As I have promised I continue writing about plants in my garden which actually thrived on neglect. To read part 1 of this article please follow this link.
Our dahlias were also doing quite well and blooming. The one you see above has huge painterly looking flowers about the size of a small desert dish and is called “Avignon“. This one can grow quite tall, above 1 m (3 feet), but since it was not staked (my husband didn’t notice it needed support and I was away on vacation for almost 2 months), it was growing quite horizontally and badly banded. Despite the awkward position it was growing in, it was still blooming very well.
I have attempted to straighten it up, but it was not possible and only after I have cut some branches, I was able to direct it to grow vertically. It continues to bloom till now and we are in the second week of November. Thanks God this year we didn’t have any killing frost yet since it was a very nice, warm Fall.
It is probably the last couple of days of this flower and other dahlias in our garden since a strong frost is coming this week – -5-8C. Once the upper part of the dahlias will die, I will have to dig up the rhizomes to save them for the next year.
Here you can see more of our dahlias doing quite well in our garden despite the neglect – “Hypnotica Dark Night“.
The much smaller size, but still beautiful burgundy coloured dahlia “Hypnotica Dark Night” was blooming profusely as well. I have just cut some spent flowers to tidy it up. I have purchased it in the early summer from Vandermeer – my favorite local garden center. It was in a pot and blooming already. I have planted my “Hypnotica Dark Night” on the right side of our garden where it had very good light. It grows only to about 23-30 cam – 1 foot. I thought it would be a bigger plant and next year I will plant it closer to the front of the border, perhaps even in front of our house. This dahlia continued to bloom till last week, when we got a few nights with temperatures about O C.
The third dahlia we have in our garden is also new and I have purchased it from a local dahlia grower during a garden show in May of this year. If I have deciphered the name correctly since it was handwritten, it has a strange name “Chinacum Zyair“. At this time when I have found it at the show it was a tiny plant looking not too promising, but I have decided to buy it anyway since it looked very nice on the attached label. I was not sure how big it will grow and I have planted it on the left side of our garden close to our pretty new Florentina rose, where it only receives some light in the afternoon.
When I left it in the middle of July it was still quite small and I was afraid it could deteriorate overgrown by other, bigger plants. However I was very presently surprised when I have found it in September, after I have returned from my trip, as quite big dahlia, about 2-2.5 feet. It had several pretty big, dark pink ball shaped flowers, about 3” across, with petals very neatly arranged in a shape that reminded me of a honeycomb. In fact it seems that this flower could be a good hiding place for some insects.
To summarize, dahlias did quite well in our garden despite the neglect, not much sun and a lot of rain this summer. The only problem, besides the lack of support provided to some of them while I was away, was damage done to many leaves. Pretty big chunks were eaten from them and I guess it was probably done by many slags and snails we had in the garden this year because of so wet summer. This didn’t seem to bother our dahlias too much since they continued to grow and bloom very well.
So I must say, I am very happy with our dahlias and would recommend them to you. They seem to be quite easy going plants and bloom continuously from early summer till they are killed over by the frost. I think they are well worth keeping if you like flowers which don’t require much care and bloom for most of the growing season. However, if you live in colder climate and would like to keep them for the next year, you need to lift their rhizomes from the ground after the upper portion of the plant will be killed by frost. Then after drying them a bit, you will need to keep them in slightly damp peat moss or sand, in a cool dark place, where the temperatures are above the freezing point.
Otherwise, if you just leave them in the ground and your garden is located in a colder zone, they would be just temporary, annual plants in your garden.
Rose of Sharon – Fall Blooming Bush or a Small Tree.
The other plants, which did very well during my long absence this summer were Roses of Sharon. I have 2 small trees of this kind and they are in our garden for more than 2 years. Initially they were growing pretty slowly, but during this summer, they have grown at least 2 feet, so about twice their size when I have left them. I have found both of them blooming pretty well already, particularly the one with full looking flower, even if they were at the beginning of the blooming cycle. They were blooming for about the next 2 months and one of them still has some blooms.
Rose of Sharon is pretty easy to grow shrub, which could be trained as a medium size tree. We have two varieties – one with a full flowers looking almost like roses and the other one has simple blooms. Both are pink in colour and grow on the left side of our garden where they receive about 5-6 hours of sunlight. They usually start blooming around the middle of August adding temporary beauty to the garden, but this year it might have been later because of the rain and very little sunshine.
So far most of the insects don’t seem to bother them too much except perhaps one kind, which I am still not sure what it was. Some leaves got damaged by them, or perhaps by snail.
One of my fiends also has Roses of Sharon and she said they can be a bit invasive because of dropping flowers with seeds. If you don’t collect the flowers, which fall of, the seed could sprout in the right condition and then you will get another tree.
I don’t have such problem so far, but I like to collect spent flowers when I see them.
I was protecting my Roses of Sharon during the past winters since they were still quite small, but they seem pretty hardy in our 5b growing zone. I will still protect their roots with some wood chips or tree bark mulch this winter.
They are one of the last shrubs coming to life in spring, so don’t despair if you still don’t see any signs of growth when many other of your plants already have new leaves.
I recommend this easy to grow blooming shrubs if you would like to add some late summer and fall colours to your garden.
Coming Soon – Other plants Which Can Thrived on Neglect, Which You Can Actually Eat.
In my next blog post I will write about some other plants which did quite well while they were neglected. This time I will write about edible varieties. Stay tuned and subscribe to my blog so you will receive automatic updates.
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Have you ever neglected your garden and what were the results? Do you have any special things you take care of before leaving your garden for a while? Perhaps you have very clever watering system or just ask your neighbours to water your plants? Please share your experience with us. Thank you.
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- Flowers and Shrubs Blooming in our Garden in June and July – Part 2.
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