Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: July 2010

To heck with what's blooming in my garden right now ... there's nothing all that exciting (at least not to me) ... let's continue looking back at Buffalo! I did my best to keep my fellow Texas gardeners, and indeed all Southern gardeners, in mind when taking pictures. I knew y'all would feel as I did about seeing all these fabulous plants that we can't grow: at once exhilarated and despondent. OK, maybe the latter is exaggerating a bit ... but y'all know what I mean. Dahlias are amongst those plants so it's Dahlias I want to share this GBBD (the meme started by uber-garden blogger Carol of May Dreams Gardens).


This is what to expect from Dahlias in my part of Texas, although I did take this picture in Buffalo! The Sweet Potato Vine must have been shading the plant and stunting its growth.

When I first started gardening, a friend here in Katy and I ordered Dahlia tubers online. Mine managed to produce one or two pitifully small blooms before they succumbed. In years since, I've bought pots of what are labeled as Windowbox Dahlias, the small flowered varieties that can be grown from seed. Whether in pots or in the ground, they struggle to make it. I've concluded that the problem is not with the vegetative growth of the plants but with the tubers/roots. Not only do the hot and humid summer nights give them no opportunity to rest and recover from the even hotter and more humid summer days, all it takes is one good summer rain followed by a sunny day for the tubers to rot in the ground.

They never achieve the size, color and petal count of these beauties.

I didn't remember to take a location picture to remind myself of where I saw these. I know the 1st two were in the AAS trial gardens on the shores of Lake Erie. The one above was in a private garden.

The Dahlia above was in Lancaster Avenue residents' Jim and Annabelle's garden. No wonder he's so enthralled by them ... I loved the colors on this one.

The bi-colored variety was being trialed in the test gardens.

The color of this diva was as rich and voluptuous as that of a good Cabernet. And like a good Cabernet, there are darker notes to be found when you look more closely.

I'd like to thank Jim Charlier of The Art of Gardening and Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant and Gardening While Intoxicated for providing me with the opportunity to see not only Dahlias but countless other beautiful plants and gardens, and to spend time with other like-minded gardeners and writers. Y'all did an exceptional job and you deserve every accolade that's come your way!

2 comments:

FabricandFlowers said...

I am enjoying the pictures from Buffalo. Amazing beauty. Thanks for sharing with us.

Carol said...

Funny thing... I can grow dahlias here, but I don't. If you plant them in the ground, you have to dig up the tubers in late fall, or they will die. I do like them, though. They are big amazing flowers!