September Bloom Day 2012-The Dazzling Dahlias


Won’t you have a seat? The show is about to begin. The curtain rises with the sun, as the stage slowly illuminates with the incremental increases in candlepower.

Above: Dahlia ‘Mystic Spires’ with Dahlia ‘Gallery Singer’ behind

It is September, which means the Dahlia ssp. are coming into their most ravishing bloom period until they are struck down by the late October frost. We don’t want to miss a single moment of this show.

Above: Dahlia ‘Mystic Spires’ with cosmos stem in front

There has been sporadic bloom for several months, disappointing compared to what happens as the nights cool down, the days shorten and the sun shifts. This is the peak period of pizzazz.

Above: Dahlia ‘Gallery Cobra’

The filler that seems to best enhance the dazzling diva Dahlias is the selected through the years yellow cosmos from a mixed packet of Cosmos sulphureus. They are stunning supporting players, weaving and bobbing in and around the propped Dahlias.

Above: Dahlia ‘Gallery Cobra’, Dahlia ‘Gallery Singer’ and yellow Cosmos sulphureus.

There is a trio in the upper deck of delight that includes Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ on either end.

One Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ that was grown from seed holds the center position. This one is slightly more orange than the parental unit and has another row of more pointy petals.

There is something special about these Dahlias, besides their depth of color and radiant beauty. They have been in the ground of this raised box bed filled with chopped leaves and composted manure year round, some of them for several years, in our USDA Zone 7a Southeast Tennessee climate. The two Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ are newly planted this spring from exceptionally large tubers that were ordered from Old House Gardens. Next year a few more tall ones should be added to fill in with ferny foliage and dusky blooms. I might go with the dark Dahlia ‘Atropurpurea’.

Let us sit in the blue chairs and enjoy the show, for there is an occasional surprise in this arena…

…That is not to be missed.

Please check out the September flowers in bloom from around the world that can be found at Carol’s place, using her handy dandy Mister Linky listing.


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17 Responses to September Bloom Day 2012-The Dazzling Dahlias

  1. Lynn says:

    What beautiful dahlias! And the yellow Cosmos really does add color zing!

    Thanks Lynn. That is a colorful spot in the garden right now, for sure.

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your dahlias are putting on a great show. I have one and it is amazing that it is blooming in such shaded conditions. I thought I would try it to see if it would do anything there and it is blooming and performing well. Happy GBBD. Have a great week.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Congratulations on the dahlia success! The flowers are truly amazing, and stir the desire to acquire more! Happy GBBD, late, and you too, have a wonderful week.

  3. Gail says:

    They are lovely…and I would love to join you on the blue chairs to see the hummers. My hummers are skittish critters…but, fun to watch from inside. I do like the Bishop with his red face and dark suit….must find a spot for him somewhere sunny! Happy GBBD my friend. xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. I would love for you to be sitting in the blue chairs with me, it is a nice vantage point and usually shady. The hummers here are only shy when I have the camera! I have to zoom way in to get any kind of capture at all. When I am without the camera, they fly right up to my face, taunting me! HA The Bishop is wonderful and hardy in a well drained, sunny spot.
    Happy GBBD to you!

  4. Wow, those dahlias are tall! Hummingbirds visit my rose of Sharon shrub. My dahlias have yet to bloom. I started them in their pots kind of late.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting. The Bishop group is quite tall, they have to be staked securely. I tried the dahlias in pots at first, they were not as happy as they are in this big raised box. Fall is there peak bloom time.

  5. says:

    Love your photography. Your garden is truly beautiful.

    Thanks so much. I appreciate your stopping by.

  6. What a beautiful bunch of glamour girls….like old fashioned movie stars walking the red carpet for a special movie premiere. How nice that your raised bed allows them to winter safely outside and, consequently, get to be thought of as “low maintenance”.

    Thanks Michaele. The Dahlias are absolutely glamourous, or handsome as the case with the Bishops. So far, so good with the overwintering in the raised box. I am trying to continue holding my mouth just right so that this is the way of it.

