My Earliest Blooms 2

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

WE came from here

Yeah. both links worked.

This message was edited Sep 16, 2013 8:31 AM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for all the help, Mary. I have to spend time making cages this winter. Maybe it will keep me away from ordering more plants...maybe.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I still have a stack of them in one corner of the back yard behind the compost bins. I need to review the back yard for anything I haven't 'caged'. Then get mulch, at least as much as I have, spread around. Front yard is much easier as most of it is covered with dahlias which will be out in a month. I have to look but I think I have only ordered maybe a few lilies and two dahlias. Not bad. Well, except for all my vegies seeds. Could have bought five or six dahlias for what they cost. Not sure this experiment in vegie growing is all that economical.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Lilies may not be ordered since I have too many in pots already, waiting to see their heights in the second year. This year many fried with the early July heat wave. There are also many lilies to be dug and moved to safety from the dastardly deer. They ate all blooms except for the few hiding behind the yarrow.

Veggie growing was great for our neighbors. They got the tomatoes, cukes, green beans, etc. without any work on their part. It's not as though they traded or supplied us with any strawberries or other fruit. I enjoy being nice to the neighbors but wonder if they ever feel the same about us since they don't show it.

So tempt me, which lilies did you order?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

just got back from watering my friends flowers. I gave her some of white dahlia tubers a few years ago, hers look better then mine. Most of the time she has the sprinkle system on, unless they are away, then I water her garden. It is a beutifull place, out of my budget, and they are such a nice couple in early 70s. The house is in a gated community, but the deer still coomes in and eat her Knock out roses and some other flowers. He asked me to help him with the next year planting, I think lots of salvias and lantanas will help with the deer problem. Any sugestion??? Etelka

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Lovely photos, Etelka.

Coleus are so colorful and they go with so many other plants. The deer hate them! The deer also don't touch anything gray and fuzzy. They won't bother anything in the mint family and that does include Nepeta and coleus and monarda.

Salvia is always a safe choice. They come in a wide variety of colors and heights.

Deer won't bother with cosmos and cleome either.

They stay away from anything with a strong scent, like marigolds and herbs.

Here the deer devour hostas, daylilies, lilies, new leaves on caladiums, hydrangeas and all vegetables except asparagus...thank God!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

lol Your neighbors were stingy and thoughtless. I bet now that Jack isn't challenging the local produce stores they feel the lack. Jerks. Not very sympathetic with people who have no sense of community and sharing.

I will have to go look. Can't find my receipt.

Mentor, OH

You're right. That other thread was getting awfully long. Thanks for starting a new one, Mary. I walked back to the garden this morning and found a few new blooms. 1) This was a freebie that I think is called Brookside Cheri. It's pretty much colored up like Peach Delight. 2) This one came in a 3-pack that I bought at the grocery store. They were labeled Akita so I'll have to take their word for it. All three were different colors. At a cost of 3 tubers for $3.98, I won't complain. 3) Hollyhill Chrystal definitely needs more sunlight. It's only about 4". 4) This is from my second Witteman's Best plant. I still have more with buds. I just hope I can keep the deer away. Those son of a guns have tromped through every bed the last few nights. There's nothing in any bed that they eat, so I don't know why they are there except to give me a hard time. LOL

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Love the depth of color on the last one, Dan!

I think that's the unwritten law of the deer - annoy the owners and trample everything.

This is what they did to an area of lilies just days from bloom. I detest those nasty creatures.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

You have a far better attitude than I. I'm sure I have asked but can't you fence your gardens in. Surely that would be less work and expense than having your beautiful flowers eaten or just tromped on. Or what about those motion sensor sprinklers. Or hanging a dead skunk from a stake in the middle of each bed. Well, that might be counter productive in the enjoyment department. Gorgeous flowers.

# 2 doesn't look like the Akita I saw in one nursery. This is an online picture. You would probably have to cut and paste it into your address line.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Your link worked fine for me.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Good. Never did a cut and past of url that way before. Neat. By the way, the real Akita (or at least the one at the nursery) is a favorite color.

