I have been enjoying the summer insofar as my flowers go. I am in love with all things Dahlia. There are so very many styles of them. And they are a flower within a flower. They bloom in so many ways. They go from simple to complex, miniature to dinner plate, and even giants. The color variety is stunning!
For each of the Dahlias, I pluck them to keep them fresh, dead-heading regularly. I remove yellowing leaves, and am sure I water them regularly. Dahlias are originally from Mexico and the South American peninsula. They have adapted to climates in New Zealand, in England, and in different areas of the northwest like Oregon and Washington. They like cold nights and sunny days. Some of them like shade, and some like full sun. There is a particular Dahlia I saw in a book, and the plant is in England, and it is a gigantic one that is actually a tree! Dahlia Imperialis! It is stunning. Below is a Pom Pom Imperialis. So cool.
I am finding that at my age, I can still learn. I can still be taught. And I have found something I enjoy very much – growing flowers – Dahlias. And the fact that I am not regularly killing them makes me happy. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. And with Dahlias, I can try so many different flowers every year. This year, I seem to have a lot of white dinner plates. And they are astounding in their complexity and depth, even though when you first see them, they look sort of boring. But in the right light, they are incredibly beautiful.
In the right light, we can all be beautiful and shine. I am enjoying sharing my flowers with people. Some of my family and friends think I am mildly obsessed and I may well be. But I can only obsess in summer, when we can grow things here. And summer is quickly winding down. None of the stores have plants anymore. Snow blowers abound. I am still planting! We ordered some gray stacking stones to create planters around our house. They arrive this Friday!!! Ours is a white house with white trim and a big, green lawn. No flowers! I have been adding color wherever I can. Trees, bushes, and my flowers. I am very excited to get our planters done before the first freeze. And then I will start to harvest my Dahlias for their winter storage. You have to take them out of their pots and harvest the tubers. They are these long tubes that sort of look like a sweet potato. They are trimmed down and you write what they are in marker on the tubers itself. They are then kept in the garage, in boxes, while the snows are blowing and it’s below freezing outside (yay for a heated garage). Then when the ground thaws, you plant the tubers and wait for the blooms.
This is my most recent bloom – the Majestic! Isn’t it lovely? I just love the deep purple accented with the white. I know it will change up as it matures. They are just so surprising. Dahlias mimic life in that you think you know what you have, but every day brings a little surprise. Dahlias surprise you almost daily.
And the above bloom is a Seattle. I just love its tender colors. It is also changing as the bloom opens. I love how Dahlias do not disappoint – because they change as they mature – and I love that about them. This one is sort of caramel and cinnamon, with a touch of red in the center, and the delicate white tips. The petals actually start to form a tube as they open further and further. It is fun to look every morning to see what they have done overnight. Most of my Dahlias have lots of buds on them, so the flowers will keep blooming for another two or three weeks.
Anyway, as I end this, I wanted to share how happy growing things has made me this year. I’ve never paid it much attention in the past, always busy with kids and commitments that took me away from my garden. Growing season here is short and very intense, due to the extended day light hours. And now the signs of fall are starting to become irrefutable. The Fireweed is blooming out. That means 6 weeks until our first frost. The movement of the seasons reflects life. We have so much planned, and then the time just runs out. Sigh. And I wasn’t done, yet. But wait until you see my garden next year!!! Already planning ahead!