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My Dahlia Season

Dahlias provide color from August until frost

Dinner plate dahlias at Swann Island Farms — photo by author

A delight of retiring to Oregon, which I didn’t know before I moved, is the plenitude of flower farmers. Many farmers open their fields in the blooming season, to bring in customers and cash to their gift shops, sell their cut flowers, and gather their orders for spring planting.

I have a little patch of dirt, 100 square feet, that I planted last year outside my apartment deck. The manager approved before I started.

Garden recommendations

My son has a large vegetable and fruit garden which is abundant. This year the blackberries, in particular, have filled my freezer and topped my oatmeal, smoothies, and everything blackberries could enhance.

I asked him for advice on aromatic flowering plants which would attract pollinators. My plot is only partly sunny during the day.

I forgot to include that I need a variety of bloom schedules so that I have blossoms and colors from spring through fall. Spring, which was rainy and wet, was a riot of color. This August, which is the hottest month, the blooms have been scant.

I just returned from a visit to the Dahlia farm, though, and I am in heaven. I think that dahlias are a good representative for those of us who are blooming late, and provide a range of sizes, colors, and styles. I have started collecting owls (wise) and orcas (grandmothers who lead the pod), and dahlias will be added to the mix.

This morning was a cool break after a searing string of hot days, and the dahlias were in peak bloom. Dinner plate dahlias are accurately named — the largest cultivars are ten inches across, and command attention. Their petals have many shapes and maybe a subtle shading of one color or an infusion of several colors.

Starburst pink dahlias — photo and feet by author

The wide variety of blooms

The dahlias can be daisy-like; small, and button-sized, splayed out like whiskers or neatly gathered together like pom-poms on knit beanie caps.

I couldn’t help but think how our lives are now: daisy-like; small, and button-sized, splayed out like whiskers or in neat pom-poms. And many other variations.

Nature needs early bloomers and flowers which will carry us into September and October. I usually think of fall flowers as chrysanthemums, with colors shading to auburn and burgundy. But here are the dahlias, all dressed up for a night out, mature but still dazzling in their pastels.

My little garden patch isn’t the right sun or size for magnificent dinner plate dahlias. I’ll have to keep that as an inner aspiration. But I’ve been looking at gardening web pages for late bloomers to plant in spring.

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  1. SingingFrogPress
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    love this one! Thanks Sharon.

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