Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tree Dahlias, Short Days and Cold Nights

A week of icy nights finally put the garden to bed for its annual, relative, hibernation.
Winter roses (Helleborus) and other miracles – little snowdrops, hoop petticoats and so on - are just starting but the giant autumn-flowering tree dahlias (Dahlia imperialis) have every lilac or double white (above) flower shattered into sodden valentines.
Where, a month ago, the circle of lilac ones (see post 17/5/2012) grew like a monstrous birthday cake topped with crazy-angled candles, now it’s all green atop stalks more bare each day; but hop inside the circle and the canes curving inward enclose like a delicate hemispherical cocoon.
Each year the buds develop pretty late in autumn and I wonder if I’ll see flowers before the frost nips them. Checking my books I read that `this species is fast-growing, the growth spurt being linked to shorter daylight hours, and usually comes into flower in autumn before the first frost’ so let’s manipulate next year, let’s pop some old black pots over the tubers in, say, mid-spring and see what happens. Could we induce a long flowering season? Do we really want one? Heck, yes!
More weather musings…..
Can I be apolitical for once? Well, no!

I have British parents and half my siblings (almost `my sisters and my cousins and my aunts’) are from the cold isles north so my giggles over English weather news are pretty unkind, I admit. But climate change seems implicated again when we expect 20 °C here in Melbourne next week mid-winter and England expects the same temperature (for the first Ashes test) in mid-summer. It is very odd.

No comments:

Post a Comment