Late summer darlings, the Dahlia…

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August is a tough time for garden, it’s too soon for fall faves like Asters, Mums and Kale but the summer stuff is…frankly, pooped.

Bad to the phloem!

Dirt cheap and filled with frills and thrills, the Dahlia is an easy care annual that's cheap to begin with and you can trick it into getting even cheaper as the years go on. You can grow them everywhere there's a fiery blast of sun and buy them anywhere, like big boxes and hardware stores.

Spicy!

Spicy!

It doesn’t get any better. Trust me!

Dahlias come in an astounding selection of shapes, sizes and colors- from round lil’ pompons to dinner plate sized beauties. This year I found a few packs on sale at my local big box a little after the prime garden rush in late April (which is too early anyways, if you ask me). The packages ran me about $3.50 and each consisted of 3 tubers. I literally drove home that minute, stuck a big pitchfork in the ground, stuck the tubers in- and that was that. Each of those plants is now 3 foot plus and covered with blooms and promising buds for weeks to come.

In fall, I’ll whack them down with tears in my eyes the night I know we’ll get a frost and throw the tubers in a crate. The crate goes in my basement. In May I start again. It’s that easy, seriously.

Forgot to put Dahlias in the ground in spring and you want some to fill in during the heat of summer? Nurseries sell them fully grown and blooming, instant gratification! Instant hole filling! Garden spackle! You can still pull the tubers up and store them and then restore them to their August throne next year.

The BEST part is that they make amazing cuts to bring indoors, in a vase or floating in a shallow bowl. Bring them as hostess gifts. Put one on your desk. They are show stopping!

Charming!

Charming!