Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dahlia Garden at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

I had not been to California since I was a small child and never to San Francisco. Temperatures hovering around 60 degrees in August was a shock to my system! Charlotte had been over 95 for at least a couple of weeks before we left, with heat index temps up to 108. You probably won't play your violin for me, but I was COLD!

These hot, hot dahlias made a nice contrast with the cool temperatures and an overcast sky. Can you believe this color?!

The Dahlia Garden is just outside the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. From across the huge expanse of green in front of the Conservatory, I thought it was a rose garden at first.

I've never grown dahlias (though I've been quite fond of a few) because they are not hardy in zone 7b.  So you have to dig up the tubers before they freeze, save them in a dry spot over the winter,and then replant them. Who wants to do that?

Well, maybe me after seeing some of these!

The American Dahlia Society says if you can grow tomatoes where you are, you can grow dahlias. Don't tomatoes like heat?

Growing dahlias in pots is another recommendation. I bet it would be easier to overwinter them that way.

Man is the only animal that laughs.... A little closer to home, the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh has some gorgeous dahlias, too. When I was there last summer, I was impressed by several peachy- and pink-toned ones with dark red in the leaves and stems, like this one captured by Ira Tucker.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
The American Dahlia Society
JC Raulston Arboretum