Around The Yard | For The Love Of Dahlias

As I welcome the change of the seasons that October brings that means beginning to say goodbye to these dahlia blooms that have been such a gift this summer. 

Back in mid-February of this year I decided that I wanted to be able to grow more dahlias and took steps over the months to be able to make that happen. In 2020 I successfully grew some directly in the ground along a portion of our back fence and I made the decision to expand that area by adding in a few more beds directly into the ground (vs. doing raised beds). I'm interested in the concept of regenerative agriculture and wanted to see if I could work on amending the current soil from the top down. 

For 2021 I ordered all my dahlia tubers from Swan Island Dahlias and planted them alongside the ones I've ordered and were gifted to me from Floret.

Sam's sitting right in the area where I had success growing Floret dahlias in 2020 (photo from February 2021). 

Over a period of weeks in March I began staking out and then filling in the beds with soil and compost.

In early April I made a bunch of trips to our local nursery for the dirt + compost. Next year I'll try to have it dumped in place since I now know that this space worked really well. The rock was leftover from a previous patio project a number of years ago. 

In April I decided to add organic straw as a ground cover. I first cut up and layed cardboard underneath and then placed the straw on top. 

At the front of each of the beds I also planted some lavender.

Some of the original dahlias from Floret that I left in the ground from 2020 started popping up as early as the end of April.

Month by month things slowly started coming up as the weather warmed up (the photo above was May 10th). 

Mid-June.

The first official bloom this year was around June 20th. 

July 4th (above).

July 20th. 

August 4th.

And then this past week: 

August 26th.

Last month I took a bunch of blooms and laid them out on poster board just to see the differences in the sizes, shapes, and colors. 

Here's some of the blooms I've captured recently at the end of September. The colors here at what I consider the end of the season have been so amazing:  

If you'd like to learn more about growing dahlias I highly recommend the book Discovering Dahlias by Floret's Erin Benzakein

All kinds of magic happened in those beds this year. The time + energy was totally worth it and I can't wait to do it all again next year. 

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11 thoughts

  1. jchurch2 says…
    10/04/2021

    Beautiful! Lot of hard work pays off. You reap what you sow. ❤️

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. laura_g_ says…
    10/04/2021

    So pretty!! Sometimes I don't feel like doing the weeding and deadheading, but as soon as I walk out the back door into the yard I can feel the tension leaving my shoulders and my body. Garden therapy is the best!👍🌻⚘

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. ljr3kids says…
    10/04/2021

    Will you dig them or leave them?

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. pmmessner says…
    10/05/2021

    S T U N N I N G

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. gina200 says…
    10/05/2021

    Thank you for sharing Ali. It's very interesting to hear about what you did this year and how gorgeous those Dahlias are. Great work! On my walk the other day I saw a beautiful garden of Dahlias and thought of you and wondered how yours were this year. I've missed your posts on Instagram but totally understand the break so I love that you've shared this here. Some days I wish we went back to blogs and enough of FB & Instagram.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Kitsbeach2 says…
    10/05/2021

    I wish I would have Made more time to get out in the garden this summer. I absolutely love being in the garden but it was really really hot here and it was very hard to keep up with everything. My previous neighbours had given me red Dahlia tubers and they were lovely in past years but this year they didn’t do much and I think that’s because of the heat. Next year for sure will be a much better year in the garden. I’m glad that you got so much out of your garden this year. I find peace in mind all the time

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. KProffitt says…
    10/05/2021

    SO beautiful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. sammie1212 says…
    10/06/2021

    I loved reading this post Ali and seeing all the photos of the beautiful dahlias you have grown. This was my first year growing them and I was so pleased with how they did, seeing them in the garden was such a joy. I love the variety of shapes and colours. I’m looking forward to even more next year! Thanks so much for sharing your garden with us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Kimkgn says…
    10/06/2021

    The Dahlia are beautiful and your garden so well thought out!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. peanutshell says…
    10/09/2021

    Thank you so much Ali for sharing your dahlias :)

    I've been growing a few in pots on my porch and deck for a few years now. They're just cheap ones from the hardware store but they're still so great. I was a little late getting them in this year and several had not opened buds when we started to get frosty nights earlier in September (I'm in the subarctic) so I coddled them through it and brought them inside every night the forecast was lower than 4C. I was rewarded with a few more showy blooms that are making me so happy. When we finally got a hard frost I cut all the open flowers to enjoy them inside a little longer and received a second, unexpected gift. The scent of the cut stems transported me to my grandmother's kitchen and watching her arrange flowers from her garden.

    Even though we are dipping below freezing pretty frequently now I still have two pots I'm pulling inside every night and putting out again around noon. Both have buds that are just starting to open and I'm excited to see what colours they will be.

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  11. kyavid says…
    10/15/2021

    The Dahlia are beautiful and your garden so well thought out!

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