10 February 2008

dahlia wish list 2

Wonderful and more wonderful! My dahlia wish list inspired an early birthday gift from J and S, B’s mom and sister: a gift certificate to Old House Gardens! Thank you, Kentucky family!

Because I’m a firm believer in the age-old proverb “An unused gift certificate gathers no tubers,” I acted quickly and ordered the following (again, all photos and descriptions from the Old House Gardens Web site):

Andries’ Orange (1936): Simple yet extraordinary, this charming dahlia became an instant staff favorite when it first bloomed here—and bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. It’s a clear, companionable orange, never harsh or glaring, and its 4", semi-cactus flowers on wiry stems are a flower arranger’s delight. Its full Flemish name, “Andries’ Oranje As,” commemorates a favorite liqueur of the 1930s from the small Belgian town of As. 3–5', from Oregon.

Bloodstone (1939): Named for an ancient gemstone reputed to have both herbal and magic powers, “Bloodstone” is an absolute knockout. It blooms more profusely than any dahlia we’ve ever grown, with small, elegant flowers of dark, jewel-like red set against deep green leaves. Photos fail to convey its excellence—prepare to be wowed. 3", 4–6', from Oregon.

And because I can't resist something somehow named for the man who explored and settled Kentucky, I had to order this gladiolus.

Boone (1920s): Think you don’t like glads? We dare you to try wee, wildflowery “Boone.” Its graceful, pint-sized, primulinus blooms are a warm, soft apricot, and it’s remarkably hardy—to 6b for sure, and friends in zone 5 New York tell us it’s a long-term perennial for them. Collected originally from an old homesite in the Appalachians. We’ll send baby plants in 2-inch pots. 3', 6b(5?)-9S/11W, from West Virginia.

And finally, I’ve wanted to try growing cannas for a few years. No time like the present!

Madame Angele Martin (1915): The subtle beauty of this French classic eludes our camera. It’s not orange but a soft gold, apricot, and pink, like a summer sunrise, enhanced by olive-bronze foliage that one enraptured fan calls “pearly and mysterious.” To see what we mean, just grow it! 3–5', from France.

Thank you!


  1. I love cannas and have never seen ones as pretty as those. Very pretty.

  2. I've never grown cannas, but am looking forward to growing this one. I'll post photos of it when it's of some account in my garden.

    Love your Wicked Gardener icon, by the way. Now I must check out your blog!