One of my main goals in the garden from the beginning about three years ago was to curate flowers which have an Asian aesthetic; those that are known not only for their beauty, but for qualities such as peace, quiet, and calm. Lilies definitely fit that description, and when our family visited the Portland Japanese Garden a couple of years ago, I saw a few hydrangeas there and decided those would go in my garden as well.
As for the dahlias, most of the time when I've seen them used in Asian inspired floral design, I usually see those that are completely round and ball or pompom shaped, so I started with that type. A funny thing happened however - after I started growing them, I began to notice how incredibly popular dahlias are right here in my town. There is a Lane County Dahlia Society that shows and sells these beauties, and dahlia lovers also sell their bulbs at the Oregon Plant Fair. Suddenly I found myself fascinated with these lovely flowers in all their infinite variety.
I don't know the names of all of the dahlias in my garden, but for starters the red one at the top of this post and the orange one below are from a package called 'Dazzling Dreams Blend'. The package card stock shows three varieties, but so far only these two have grown.
This second orange ball-like one looks very much like the first, however I purchased this bulb at one of the local plant fairs:
This next variety, which is known in general as the cactus dahlia, has become my most treasured for its spiny, spiky petals that resemble a sea urchin, of all things! Notice the various combinations of color: yellow-orange, yellow, orange-yellow, pink-yellow. Delightful!
I don't want to forget these last dahlias, which are an annual variety called a Collerette, because I purchased them at the very beginning of my gardening days, and even though they were labeled as annuals, every year a few still come back:
Are you crazy for dahlias? Share a story with me!