At the end of March, I ordered more dahlias from Old House Gardens. B and I have decided to extend the dahlia bed the length of the chicken coop. They really seem to like that location.
I checked the tubers I dug and stored last fall in a peat-moss filled Rubbermaid bin in the basement (which stays at around 40°F), and they all seem to be doing fine. No rotting, no shriveling: Nice!
This year, in addition to Andries Orange, Bloodstone, Kaiser Wilhelm, Little Beeswings, and Yellow Gem (pictures from last summer here), I will grow (pictures and text from the Old House Gardens Web site):
“Claire de Lune (1946): As elegant and wildflowery as the great Bishop of Llandaff, this sublimely simple collarette dahlia is named for Debussy’s romantic ode to moonlight. With a single row of soft yellow outer petals, a frilly ruff of white inner petals, and an eye like a harvest moon, it’s strong-growing in the garden and blissful in bouquets. 3 inches, 3–4 feet, from Holland.
“Giraffe (1940): Giraffe is not just weird, it’s wonderful—and after years of limited, ‘web-only’ sales we finally have enough to offer it in our catalog. Its unruly, golden petals twist and fold forward to reveal back sides barred with bronze. Some see giraffes, others orchids or ocelots, but everyone agrees it’s not like any other dahlia—and it’s very cool. Cut a few for a vase so you can enjoy its rich complexity up close. 4 inches, 3–4 feet, from Oregon.
“Winsome (1940): Winsome? No way! This stunner is as vividly colored as the most brilliant tropical fish. Its palm-sized, waterlily-like flowers are a deep, vibrant rose blending into a center of rich yellow, almost orange, as if the sun itself were throbbing deep inside. It redefines ‘antique beauty’ and will leave you breathless! Reintroduced by us from the British National Collection, 4–5 inches, 4–5 feet, from Oregon.
“White Fawn (1942): Like white hydrangeas by a lakeside porch, White Fawn is cool and refreshing. If Vita didn’t grow it in her celebrated White Garden at Sissinghurst, she should have! 3–4 inches, formal decorative, 3–4 feet, from Oregon.”