  7. Leslie says:

    Your photos just keep getting more and more beautiful. The dahlias are wonderful!

    What a sweet thing to say, thanks, Leslie. The Dahlias are without peers in the photogenic department, especially Gallery Cobra.

  8. Alison says:

    Oh my! You get hummers at your Dahlias?! I’ve never seen them at mine. But then, I have loads of other stuff that they love, so there is still plenty for them to eat. They love all my Agastaches, and the Monarda draws them over and over. But those plants are too far away from the patio for us to see much unless I’m right out there working. I need to plant some hummer attractors right near the lounge chairs.

    Your Dahlias are really beautiful! I have several that I grew from seed, and I’ve been saving seed from mine this year, wondering what I’ll get next year from them. Mine stay in the ground too, but here they need really good drainage to survive the watery onslaught of our winter.

    Hi Alison, thanks. The hummers, butterflies and other pollinators are in love with the single bloom type dahlias. There is nothing for them in those big pom poms, or even the Gallery series. The Bishops are the favorites, by far. Plants that attract the hummers and butterflies are so nice near the seating areas. It is better than TV! Our winters are very wet, too, even with my steeply sloping property, things can rot. The raised box is working well, so far.

    • ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ is my favorite, hands down.

      That is a good one. If I would only have one Dahlia, that would be sad, Bishop of Llandaff would be the one.

  9. Dreamybee says:

    I love all those fiery dahlias-so pretty!

    Hi Dreamybee, thanks for visiting. Those bright colors are very cheering, the most watched spot in the garden right now.

  10. Sarah says:

    Are you aware that all your pictures appear as thumbprints that must be enlarged to view? This is a fairly new occurance and it is annoying since i ruins the flow of your blog.

    Hmmm, that is not what I am seeing, Sarah. The photos are full sized as they should be. I don’t know how you are getting into Fairegarden, what you are clicking on. I am sorry for that, but it is out of my control. I hope it straightens itself out.

  11. Dee A. Nash says:

    Love seeing your dahlias. I’m just getting mine going, but I adore that Bishop. I had a terrible problem with the grasshoppers on the dahlias this year. They were a nightmare on many things, but most are gone now.

    Thanks Dee. Grasshoppers seem to be the worst pest for the dahlias here, too. I am extra vigilant. Thank goodness they are gone, for another year, anyway.

  12. Rose says:

    Now I know why those blue chairs are sitting where they are! The dahlias make a beautiful show for fall. Does this mean your tubers stay in the ground all winter? I haven’t planted any because I know I’d probably forget to dig them up before frost, but I look at them wistfully in others’ gardens every fall.

    By the way, yesterday I stopped in at a local nursery to pick up some mums that were on sale and happened to notice their perennial “plant of the week.” It was ‘Vera Jameson’ sedum! I’ve admired yours for so long, so naturally I quickly snatched a couple of them–I’m so excited to have found them!

    Thanks Rose, and good deal on Vera Jameson! You will be pleased with her, I know. She stays very low to the ground on lax stems, good for edgings. My dahlias do stay in the ground and have been returning so far. Drainage is as important as temperature here. Also, I don’t grow any of the large flowered types, they are not as hardy. The hummers and butterflies will visit the single flowered ones, like the Bishop. I aim to get more of them.

  13. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Those are all just gorgeous! If I can’t grow them, I’m glad you can!

    Hi Cindy, thanks. Dahlias are a delight in the garden, whether they return or not.

  14. Dahlia’s are on my list for growing in the future! Glad I didn’t try this year–

    Hi Stacy, thanks for stopping by. Dahlias in a raised bed are what is working here. I have to give them extra water at times, too, and be vigilant for grasshoppers. But they are worth every bit of effort!

  15. after the recent rain I finally had one bloom. I do miss them and your post made me smile to remember them.

    Good to hear, Donna, that you got a bloom on your dahlia. I am just getting going on this particular obsession, ordered three more!

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