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Monday, March 16, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Bulbs

Dahlias are one of the most delightful plants for the summer garden. With hundreds, if not thousands of varieties available, in nearly every shade, colour and shape imaginable, they are a wonderful addition to nearly any garden. Their biggest claim to fame is the abundance of blooms they generate. In fact, the more blooms you pick, the more blooms you will get! If the weather cooperates, they will bloom from summer until frost.

This year, we are product to offer 11 new to us varieties including 3 colourful companion packs.

New Dahlias for 2015

Manhattan Lights Colourful Companion Dahlias

The Manhattan Lights Colourful companion pack features 2 types of decorative dahlias. They offer a lovely pairing of the bold and beautiful red with yellow center Dahlia Manhattan Island and the predominantly yellow Cambridge Dahlia. Both are considered Dinnerplate varieties with their large flowers. 3 Tubers per pack. Like all Dahlias, wait until all chance of frost has passed before planting. Buy Manhattan Lights Dahlia Online

Labyrinth Dahlia

Labyrinth Dahlia is a giant dinnerplate variety that reaches a height of only 36 inches. Flowers have hues of soft pink and juicy peach and can reach 10 inches across. This variety is great for cut flowers. 1 tuber.

Tartan Dahlia

Dahlia Tartan features huge 10 inch blooms in shades of burgundy wine and stark white. Great for cut flowers. Plant will reach a height of approximately 40 inches. 1 tuber.

Rebecca's World Dahlia

Dahlia Rebecca’s World is a bi-colour dahlia with a combination of flaming red and fresh white. Enjoy these beautiful flowers in the garden or in a flower arrangement from summer long and well into fall. Reaches a height of 44 inches. 1 tuber.

Sir Alf Ramsey Dahlia

Sir Alf Ramsey Dahlia is a giant decorative dahlia variety in shades of lilac and white. Flowers can reach over 10 inches in diameter on a plant that grows to 52 inches in height. Flowers from summer into fall. 1 tuber.

Blackberry Wine Dahlia

Dahlia Blackberry Wine is a colourful companion pack of two different coloured dahlias, a wine red variety and a white with speckled variety. Both are cactus-type for great garden and flower arrangement effect. Reaches a height of 40 inches. 3 tubers.

Buy Blackberry Wine Dahlia Online

Ambition Dahlia

Dahlia Ambition is a wonderful, bright purple dahlia with small fringed flowers on a plant that reaches 44 inches in height. Great for cut flowers. 1 tuber.

Viking Dahlia

Dahlia Viking is a smaller pompon or ball shaped flower in shades of red. The plant grows to a height of 30 inches. Flowers all summer long and well into autumn. 1 tuber.

Sylvia Dahlia

Sylvia Dahlia is a nicely formed ball dahlia variety in shades of mid-orange. Flowers can reach 3-4 inches across on a plant growing to 40 inches in height. 1 tuber.

Sunny Boy Dahlia

Sunny Boy Dahlia is a delightful novelty ball dahlia variety that produces tightly rolled yellow flowers with a fiery red center. Flowers can reach about 2 inches in size. 1 tuber.

Dahlia Day at the Beach Colourful Companion Pack

Dahlia Day at the Beach is another colourful companion pack with2 different dahlia varieties. Both are cactus varieties with plants growing to 40 inches in height. One variety is a deep burgundy-red wine colour while the other has peachy cream to pink tones. Great for cut flowers. 3 tubers per pack.

Buy Day at the Beach Dahlia Online

How to Plant and Grow Dahlias

Dahlias should be planted in mid-spring after all chance of frost has passed. In our area, this is usually mid to late April or early May. Plant dahlias in a sunny location with rich, moist, but well drained soils. If the soil is too wet, the tuber may rot. 8 hours of direct sunlight is best.

To plant, dig a hole 4-6 inches deep and sprinkle a handful of bonemeal into the hole. Bonemeal is an organic, slow feeding fertilizer that helps establish roots and contributes to better flowering. If you have heavy soils, consider lightening it up with peat moss, sand and/or compost. Place the dahlia tuber in the hole. For larger varieties, we generally recommend adding a stake at the head of the dahlia so that you can remember where you planted it and so you can tie for support once it starts growing. Ensure the dahlia is horizontal in the hole and cover it with soil. Do not water yet. Wait to water until the dahlia has sprouted above the ground. Dahlias are a favourite food group for snails and slugs. Protect your plants with slug bait, copper tape or any other method that works for you.

