My name is Kim Triebwasser, and I live in Reiles Acres, North Dakota (Zone 4B). I have always loved gardening. In our short growing season, I take great interest in growing dinner plate dahlias and other annuals that are bouquet worthy. Dahlias are my cup of tea, but I LOVE growing other unique annuals.
We definitely have a challenge with our short growing season. I start my dahlias around May 15, but it depends on the amount of rain we have then. If it’s a wet spring, I wait to plant until the end of May. (Praying for dahlia success never hurts either.) I have found success planting my dahlia tubers in a southwest-facing rock bed, protected from the North Dakota wind and crazy weather (including hail) that frequently occur. I train/protect them inside tomato cages.
The neighbors love to watch the bloom and enjoy receiving fresh cut arrangements.
Dahlias and other annuals for cut flowers making a great display for everyone to enjoy!
A beautiful way to display a selection of incredible dahlia flowers. I love the way these flowers are in a similar color scheme but how each is slightly different to make a harmonious arrangement.
Dahlias come in all sizes and shapes. The largest, sometimes called dinner plate dahlias, have truly enormous flowers!
The petals on dahlia flowers come in many shapes. The form where the individual petals are rolled into narrow quills is called a cactus form.
This slightly loose form is called a semi-cactus form.
Flowers with broad, generally flat petals placed a little irregularly like this are called informal decorative.
In addition to the many different forms and shapes of petals, dahlias come in a wide range of colors and color patterns—like this one, which is irregularly striped with white and pink.
Kim spotted this unusually patterned zinnia flower in their patch one summer. This sort of flower, where one section is a different color, is called a “sectorial chimera,” and it comes about when a natural, chance mutation occurs in part of a developing flower stem. They’re very cool and unusual, but they don’t last, as future flowers will most likely just be all red or yellow. If you spot one in your garden, be sure to enjoy it while you can!
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