Mentor, OH

Arlene, I can sympathize since I've seen that same deer damage on lilies more times than I care to think about. A year or so ago, I dug an entire bed of lilies and gave dozens of bulbs to my sister-in-law who lives about two miles from here. She had my brother build a beautiful rock wall raised bed. After planting the bulbs, her luck was no better than mine. The deer devoured what the squirrels didn't dig up. It's a shame and getting worse. Etelka, that is an absolutely gorgeous property your friends have. I would fill the whole thing with dahlias. lol

Mentor, OH

These are the three dahlias that came from the 3-pack labeled Akita. ( there's that ugly rebar again, Arlene lol) I've seen variations of the first two and have heard people comment on different colors but I've never seen a yellow version. I think (?) Longfield Nursery sells a yellow one they say is Akita. I believe it's Cambridge.

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Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Dan , you should see the rest of the property, about 3-4 acre prime property on a golf cours, lots of money there. They have a garden island close to the pool, that is the one the owner want me to help him with. They let lots of canna lilies take over and it looks wild. I have some ideas about what to plant, but they are less into color than me, I am a cottage gardener, more color is better. I have a lots of black and blue salvia that is just beutiful, the hummers are here every morning and the bumble bees too. Coleus is doing good, but my dahlia is not, next year I will rebuild that side of the garden and make a raised bed with new soil. Etelka

This message was edited Sep 16, 2013 8:54 PM

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Mentor, OH

Arlene, I just noticed the questions you asked on the old thread, so I'll add my two cents. I always remove the bottom 12"-18" of leaves from the plants. They turn yellow and dry up anyway. I begin staking when the plants are a foot and a half tall. I only use one stake per plant. I just make sure it's sturdy and driven into the ground far enough to support the biggest plants. Anytime a young plant has multiple stems, I cut off all but one, sometimes two at the most. The more stems a plant has, the wimpier they are. I recently read an interesting Q & A on another forum. Someone wrote that they were moving from Tennessee to Michigan in mid-September and they were going to dig their dahlias and take them with them. They were asking if they should replant them when they got to Michigan. Ted Kennedy (teddahlia) of Hollyhill Dahlias answered "don't even think about replanting them". He said that by mid-September the tubers would already be ripe enough for storage and that it was a "total myth" that they needed a frost before storage since they are native to Mexico where it doesn't frost. This sounded strange to me until I thought about the growers in the deep South and in California that get no frost. So why do so many people stress waiting until a frost to dig? I'll take Ted's word for it since I think he knows a thing or two about dahlias (lol) but I'll wait for a frost anyway.

Mentor, OH

I certainly agree that more color is better. That's why I like dahlias since there are so many colors, sizes and forms. And having blooms for three or four months is getting the most "bang for your buck." I have a couple of friends who grow nothing but hosta. One doesn't have a lot of options since he has so much shade. It's all a matter of personal preference, but I need color.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Your first Akita shot (of the three you posted tonight) is magnificent! The rebar is just rebar and will never look as we wish it would. Clear rebar would be one improvement but invisible rebar would be grand.

You can have your sister-in-law try the imustgarden spray but she'd have to use it on the lilies almost every other day since the deer only want the buds and they grow so fast that the spraying has to be done often to keep up with the growth. The scent is lovely! Not too minty but just right.

Etelka - maybe with your ideas you can add the color and change the way the people think about it.

Thanks for your help, Dan. I've been removing lower leaves but didn't know how far up the stem to go so I stopped when I spotted buds on branches.

By the time the dahlias are growing I'm not up to searching for multiple stems to remove but haven't had problems with wimpiness this year. I'll try to be more diligent next year.

AC Rainier has two stakes but could use one more. Oh! Today we retrieved the mail after being away on Cape Cod and my A.M. Leonard package arrived with 8 rolls of tape, 4 of the half inch and 4 of the one inch tapes. Thanks so much for recommending them!

I can see Ted's point with saying there's no need to wait until frost but so many sites say it that I guess I'm brainwashed.

For the price of many dahlias at HD or Lowe's it's certainly a bargain compared to annuals!

Hostas are fine for shade but the deer love them for all meals and snacks. You can see they avoided the coleus here and the caladium just to devour the hosta plantaginea. It's a constant heartbreaker though now I've finally blocked their paths and haven't had a recent attack but it does make gardening less fun when we always have to be on guard while they roam free.

Last year, in just our rather small township, 444 deer were killed by cars. That's more than the hunters got!

