The First of the Dahlias
The first of the dahlias have flowered. These are orange fubuki dahlias, they’re a soft peach / coral / pink colour rather than a true orange, and they’re just as pretty as I was hoping they’d be. I have had such a struggle to get my dahlias to bloom this year. It’s been a very wet spring and summer overall other than a 5 week period in May and June where we had no rain at all. At first my dahlia tubers got dug up by wild animals, it was either squirrels, foxes or badgers. They’d dig them up and leave them to dry out on the soil surface, covered in teeth marks. This stressed the tubers, and set them back in starting into growth. In the end I laid down holly branches across the entire dahlia bed and this stopped the animals from digging.
Then the rain came, and with it the slugs. The slugs chewed through all the new growth and really slowed the plants down. Three of them were so badly eaten by slugs that I’ve had to dig them out of the bed and put them back into pots, on an elevated surface which is hopefully out of reach of all but the most determined slugs. It’s been frustrating.
Still, we have blooms, and I’m really happy to see them. Hopefully the others will flower too, my fleurel plant looks like it might be next as it has some nice fat buds on display.
These are our marina di chioggia squash, and I can’t get over how big the fruits are. They start out smooth but will eventually become warty as they ripen and some of the starches turn to sugars. At this stage they look like turk’s turban squash, which I have in the same bed, but I’m confident these are actually marina di chioggia by looking at photos of other gardeners’ immature marina di chioggia. I can’t wait for harvest time!
Some late season sweet peas. I thought I’d sown these too late, but they’re starting to take off now and hopefully we’ll get some flowers if the rain eases up and we get some sunny days.
This one is galeux d’eysines, another warty winter squash. It starts off yellow and smooth and becomes a soft pink as it matures. The warts come later, just like with the marina di chioggia. Warty squash are the sweetest squash.