Dazzling Dahlias…. Autumn’s Delight

 dahlias fieldBrian and I love to travel to the Pacific Northwest. We have friends in Portland and Seattle. We always try to go in the fall because the weather is gorgeous, sunny, and with perfect, crisp blue skies.

Ten years ago, while visiting the Pike Place Market in Seattle, I was blown away by the huge bouquets of Dahlias in amazing colors for give-away prices. Later that trip, we visited the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. As a garden lover, I will tell you, that is one place – You. Must. Visit. Nothing can compare. The gardens are breathtaking, but the display of dinner plate sized dahlias, bed after bed, in saturated and vibrant color was stunning. Something about the climate, makes these flowers grow there like they belong in a Jurassic Park set.

Dawn in PortlandNorthwest flower market, Portland, Oregon  Fall 2010

DahliasImage Source: Deb Reny

Dahlias are actually rhizomes that you plant close to the surface in the Spring, and they grow tall and with stalks thick as a trees by August. In this planting zone, they need to be stacked and require a little tender loving care. But once they start blooming, they keep producing until it frosts later in October, the more you cut them, the more they produce. They need their own home in the garden, and I usually dig them up every Fall,  let them winter overnight in the garage and replant them the following Spring. Gorgeous!

Dahila types/plum dahlias1|2

In colors of deep plum, bright pink, persimmon, and glowing blush, how can you not appreciate their dazzling display? So while it’s too late to plant them this Fall, pick some up (I just bought some gorgeous ones at Heinens!), and enjoy the beauty of Fall. And mark you calendar alert to plant some in your garden next May, it’s well worth it!

Coopers 1st halloweenMy son Cooper’s first halloween in the dahlia garden, Fall 2003

Bundle of dahlias/tablescape


 Opening Image Source: Portland Monthly



  • Ingrid Porter September 20, 2013, 3:03 PM

    Hey Dawn-my mom and I went on a mother daughter trip and also visited the Butchart Gardens! That was one if the most beautiful places on earth.

  • Dawn September 20, 2013, 3:35 PM

    Fun! Ingrid, it’s truly beautiful there! I should take my Mom someday!

  • Helen Stanley September 23, 2013, 1:54 PM

    Dawn, I just flew back from Vancouver, British Columbia last night. I love the Pacific Northwest! Thanks for your info on Dahlias. I love them and will plant next year.

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