I bought some very low border dahlias in early May and planted them the same day - a rarity here. All are doing well except for one that seemed to just collapse while we were gone. I'll dig it up tomorrow and check the tubers. It seemed so strange that only one would be hit so hard...and they are in a garden with 8' high deer fencing so I can't even put the blame on the deer. Photos 2 and 3 show them as of the day I bought them and then as of 8/20. No need to take a photo of the collapsed one. I didn't feed any of them, didn't use any sprays, same watering (irrigation system) for all, so I don't know the cause of the failure.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

this one is barely open. it was sent as a freebie but I couldn't find it on Dan's Dahlias nor in the ADS listings. Looks like it could be really pretty though. It is called Paradise.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Are there more buds waiting to open?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Pinelands Pam finally opened. It's pretty enough but I want the dahlias that open in late July, not the mid-September blooms!

Michael C holds its blooms very well and keeps its color nicely.

Tomorrow I have to get more photos of AC Rainier. (Dan will be SO jealous!)

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have one other bud on Paradise that is slightly less open than the one above. I have one other bush with a slowly opening bud. No clue who it is. Here is a picture taken yesterday. The purple one I was uncertain about turned out to be Elma Elizabeth.

Pineland Pam looks just like Helen's Alvin Sr. with a little more yellow in the center. Well, maybe not so bright red. Although I think it is just my picture as it really is a bright red.

Now now. No poking a stick at Dan. lol

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Did anyone ever tell you what great Irish hands you have?

Pam is a screamer. Can't help but spot her in the garden. Next year she'll get a different spot.

Dan is a good guy (but he'll still be jealous of how lush my AC Rainier is!)

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Oh what a devil you are Arlene. Irish hands indeed... lol. matches the freckles on my face, much faded over time. Like the red hair (orange when I was born) I used to have. You crack me up, you do...

Dan, squeek up for your self. Arlene is being wicked.

Mentor, OH

Hey, no fair talking about me when I'm not around. lol I'm anxious to see Arlene's AC Ranier. My uncle called last night and was telling me about his ACR. He didn't know the name and calls it "my peppermint one." He asks about some names but his descriptions could fit a half dozen different dahlias. He says something like "you know, the big lavender one". I can't help much with that but he is going to send some photos. I'm glad he and my two aunts are enjoying the "dahlia addiction". I have to take a walk back to the garden and see if I have anything new.

Mentor, OH

I have three new ones that aren't fully opened. 1) Zorro. It's overcast this morning but I don't understand why the photos of Zorro look so washed out. I've come to the conclusion that my camera doesn't like the colors red or purple. I may have to break out my other Canon to see if it views things differently. 2) Snow Country. 3) Wyn's King Salmon. This is supposed to be a big one but is off to a slow start. 4 & 5) Group shots of Otto's Thrill. I've heard people saw they didn't like the common dahlias that are widely available. If "common" means big beautiful 8"-10" flowers like Otto's and Kelvin FL have, then I'll take "common" all day long. I'm seriously thinking of having one bed of nothing but OT and KFL next year.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Otto's Thrill is my kind of dahlia (like Rosemary Webb). None of this huge but one at a time business. Like Sweet Dreams. Lots of long lasting blooms on tall stems.

Mentor, OH

The photos are of two different plants. I have four more that haven't bloomed yet. I thought at first that I may have over-done it with so many of the same kind. Now I'm happy that I did. Don't you just love it when you can buy nice dahlia tubers for $2.00 or less?

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Huh??!! You can?? Like where?? You mean Lowes or Home Depot?

Oh, I thought you said that #4&5 were Otto's Thrill.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Otto's Thrill for $2.00. I want to know where you bought them, too! (Pic's #4 and 5).

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I dug up (from a pot) Nick Sr as it was all but a stalk with a few leaves. It had bloomed but was really gnarly looking. I didn't want it to rot in the pot. I got two decent tubers and plant to dip them in bleach mix in case the problem was some sort of fungus or whatever. I am still also holding out for frost for the others. Did I mention it snowed 1" in Fairbanks which is 350 miles north. They have hotter summers and shorter ones, but very bitter winters. It is hard to believe it is coming when the lilies and dahlias are doing so well. First frost should be at the earliest the end of Sept.

