Favorites of 2014

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Which dahlias were favorites with you?

We could help each other, and all lurkers and newbies, by showing our favorites. It's a huge help to know the best we all grow.

My list would be:

1. Tartan
2. Fubuki Red and White
3. Bodacious
4. Giraffe - not at all like the stock photo but highly admired in the garden.
5. Pineland's Pam

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Mentor, OH

I don't have favorites because I love 'em all. lol These would be among my favorites in no particular order.

1) Vancouver. Can't believe the dried out clumps I bought turned out this well.
2) Ben Huston
3) Bonaventure
4) Ivory Palaces
5) Nick Sr.

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Mentor, OH

A few more favorites.

1) Ferncliff Inspiration. Very dependable and good tuber producer. Had it for years.
2) Shiloh Noelle.
3) Bradley Aaron I love the frosted edges.
4) Kelvin Floodlight
5) LaLuna. A gift from Mary. Thanks again!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Where's Otto's Thrill? I love looking at that one!

Mentor, OH

Otto is also a favorite of mine but I can't seem to get a photo that I'm satisfied with. The first two are from a year ago.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's so pretty! Try for the first bloom in 2015.

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

It's hard to choose just 5, but AC Ring of Fire, Black Monarch, Parfait, Irish Blackhart, and Warf.

This message was edited Dec 14, 2014 9:43 PM

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Please don't limit yourself! Keep on posting more of your favorites. We're starved for good photos here, Tod.

Yours are all beauties. I'm very attracted to the dark ones and your Black Monarch is splendid.

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

Hi Arlene!

OK, here are some more - Cheerleader, Lulu Island Art, Marika, Marvelous Mel, and NTAC Patricia

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

They're all so big and beautiful. Do you grow any of the smaller ones?

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

Irish Blackhart was quite tiny, I don't grow many smaller than a B though. Here are some:

Alberta Sunset, some orange pom that was a free one (name escapes me), Misthill Contessa, Glenplace (pom), and Ferncliff Bliss.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm repeating myself...they're all beautiful. Have you grown either Diva or Barberry Gem. I'm considering both of them.

Do you have any problems with the big ones flopping?

How many did you grow this year?

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

No, I did not yet grow them. Every year I pick out the next years plants and somehow I always exceed what I have space for! They must be making new ones at a ridiculous rate. I do have problems with the big ones near the end of the season, but I go through a LOT of stretch tie. Including pots I grew about 650 this year, but a lot died from rain and such.

Here you can see them on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGvknQSFkd0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh-Z4DLqudo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAQI8MNshLc

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

What a garden !! Talk about dahlia dedications. And that 10' dahlia just boggles the mind. Thanks so much for sharing.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Amazing! Words fail me.The videos are great.

Just thinking of growing 650 dahlias gets me tired.

Mentor, OH

Now that's what I call a dahlia garden!! Tod, great photos and videos! I am very impressed but I can't imagine digging 650 clumps in the fall. Do you dig all of them or only your favorite ones? I grew 139 in the ground this year and about a dozen more in pots. Don't think I could handle many more than that. I dug about 90% of them this fall. I think the most time consuming part for me is having to keep tying them to the stakes as they grow. All in all, I think the work and time spent is still worth it. Hope you'll post more photos.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The tying to stakes, and trying to get the ties around the wide plants, is a killer. Still some stretch the tape to the limit by October. They are all well behaved during August but put on a growth spurt with the arrival of cooler September weather and then have to be checked twice a week.

Tod - what do you use to tie them up? Maybe there's something I haven't heard about!

Mentor, OH

A few more favorites that I haven't grown in the last year or three.

1) Canby Centennial
2) Goshen Calico
3) Alpen Pauline
4) Bristol Stripe
5) Mick's Peppermint

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I love them all. How is it that you have just the ones I like. Perhaps I should just let you make my selections, or send me your list of orders and I can just order them for myself. Or maybe it is just because you grew them that they seem so different and eye appealing, rather than simply being in an online catalog.

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I aim to try to get them all dug, but at this point its more like 450-500 or so left. I took off for two weeks just to dig them, but the weather was horrid this year. It snowed on 11/26, which shut me down for some time. So I have maybe 150 done only so far. I still have to pull some I need.

Tying plants for hurricanes gives me some practice, however, it does get to be a sloppy mess in October, its just too much work, and at 20 inches apart I have no room to get in many places.

Mentor, OH

Thanks Mary. I used to be a big fan of the cactus and semi-cactus types. I still like them but find I'm becoming more and more attracted to, I guess what you would call, the decorative varieties. I may add the Goshen Calico and Bristol Stripe to my list for next year. I'm trying really hard not to look at too many on-line catalogs just yet. lol

Mentor, OH

I know what you mean about the weather. I dug my first ones this year while it was snowing inches per hour. Maybe that's why the neighbors occasionally give me strange looks and lock their doors. lol

I used to tie my dahlias with the 1/2" green tie tape from the big box stores. It was so stretchy it was absolutely worthless. I found some heavy duty 1/2" and had been using that until this past year when I bought rolls of 1" hd from A.M. Leonard. This stuff is light years better.

