Monday, September 13, 2010

Other Gardens: Dallying with the Dahlias

Here is the first post from the guest-blogger, our fellow guide, Monzie.  Can you guess who Monzie is? I put a pic of Monzie in the right-side bar. aleks

My dahlias are doing poorly this year (not a bloom yet); so last weekend I popped over to the Seattle Dahlia Society's annual dahlia show in Lake City for some inspiration.

After a "hi" to the society's greeter behind the welcome table, who had a show-stealing puppy on her lap, I joined 12 others browsing among one zillion gorgeous scarlet, orange, yellow and white blooms on five long tables, helpfully arranged by type of dahlia - you know, formal and informal, decorative, cactus and semi-cactus, ball and so on - many with award ribbons alongside. Spectacular blooms for a p patch; too much for a Japanese garden.

Passing by the really, really big ones - a bright lemon yellow flower as big as a dinner plate - I headed for the ball and mini. Setting out to be uncharacteristically organized about this thing, I picked out the eight dahlias that appealed to me most, wrote down their names, then retraced my steps to take a picture of each in the same order. Enjoy a few above!

Now I'm set to buy tubers for next year. But, still, how to avoid producing more reluctant dahlias? The answer was at hand! In addition to a very well done display on how to grow them, there was a $2 pamphlet with large print and close-up photos with arrows clearly pointing to "eyes", "neck", "center bud" and "side bud", etc, which described eight steps. My big take away was Step 1: Plant tubers in potting soil until they sprout then transplant. Aha! That's giving them a head start. Goal: Early blooms in 2011!


  1. Friday, September 24: my first dahlia blooms!!

  2. Congratulation! Did you take a picture?

  3. Interesting! I recently got a bunch of dahlia tubers from a clean and well-organized dahlia display in one site, and I'm planning to grow them in my own garden. Perhaps, I could try that step 1 of yours. Can hardly wait to see the first bloom of these dahlias.

  4. Hi, Dahlia Grower!

    Good to hear from you! Will you drop by again and let us know how step 1 went for you?

    Best wishes for a successful dahlia season, Monzie


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