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Asiatic Lily, Camden Maine Bed and Breakfast
camden maine bed and breakfast cottages
  1. Dahlias Are Blooming!

    We started nearly 300 Dahlia plants during the first week in April (plenty of snow still on the ground and 25°F) and they are now rewarding us with their colorful blooms. They are all so beautiful but our pick of the week is the lavender white beauty April Dawn.

    April Dawn

    April Dawn

     

  2. Cutting Down Our Dahlias

    The time has come once again for us to dig up our Dahlia tubers and prepare them for winter storage. A substantial undertaking as any one of our guests can attest to due to the number of plants that we grow.

    Cutting Down Our Dahlias

    Cutting Down Our Dahlias

    All Dahlias are cut down leaving enough stem for a handle, this allows for us to attach a tag to the stem identifying each Dahlia variety. It also aids us in transferring the Dahlia clumps to the rinsing station after we dig them up.

    Ready For Digging Up

    Ready For Digging Up

    To date, we have not had a frost which is unusual at this time, so psychologically  it was not easy cutting down these beautiful plants that were still pumping out  spectacular blooms.

    Mingus Nichole

    Mingus Nichole

    Taiheiyo

    Taiheiyo

    Show-N-Tell

    Show-N-Tell

    Mingus Nichole, Taiheiyo, and Show-N-Tell were a mere few that were remarked upon by our guests for their extraordinary size and color.

  3. We Picked Our First Dahlia Bloom “Prom Queen”!

    Yes, we are excited! We picked our first dahlia bloom on June 1st! Remember those tubers that we potted up back in March? Well, some of the potted tubers have grown stems to over 2+ feet laden with buds,  and they were begging to get out of their pots! Being mindful of a possible frost we waited until May 22 before digging them into the ground. We have 125 plants in the dahlia garden to date with approx. 175 yet to be planted.

    Dahlia "Prom Queen"

    Dahlia "Prom Queen"

  4. Growing Dahlias In Maine

    Getting A Jump Start

    We dug, divided, and stored more Dahlia tubers than ever last fall, remember?  It is a task for the determined and partially insane depending on how many plants you grew and intend to grow each year. In Maine our growing season is certainly not in our favor,  so in order for us to enjoy the amazing blooms of the Dahlias sooner, we will pot up individual tubers indoors and place them in a sunny spot.

    We start by bringing all of our stored tubers up from the chilly temps of our cellar on the 1st of March. Each tuber will be checked thoroughly for signs of rot,  and if so we will discard them. This year has proven to be nearly 100% successful. The tubers are in the same form as when we stored them. No rot or shriveling.

    Plastic Wrapped Dahlia Tubers

    Plastic Wrapped Dahlia Tubers

    Inspecting For Rot

    Inspecting For Rot

    We will come back to inspect them within 2 weeks to see if any have “eyed up” (signs of life). This example of Dahlia tuber Ken’s Rarity (below), the tuber has advanced beyond the “eye” stage and a shute is ready to burst out of  its wrapping (3 weeks later). Some cultivars eye up quicker than others therefore we will inspect them more regularly.

    A Tuber Ready To Pot

    A Tuber Ready To Pot

    Sunny window space is limited so we pot up our tubers in small containers to get as many cultivars started as possible.  After each pot is filled half way with potting soil the tubers are placed with the “eyes” facing up and topped off with additional soil.

    Preparing The Potting Medium

    Preparing The Potting Medium

    Plant With Eyes Facing Up

    Plant Tuber With Eyes Facing Up

    Large tubers are cut prior to potting so they will fit in the containers.

    Covering The Tuber

    Covering The Tuber

    All plants are labeled identifying the variety.

    Identifying Each Variety

    Identifying Each Variety

    Potted plants are placed wherever there is sun and left untouched,  meaning no water,  until we see growth popping up from the soil.  Premature watering can promote tuber rot. Not good!

    A Matter Of Time

    A Matter Of Time And Patience

    We have potted 260 dahlias to date and will keep a close eye on their progress, stayed tuned.

  5. Camden, Maine Dahlias, Digging and Storing-Photos

    It’s that time of year when we are digging up, dividing and preparing our dahlia tubers for winter storage. With over 100 dahlia plants we have our work cut out for us, but we manage to work at it bit by bit. First we trim up a few outer branches on each dahlia so we may easily access and cut the main stem.

    Trimming Up Dahlia Branches

    Trimming Up Dahlia Branches

    We leave a 6-8 inch handle which will come in handy for transporting to the rinsing and cutting station.

    Leaving A Handle

    Leaving A Handle

    Completing The Cut Down Process

    Completing The Cut Down Process

    After all the dahlias have been cut down, each stem is then properly tagged with the dahlia name. We dig up to 12 inches away around the perimeter of the stem so as not to damage the tubers underground and then they are carted to our rinsing station to rid all excess soil and set aside to dry. Every step is done with care to avoid damaging the tubers.

    Rinsed Tubers

    Rinsed Tubers

    After all the tubers are rinsed we are ready to divide each clump into individual tubers. Some dahlias can be challenging as in this example of Lupin Ben so having patience is a plus.

    Lupin Ben

    Lupin Ben

    We start by looking for “eyes” on individual tubers and in this case the red arrow indicates one of many.

    Tuber "eyes"

    Tuber "eyes"

    In this example A indicates where a tuber has been cut and B is next in line.

    Dividing

    Dividing

    The tuber is then cut, labeled, and treated with a fungicide before storing. We have two methods of storing our tubers. The larger ones are layered in pine shavings in a cardboard box and smaller tubers are wrapped in plastic wrap 5 to a pack without a single tuber touching one another and then stored in a plastic container.

    Storing Dahlias

    Storing Dahlias

  6. Camden, Maine Dahlia’s-Photos

    We grow over 100 dahlia’s and we cherish every one of them, however there are some that perform like work horses and we consider them must haves for our gardens and in floral arrangements. Each of these varieties are prolific with strong and long stems and ideal for cutting. Here are a few of our picks.

    IMG_0572-ferncliff-cop

    Ferncliff Copper

    Ferncliff Copper has 5″ blooms and is especially gorgeous arranged in harvest bouquets.

    Snoho Betty

    Snoho Betty

    Perfect purple Snoho Betty is continually remarked on by our guests.

    Kenora Wildfire

    Kenora Wildfire

    This low bush beauty Kenora Wildfire pumps out volumes of huge bright red blooms and requires minimal support.

    Scarborough Brillant

    Scarborough Brilliant

    And of course the intense colors of Scarborough Brilliant are stunning.

    If you love beautiful flowers as we do and are interested in creating fresh dahlia floral arrangements also look into Bliss and Rosella, they are fantastic as fillers. All of our healthy dahlia tubers were purchased locally from endlesssummerflowerfarm in Camden, Maine.

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