You can grow: Various cheerful dahlias
This week on “You Can Grow It,” KTVB Garden Manager Jim Duthie takes us to a woman’s dahlia garden in Boise to look at the variety of colors, sizes and shapes of this gorgeous flower.
Some of the most beautiful flowers in the summer here in Idaho are the dahlias you find in many backyard gardens and parks. They are show stops, and we’ll be talking to a woman who has a beautiful dahlia garden here in east Boise.
Dahlias come in a range of colors, shapes and sizes. There are thousands of different varieties, and new hybrids are being developed all the time. Treasure Valley gardeners love growing these beautiful flowers.
Like Meredith Lynch, whose dahlia garden stretches across the back and sides of her house and includes more than 100 plants. So, what do you find so attractive about dahlias?
“I think that’s the difference. I mean, you have this one, you have the big one, you have the spiky one — they’re all different,” Lynch said. “While the roses mostly look the same, it’s just that the colors are different. The dahlias are completely different shapes and sizes.”
Dahlias are classified into groups according to colour, flower type and size. Lynch knows the names of every type of dahlia in her garden and broke down each one with Duthie.
The labyrinth and bubbling are shown below:
The beautiful dahlia ball below is called the Snoho Doris.
“SoHo is the name of Snohomish, Washington, and it’s the name of the person who invented that dahlia,” Lynch said. “They named it after someone called Doris, so it’s Soho Doris.”
“This is called a sandia brocade, which is an anemone. This is what it looks like,” Lynch said.
This maroon beauty is called Diva:
Finally, Lynch shows off one of her favorites. “It’s called Black Beauty Holly Hill, and it’s an amazing species,” she said.
Lynch is a founding member of the Southwest Idaho Dahlia Society, whose members love growing dahlias, share growing tips and help new dahlia growers get started.
“The dahlia community loves to talk about their flowers. They love to show you their flowers, and it’s really like Christmas morning,” Lynch said. “Every time you go out, a new garden opens up. It’s like you’re so excited about what’s going to happen because you don’t know what it’s going to look like until it opens up in your own garden.”
Dahlias will stop producing flowers during the extreme heat of summer, but once temperatures start to drop, the show begins.
“June and July in the dahlia patch is a little sad,” Lynch said. “Then you come here at the end of August, and you say, ‘Wow, I have a bouquet of flowers.’”
In the fall, to prevent them from freezing over the winter, the stems of dahlias are cut, and the crown with clusters of dahlia tubers, like small bulbs, is dug up and stored.
“You need the entire crown, and your crown needs to be in check. If it doesn’t have those things, it’s going to be considered blind tubers and it won’t grow next spring,” Lynch said. “I think the first year, I planted about 25 dahlias, and I lost every one in the fall because I didn’t know how to store them properly, so they all rotted. It was very sad. The next year, I think I bought 130 dahlias.”
Since then, Lynch has enjoyed success.
For anyone interested in growing dahlias but thinking they can’t grow them, Lynch has only one thing to say, “You can grow these things.” As always, you can grow!
See them all in our catalog YouTube playlist here:
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