this one might be 'Color Spectacle', with a phenomenon I am not familiar with until now:  "blown centers".  Blown centers can mean the end of the bloom season, or the sun is too hot for the plant, or the tubers can degrade on a genetic level and the flower becomes less beautiful and will always be less beautiful and there's nothing you can do but toss them.  Huh?  Never heard of that before.  Consider these comments for yourself. 

"Blown centers" phenomenon?  Forever ruined, or do they need a little shade instead of the merciless sun of a California July? 
 'Holland Festival',  I've had this one at least a decade.  Reliable for something so pretty.

I made a Dahlia/Grevillea bouquet for our Dentist.  When you have to look in people's mouths all day, some flowers can be refreshing.
 There are one or two more Dahlias still to bloom.  I'm really enjoying Dahlias this year, so much so, more for next year sounds good.  Are you growing Dahlias?  How are they doing? 

Comments

  1. Bellisimas Dalias las que nos has mostrado. Muchas felicidades y mil gracias por hacernos disfrutar a nuestra vista

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    1. Estoy contento de haber disfrutado las fotografías de Dahlia. Hay muchos tipos diferentes de Dahlias, es difícil aburrirse con ellos!

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  2. Hello Hoover Boo,
    Your Dahlia's are breathtaking. I don't have them in my little garden. I forget to dig them out at the
    end of the year. Overhere they have to stay in the garage during wintertime.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Rosegreatings Marijke

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    1. They are much easier when they can be left in the ground over the winter. I guess the low rainfall here creates certain advantages. Happy flowers, Marijke.

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  3. Gorgeous Dahlias, to see them here made me wonder why I don't have them in my Garden? When my Grandfather was alive he had lots of them in what now is my Garden, they grew beautifully in this climate (unlike many plants I stubbornly keep planting) Unfortunately after his death the garden was neglected for some years and the Dahlias died out. I think is time to bring them back, my grandfather would be happy.

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    1. That would be a lovely way to remember your Grandfather. I hope you are able to try some new ones in his memory.

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  4. I wish I were growing these -- I did years ago for a couple of years. Now too many deer and don't need another thing to dig up and store over the winter.

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    1. It's tough to dig and store any plant for the winter. I would not have the energy to do it. California sort of enables lazy gardening.

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  5. Your dahlias are very pretty! I especially like 'Arabian Night' and the incredible beautiful 'Cafe au Lait'.
    In my garden the dahlias are the highlight right now, too. My roses simply can not withstand the crazy heat anymore, but the dahlias keep going, even though they are all planted in black plastic containers and I assumed the tubers would be cooked by now.
    It is only my second year with dahlias, but this time I actually got to sprout more than one tuber ; -)! It is a relieve for me to hear though, that for you also the tuber sometimes fail to sprout.
    The favorites in my garden are 'Cafe au Lait', 'Platinum Blonde', 'Apple Blossom' and 'Bridezilla'. I have a lot of disease on the leaves though.
    I think I will do a special blog post about them soon, or feature them in the next Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post, if I find the time to write that one, that is :-)!
    Wishing you a good week!
    Christina

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    1. It sounds like you have a great collection of Dahlias. A bloom day post of Dahlias would be fabulous, here's hoping you have time to do it, as I would really enjoy seeing yours.

      Happy Gardening, Christina.

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  6. No Dahlias this year but do like them with their cheerful and colourful blooms that do so well in an exotic scheme (being from Mexico and all). Dark leaved ones are a particular favourite.

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    1. Yes indeed they are the national flower of Mexico. So entirely appropriate with Agaves and Echeverias nearby.

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  7. What a nice gift for your dentist! If I had room I would love to have a cutting garden with plenty of Dahlias...

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    1. We saw some Dahlia cutting gardens when we visited the PNW last year--I think they were even more beautiful there than there. They might do well in one of your troughs, if you find one empty some spring. :)

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  8. Oooh, love all your Dahlias, especially your least favorite. I'd love to have that in my garden. I've tried Dahlias off and on over the years, but I'm too lazy to dig them every winter, which they'd really prefer here. Sometimes they come back, sometimes not. With all our winter rain, to come back, they need really good drainage.

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    1. Have you tried growing them in a big 5 or 10 gallon black nursery pot? They seem to do well that way. Since they like to be barely damp all winter, I would think wintering them over in your area would be difficult.

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  9. I love that you made a bouquet for your dentist! You are a very thoughtful woman. I bought a dozen Dahlia tubers from Floret Farms this year and planted them promptly upon receipt in my raised planters, which get lavished with more water than any other part of my garden. I cut the lead stalks back by several inches as FF recommended to encourage branching when the plants reached a foot tall and they're only now forming buds. My first bloom, on 'Otto's Thrill', opened this weekend but I'm hoping my luck will be better with the plants this year than it's been in the past. We need some blooms to enjoy as the temperatures soar!

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    1. Not thoughtful so much as needing a good dentist.

      I looked up 'Otto's Thrill', --wow, what a beauty! Dahlias do give July a boost, which it badly needs. Everything looks so bleached and scorched out there. And the high heat lingers, grrr!

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  10. Dahlias go in and out of favor here --I plant several, keep them for a few years and then dig them out and go Dahlia free for awhile. Last year I had planned to buy a few of the pricey tubers from Floret Flower Farm, but they were sold out by the time got around to ordering. This year I will try again. I do love them , in spite of the snails and the damn cucumber beetles.


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    1. I agree, I've taken breaks from Dahlias now and then. I'm in favor lately.

      Big Box Dahlias have been successful, as successful as the mail order ones. If only I kept the labels so I knew the names!

      The drought had a devastating effect on the local snail population. One plus of drought! Two, if you count lack of weeds.

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  11. Gorgeous flowers. Love the Dahlia. In Switzerland my garden was full. Here the climate is not made for them but some grow. Especially the dwarf ones. Last year no luck as it was so dry. Anyway enjoyed your bunch of flowers.

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    1. What a change for you, from Switzerland to Australia! Gardening is a wee bit different! That would be like me going from SoCal to Vermont. I can't imagine.

      Happy you liked the Dahlia flowers.

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  12. I went looking for that red-flecked yellow pom pon online after your post using it in a red and yellow arrangement, and I think it might be 'Funny Face'. Does that name ring a bell?

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    1. Hey!!! That's it!!! Thank you! I went searching for it on images, using search terms like 'yellow red ball dahlia', 'yellow red pompon', etc etc, and it did not come up. Thank you so much, I will update and credit.

      The name--at time of purchase I didn't even pay attention. My bad.

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