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cutflowers of summer

Dahlia coccinea ‘Orange,’ Mendocino Botanical Garden

Thank goodness there’s not a crazy nativist strain complicating appreciation of summer’s most colorful annuals. The only walls associated with these summer beauties might be the ones surrounding your cutting garden (you lucky devil!) Cosmos, zinnias, and dahlias, the mainstay of summer vases, are all outsiders that […]

this summer’s dahlias

I moved my one dahlia, the deep burgundy ‘Chat Noir,’ to my community garden plot this summer. Performance was…meh. By August the plant was finished. The soil at the CG still needs work if it’s to grow anything but zinnias and kale. Maybe next summer.

On the subject of next summer, a dahlia I’d be […]

the first summer dahlias and a freakish summer rain

I moved the dahlias to the community garden this year and am so very glad I did. Just as in my own small home garden last year, the plant is a sprawling mess, but now I don’t have to look at it daily anymore and can pillage the flowers for vases as much as I […]

Friday clippings 6/29/12

Lobelia tupa from Chile is blooming for the first time in my garden, thereby making everything right again with the world. Long time coming, Ms. Tupa. The color on the lobelia is deeper than salmon but slightly less intense than tomato red. Pure and unmuddied. Don’t crowd her and give her lots of compost. 4 […]

Rained Out

Unlike a sporting event or outdoor concert or meal, a Southern California garden that’s rained out in early October is cause for rejoicing.

And to really intensify the blissed-out experience of the first seasonal rains, just the day before you must have tucked in some new plants.

Along with the Salvia farinacea […]

Summer’s Bounty

Man cannot live by tomatoes alone. (The first dahlia opened today.)

There’s no way I’m going to keep the garden moist enough simply for a few dahlias to thrive, but I’d hate to face August and September without them. So this year I planted my one dahlia tuber in a 5-gallon nursery can […]

Dahlias, Dahling

I have this one dahlia that came back this spring. Bought at a spring 2009 garden show. I’ve pored over the skimpy 2009 garden notebook but apparently didn’t write down the name, if it was even labeled. A font of information as usual, but aren’t dahlias nice? Doesn’t its exotic looks make you want to […]