Dahlia Dreams

October is secretly a beautiful month in the garden. The moderate daytime and nighttime temperatures make for an extended season of blooms. Dahlias especially appreciate this change of pace. They are no lovers of our super hot summers here in the Northeast. They prefer October’s temperatures in the 60s and 70s with nights in the 40s and 50s. It might feel a bit cool for us when we wake up in the morning, but the dahlias are in heaven. I’ll take the cold morning air in exchange for this surge of late season beauty in the gardens.

The gallery above features all of the dahlias in the North Garden this year. Our color selection for this garden does not veer far from soft yellows, whites, and salmons. The color intensity of the flowers increases as the temperatures decrease. I’m often surprised to see how much a dahlia can change with the weather. 

The Rose Garden colors do change a bit from year to year. This year, I was aiming for soft sunset tones in my dahlia selection (made way back in the winter of 2020-2021 – yes we do order that far ahead of time). A few of the colors have landed in a decidedly more pink tone in bloom, but I am happy nonetheless. Dahlia ‘Flip Flop’ has been quite the show stopper and is my hands down favorite in the Rose Garden. The sheer number of blossoms on ‘Flip Flop’ is spectacular. I did lose a few plants to August storms that split some tall dahlias (despite my efforts to stake them ahead of time). This is not an uncommon occurrence, however, so I have learned to live with the little disappointments that come along with any number of tall flowers in bloom in August and September.

Dahlia ‘Ivanetti’

Dahlia ‘Ivanetti’ has been on display in the Cutting Garden for the past couple of years. I am always smitten with this one. It’s deep color is so entrancing and seems the perfect herald of darker days and cooler temperatures to come. Not to mention that it is absolutely loaded with blossoms this year. Perhaps all of the rain we had this summer was the perfect boost it needed to put on such a gorgeous display. 

Also among the dahlias in bloom in the Cutting Garden is the dahlia featured at the top of this blog, Dahlia ‘Tapioca.’ I am very pleased with this as a trial and would like to include it in the North Garden next year. I am hoping it does as well there as it has here by the Greenhouse.

How are your dahlias blooming? Have they enjoyed the weather as much as ours have?