Once dahlias are established, they will generally require a deep watering 2-3 times per week. Avoid getting the flowers and foliage wet and if possible, water in the morning so that foliage can dry before nightfall.

Dahlias benefit from applications of fertilizer. Use a low nitrogen and high percentage potassium and phosphorus varieties (low first number, higher second and third numbers). Feed every 3-4 weeks for best results.

For best flowering, pinch or cut away the center shoot when the plant is about 20 inches tall.

Dahlias will flower until the first heavy frost. At this point, it is advisable to cut back and dig up your dahlia clump. Carefully lift the clump out of the ground and wash off the tubers to remove the soil. Pat dry them as best as possible and store in a cool dry place over winter. There are many different opinions on how best to store them, but peat moss, sand or sawdust seem to be the most successful. Plant them again next year!

If you have any questions about Dahlias or are ready to choose your varieties for this year, drop by Art's Nursery and we'd be happy to show you the many options available. As always, call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Monday, March 10, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Bulbs

Summer flowering bulbs are easy to grow and provide a big impact in your flower garden. The most commonly available are:

  • Lilies
  • Gladiolus
  • Calla Lily
  • Canna Lily
  • Dahlias
  • Begonias

I use the term ‘bulb’ loosely because most of what you will find packaged at Art's Nursery this spring are technically corms, rhizomes and tuberous roots, along with ‘true’ bulbs.

True Bulbs

A true bulb’s rounded form is made up of modified leaves called scales. The pointed top is where leaves and flowers will grow. These sit on the flat ‘basal plate’ where roots are formed. The wonderful thing about true bulbs is they reproduce by offsets or daughter bulbs and are easy to pull off and propagate.

beverlys dream lily

Commonly known true bulbs are lilies, alliums and amaryllis. One lily that I am loving this year is call Beverly’s Dream. It is an oriental trumpet lily that has been known to get to up to eight feet tall after a few years of maturing in optimal conditions. It has a paintbrush of red inside stark white with a little yellow in the center. Beverly’s Dream will make a bold statement in your garden along with an intoxicating strong fragrance.

Corm

A corm looks very much like a true bulb on the outside but it doesn’t have scales. Instead the inside is made up of a fleshy modified stem. The plant uses up the entire corm in a season but produces copious offsets. Examples of corms are gladiolas and freesias. My favorite gladiola this year is called ‘Velvet Eyes’ and has a deep, dark, almost smoky purple. I’m looking forward these cut flowers.

gladiolus_velveteye.jpg

Rhizomes

Rhizomes are modified stems that grow sideways just under the surface of soil. Each break (or growing point) in the rhizome will put out roots hairs and grow another stalk. This makes dividing easy. Examples are iris, canna lily and calla lily. One calla lily that I’m considering planting this year is called ‘Captain Safari’ and is a two tone beauty with an antique rose-red, fading into an orange center.

calla lily rhizomes

Tuberous Roots (or Tubers)

Tuberous roots look like ordinary roots that have been dug up. They don’t give offsets but get bigger ever year and can be divided as long as there previously was a stem attached. A piece of root itself will not grow into a plant. When lifting in fall, store in peat moss or coco fiber with a little sulphur dust directly on the roots to ensure no mold.

dahlia tubers

The most familiar tuberous roots are peonies and dahlias. I have been growing dahlias since childhood and my garden wouldn’t be the same without one. This year I’m excited to grow the ‘Babylon Red’ giant dinnerplate dahlia. With 10” flowers, this variety will provide vivid color in my garden that is a true fire engine red.

Planting Summer Bulbs

Plant your bulbs when danger of frost is gone. This is usually late March or early April in Metro Vancouver. It is best to wait a little longer for some of the more delicate ones, like Dahlias.

Some, like Calla or Canna lilies should (or need!) to be dug up and stored in a cool, dry indoor area in peat moss or coco fiber for winter. Keep plants in the ground that are hardy to your zone but make sure they are in well drained soil as they are prone to rotting. They will all benefit from a generous amount of bone meal at planting.

When you’re visiting Art's Nursery this spring, keep a look out for a few of these varieties and the many others I didn't mention. I’m all about the bold bright colors this year and my picks definitely reflect that.

Summer Blooming bulbs are typically available from late February through early April. Best selection is in early March. drop by Art's Nursery and check out our selection of gorgeous, easy to plant summer blooming beauties.


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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