gone - all gone
Unbelievably it was only 4 months ago since we welcomed Spring, with blossom and daffodils yet it is all just a distant memory. Now it's all gone and I wonder did it ever really happen?''
Then by December, I sigh sadly as I watch roses drop their petals in summer heat. Now in January when rose bushes have become colourless and lack-lustre, I wonder if I can muster up the enthusiasm to dead-head, feed and water them in the hopes that they will come to life again before the summer is over.
THE LAST ROSE ..........
I do, because I know that if I don''t, I won't be able to stand the sad look of them come late summer. In my own garden it's easy, as I don't have that many roses. Except climbers which are always labour intensive when it comes to dead-heading, as there is so much more of them and they climb way up high, which, for me always entails a ladder. But it's in our nearby Heritage Rose Garden in Beverley Park, where dead-heading really takes the time, as there are 150 roses and some of them have grown into huge bushes. However we gather together our little band of volunteers to help, but this isn't always easy in mid summer when everyone is so taken up with the Xmas and holiday season. However maybe it isn't so sad after all, when that magnificent first flush of blooms are over, because when the roses finish and we roll on into summer, look what happens!!
While the images of these two Dahlia varieties below may look similar they are in reality quite different.
Sadly I can't name these Dahlia varieties, as the tubers were given to me by friends. and no one knows what varieties they are - although I suspect from the look of them, that Keith Hammett may have had a hand in them. They have his touch with single and semi-single blooms amongst bronze foliage.
I find it pays to be selective when choosing Dahlias for your garden as you can so easily end up with a mish-mash of different forms and colours, so I choose the colours and forms which blend with my garden. For instance I like just the 2 varieties pictured above for my front garden as oranges and scarlets are dominant in the front garden and I like the single forms in this situation as they suit the mini-prairie style which I have planted with grasses and simple flowers. While in my back garden the prevailing colours are crimson, magenta and Burgundy, so the 2 Dahlias there are also in those colours.
Grasses are really a whole other story which I should keep for another time, another place, however I will just say that I would not be without them in my garden, as they add a dimension to my plantings which I find most satisfying, and which I hope the images below show. More about these later.
Amongst the grasses in the back garden there is a Dahlia in a completely different form - the cactus dahlia - and this was chosen for it's dark velvety crimson, and is called appropriately 'Nuits d'Etes'. There is also another dahlia in this garden not pictured here and it is pale pink and single with bronze foliage and definitely bred by Dr. Keith Hammett - ''Mystic Dreamer''.