Arlene has been talking about storing dahlia clumps dry. I've never tried that before. Yesterday I got the urge and dug four more clumps. I was surprised they hadn't frozen yet. I shook off some dirt but didn't wash them. I'm letting them dry and will but them in bags just as they came out of the ground with dirt, rocks, sticks, worms, bugs and whatever. No big deal, I didn't plan to save them anyway. Just another of Dr. Frankenstein's experiments.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

That should be interesting. Arlene may convert us all to a much easier process. Seems like it would work. The tubers would be protected by some remaining dirt, but wouldn't be too moist between tight packed roots and tubers. Guess I need to go check mine and water the pots in the garage and in the crawl space with the tubers.

Bear in mind that Sunday is 'turnaround day." The 21st, shortest day of the year. Also my wedding anniversary - big 29 ! Wahoo. It seems like Jan and Feb are the coldest months, which doesn't seem to make much sense as we are getting more sunlight. Looks like some of you (Dan, Tod) will be digging tubers when it is time to haul them out of storage and begin growing them for summer. lol

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I don't think I ever got one out past early January that sprouted - at some point the ground freezes all the way down. Where are those years when we got 72F on Jan 1? :)

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Uh. Never..... More like -50 in Fairbanks.

Mentor, OH

Congrats on the anniversary, Mary!

It's always good to see the winter solstice getting closer. Sort of a hump day. Mostly a feel-good thing at the time since it's only adding a minute or two of daylight each day. At least we're heading in the right direction and those few minutes will add up more and more. I suppose a pessimist would say the added daylight will allow us to look outside a little longer each day to realize how bad the weather will be for another few months. lol

Mary, if I recall correctly, your weather was much milder than ours for at least part of last winter. Or was that the year before? I was ready to move north.

Mentor, OH

Ooops! Almost forgot the anniversary flowers. Happy 29th!

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Well, it seems like our weather has been more hospitable than yours all summer, sort of. Right now you are warmer than we are but having 35F this time of year is great. Sort of. I am used to the cold and with Christmas and all I wanted a ton of snow but there is just enough for ground cover and the roads alternate between ice and slush. Not a good combo. I know I would be thought to be nuts but I even kind of miss the -25 or so. Gives you a greater appreciation for the summer months. And I will take more light over less snow or such any day. Got to have that sun and light shining through the windows. I feel the winter doldrums (darkness) fiercely.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

LOL. thanks so much. This year is shaping up to be a pretty nice one all around. Feel better than I have in years emotionally anyway.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Congratulations, Mary!

I agree, Tod, that trying to keep up in October would take most of my time. Then it is "so much" work but all of October into mid November I have lots of vases filled in the house.

You got it, Dan. Just store them as they come from the good earth. It's how I always did it until I learned more but last storage season was awful so I went back to my old ways. I won't check them until snow or January...whichever comes first. Good luck Dr. Frankenstein.

Tod - we had a January day, maybe the 13th of January, that filled the beaches out here when it hit the 70's. My guess is that it was 2008. In 1992 I was out with a sweater on planting tulips in January.

Dahlianut, formerly of DG, used to say that Dec. 21 was the start of spring. I like that outlook.

I've been very busy outside, for 4 to 5 hours a day, getting jobs done I never thought I'd get to this year. It's so rewarding! I put up more deer fencing a few days ago and more will go up on Friday.

For Mary and Damien, my first place winning photo in the iris category:

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Glad to hear you're feeling so good, Mary!!!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I showed Damien your picture. He was in awe. He asked if he could get a copy (I can copy from here) and will send it to a friend of his, Diane, she is part Japanese (she calls Pearl Harbor Day "Slap a Jap" day. Terrific humor)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's a Pseudata iris, a cross of Pseudocorus and Ensata (just so you know). Glad he liked it and sure you can copy it.

Mentor, OH

Arlene, I love that photo! Such great depth. Looks like I could reach out and pick that flower. It's easy to see how you won with that one. Outstanding! I may just have to click and drag that one into my I-photo and claim I took the picture. lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Go ahead and do it, Dan. I'll never know.

Wyoming, MN

That is a beautiful photo Arlene, congratulations!

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

Beautiful Dahlias! What are your best sources for purchasing good ones?-arf

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My personal favorites are:

Lynch Creek Dahlias, River's Dahlias, and Swan Island but my computer (or DG) won't let me post links!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Well, Laura and Frank missed their flight out of Houston. Laura called me in tears. Her screw up. She is beating herself up with a cat 'o nine tails but I told her to let it go. We have all been there and I am still so excited to see them tomorrow. They got to the plane @ 5:23, and it was to take off at 5:30. But there was not one at the kiosk. They stood there looking at their plane with no way to get on. She called Alaska Airlines in near hysterics and they booked them on the same flight today with no extra charge. Poor Laura.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I hope she's singing, "I'll Be Home For Christmas", to you!

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