It's October and I've got more dahlias than I know what to do with, even though I've been giving bouquets away here and there. In 2017, the first year I grew dahlias, they were gone by September. 2021 was a banner year with thirteen dahlia varieties still in place but, on average, between 2017 and 2022, I've had just seven varieties left by the time October arrived. This year I have fourteen varieties and what's more, I have duplicates of many of these. It's overwhelming - in a good way. I'm already saving glass and plastic bottles, imagining a large scale giveaway of cut flowers in November (absent a nasty heatwave beforehand). Needless to say, dahlias fill all three of this week's vases.
The first vase contains some newbie dahlia blooms: 'Breakout', 'Calin', and Romantique'. Another newbie, 'Lady Darlene', also made an appearance last week but I'm waiting for additional flowers before cutting them for a vase.
|Dahlia 'Romantique' is a diminutive variety relative to most of the dahlia blooms surrounding it. I mistook it for a bud of 'Breakout' when I first noticed it, as they're similar in color if not size.|
|Back view featuring Dahlia 'La Luna'|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' foliage, noID double-petaled Calibrachoa, Prunus ilicifolia foliage, Dahlia 'Breakout', D. 'Calin', D. 'La Luna', and D. Romantique|
My second vase includes one of the dahlias with the largest blooms, as well as this year's most prolific bloomer: 'Fairway Spur' and 'Summer's End'.
|While one Dahlia 'Fairway Spur' is still producing a lot of mutant-shaped blooms, the other has produced huge, fully-petaled flowers|
|Back view: I planted only one Dahlia 'Summer's End' but it still manages to out-produce even the varieties with 2 or 3 clumps in terms of the sheer number of flowers|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', Leucadendron salignum 'Chief', Dahlia 'Fairway Spur', D. 'Summer's End', Xylosma congestum (foliage), and Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose'|
The last arrangement was inspired by the foliage of Vitex trifolia but it contains three dahlias that make the most of the Vitex's purple leaves: 'Enchantress', 'Lavender Ruffles', and 'Mikayla Miranda'. 'Lavender Ruffles' is this year's floppiest dahlia and I unfortunately planted three of them, all holdovers from last year, only one of which was properly supported at the outset. The plant is only supposed to get three feet tall and I generally don't cage dahlias that are that height or shorter; however, as it's blooms grow up to twelve inches wide, their sheer weight pulls the stems down. Next year, I'll plant only one of those tubers and it'll be surrounded by a tomato cage.
|Back view featuring Dahlias 'Enchantress' and 'Lavender Ruffles'|
|Clockwise from the upper left: Cosmos bipinnatus, Dahlia 'Enchantress', D. 'Lavender Ruffles', D. 'Mikayla Miranda', tiny Vitex trifolia flowers, and the Vitex's dual-colored foliage (olive green on top and purple underneath)|
Despite my skepticism, we received a little rain this past weekend after all. The majority of that, 0.04/inch arrived Sunday morning, most of it as a single downpour. As October 1st is the start of the 2024 "water year," I'm choosing to see that as auspicious. We're expecting a warm-up on Wednesday but it doesn't look like it'll get much above 80F (27C) here.
For more IAVOM creations, visit our host, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.
All material © 2012-2023 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party