It’s foggy here today, so I thought I’d put up some pics of a couple of really impressive dahlias I saw in a street garden near my house recently, to chase the blahs away.
I will come straight out and say that I’m not much of a dahlia grower myself. I have a few dwarf annual ones that my mom gave me this year, but I think my garden lacks the proper combo of good soil, excellent drainage and regular watering to provide a good home for them. That’s just way too much cultivation for this lazy gardener! But for those interested in the basics of dahlia growing, one of the local dahlia groups near Seattle has this handy list of do’s and dont’s to get you on the right track.
Part of my resistance to this plant is that it’s one of those that has a “society” devoted to it, or many societies as it happens. I’ve seen entire home gardens devoted to dahlias, and while I admire the dedication of folks who specialize in one flower or kind of plant, it seems a little sad to me to pick one that is only in bloom for a few months and goes completely below ground for much of the year, leaving a bare patch of nothingness in its wake.
That said, I always enjoy seeing the really pretty ones my neighbor’s on-street garden produces every summer. This orange one had the shaggy look of Dorothy’s friend the Cowardly Lion:
I’m pretty hopeless with dahlia types. I know there are many, but I’m not up on them so won’t even try to categorize the ones shown here. If you really want to get into the minutae, this site has photos of all the different dahlia classifications.
I loved this one for its gentle lilac edging and lovely white and greenish-tinged underlayer.
What about you? Love to grow dahlias or prefer to admire them in other people’s gardens? Or do they just leave you cold?