Mentor, OH

Both photos are Ottos'. I should have said two individual plants rather than "different" plants. At least three of my Otto's came from "everyone's favorite" .... Michigan Bulb. I know many people talk trash about MB, and maybe with good reason. But seriously, the only issue I've had was getting plants that were smaller than I expected. After planting, they always caught up pretty quickly. I bought over a dozen dahlia clumps from them late this Spring when I decided to convert my vegetable garden into a dahlia bed. They were one of the only places still selling tubers that late in the tear. Almost all of their dahlias were on sale for $2-$3 and they continuously run the deal where you spend $40.00 and they knock $20.00 off. I don't believe I've ever had a dahlia tuber from there fail to grow. I don't recall where the other three tubers came from ( maybe MB, too ) but I know they were cheap. A lot of places don't like getting stuck with left-off tubers and put them on sale late. Two or three years ago I bought a single Thomas Edison tuber from Home Depot for 50 cents. I would have bought more but didn't have room.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I would never have thought MB would have been a good source for dahlias. I have ordered from them and not been happy with the results. On the other hand that was years ago and I now am sure that a lot of the failures were operator error. I have learned a lot since then. I may take a look at them again for dahlias at least.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Ah, freckles and red hair! I wanted one of my kids to have red hair and married a redhead (what there was of it) but instead I have a blonde and a shaved son has the shaved head, not my daughter!

Otto's Thrill will be on my list for 2014! I agree that I want a plant with lots of blooms, not a now and then bloom.

Dan - Here's AC Rainier, which I always want to spell Ranier.

I like your Zorro!

Common generally means widely available, at least to me. Not exactly rare would be another way others may think of it. Often it's how we use a plant that makes it special.

Today I was busy placing stones. We bought a whole palette and I had no idea how many there were but now my back is telling me!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I agree with you, Mary, about MB. I will look but hope I can resist.

Mentor, OH

I love your AC Rainier, Arlene. Or as my uncle would say, "my peppermint one". That is a true beauty. This afternoon I noticed one of my Nick Sr.'s is almost half open. When I first saw it I thought it was another Bodacious until I looked at my list. I'd forgotten that I had two Nicks. Another MB $2.00 deal.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Holy cow Arlene. What are you going to do with a palette of rock. Glad it's your back not mine. I really do like Rainier. It looks like a lighter version of Marble Ball; that batik look. A friend sent me two tubers of Nick Sr. I thought only one made it but they did bloom this year. A little mutated but pretty outrageous and yes similar to Bodacious. One plant has yielded two tubers with good stem portions. The other is still in the ground with a bud opening as we 'speak.' You know Earl may only have one or two blooms at a time but they are so outrageously huge and impressive if the rain doesn't bedraggle them. I was not going to look for new dahlias but now I am hooked. D..... you Psudan! Not really . Only joking. I think that is sort of a paraphrase from some movie or book. Don't remember.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Dan. AC Peppermint would have been a good choice for a name for AC Rainier! Love your $2.00 deals!

I wanted some rocks/stones, Mary, but didn't realize until I began using them just how many are in a palette. At least I've learned to spell "palette" so there is some redeeming value! I've gotten inventive with using the stones already and realize by using them as a border I have fewer areas for the weeds to grow. I worked with them for six hours and my back is fine today. We'll see how it is by the time I finish.

I'm considering expanding the red & white (Jamaica) area but don't want to get too contrived with colors. Trying to match reds isn't easy (for me) and more red/white could get confusing. The red peppers in front of Jamaica are ideal and edible!

Mary - it looks like Dan is trying to "lead us into temptation". Beware of Sister Rosalita, Dan!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I meant to add a note to Dan - I found some of the copper Jack had used in the vegetable garden, in the box with stakes. It's about an inch wide and makes a sturdy stake that looks much better than rebar. Now to convince him that I need the rest of it cut into 3 and 4' sections. The first piece I used on AC Rainier since the two current stakes still don't seem strong enough and I don't want to lose the plant or have it snap off at the base if we get any storms this fall as we usually do.

Mentor, OH

This is Nick Sr. (?) on the left and Bodacious (?) on the right. I realize Nick isn't fully open, but they look like the same flower. Are these dahlias supposed to be this similar or did something go haywire with my labeling? Or maybe it was Michigan Bulb's labeling. lol

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