Belated Bloomday September 2022-Roadtrip Edition

 

 It's just as well that I wasn't present in my own garden for Bloomday this month. The protracted heatwave on and around Labor Day was not kind to my plants-many either scorched, shut down or combinations thereof. . Septembers offerings instead are photos taken on a visit to Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens where Dahlias and tuberous Begonias were in peak bloom. 


I haven't attempted to grow tuberous Begonias  for years. In  my inland zone 9 climate just the right garden location is key -preferably very bright shade with consistent protection from mid- or late day sun. Every few years I buy a few tubers to see if the golden spot has be found at last. I'm about due to give it another go-I continue to be a glutton for punishment. In the meantime I can travel out to the coast to enjoy the perfectly grown specimens in the Begonia House with their baseball sized flowers .



 






I timed this road trip right -the Dahlias were at their best, complete with absolute pristine foliage without a leaf miner, spider mite or cucumber beetle  to be found. Mine look absolutely beyond dreadful and I'm glad I made the decision to keep them in their own little back corner of the garden . It was a little dispiriting I must admit to be faced with these robust and pest free plants . However , I will not be defeated-I have a plan for next year . See above 'glutton for punishment' reference.














 Hopefully I'll have some flowers to share from my own garden for October Bloomday.

Comments

  1. Seeing your photos, it's so easy to be tempted by dahlias. I've failed miserably in the past, but maybe I should try again, on a very small scale--like one pot?

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    1. I've never had much success with Dahlias in pots. But I will say that climate zone is really crucial to how well they grow. My climate is not ideal but I'm willing to experiment .

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    2. That was me. Didn't mean to publish anonymously.

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    3. If I use Chrome I can post as me, but I usually use Firefox and on some Blogs I can only post as anonymous. I know a couple of people who grow Dahlias ok in hot climates but they have to use lots of water . I would be interested to know if there are peeps that do well with them in Davis ?

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  2. Even what Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has in its bin, presumably as part of a dahlia deadheading exercise, looks fabulous. I haven't grown flowering begonias like those in years either. My Rex begonias, grown for their foliage in my lath house,generally don't last more than 3 years but I've more success with those than the fancy flowering ones.

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    Replies
    1. 3 years isn't bad Kris ! I don't think deadheading out there is as much a factor is a climate where 75 is a heat wave.

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  3. Those begonias take me back to the Amos Pettingill WFF catalogue selling Blackmore and Langdon hybrids at exorbitant prices. To be honest, they don't pose any temptation for me. As far as dahlias, I'm shocked how easy and healthy they are on the Oregon coast -- which leads me to believe there's a narrow range of conditions under which they are truly happy. But that doesn't stop us from trying them outside that narrow range, does it? Glad you made it to Mendo again, such a great road trip.

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    Replies
    1. They were pricey for sure ! When I visited WFF with the East Coast peeps we went into a greenhouse that was completely full of those $$ plants. One year I bought some tubers from Antonelli Bro. in Watsonville (don't think they exist anymore) at the late great SF Garden Show and I think that was my last experience.

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  4. Roger's Gardens, in the 70s/early 80s I think would sell hundreds and hundreds of hanging baskets of tuberous Begonias. The neighbors would have them. My Mom & Dad and I went to Roger's back then--once--M&D were horrified at the prices. My dad dumpster diving behind the local Armstrong's after closing time was the extent of their plant shopping.

    I read that Dahlias flower best with day temperatures in the low 70s and nights in the very low 60's, so Mendo BG may be their sweet spot--they look stunning in your photos!

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    Replies
    1. Not to mention the plethora of mixed hanging baskets Rogers planted up every year back then!

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