Bringing out the dahlias and cannas

Before showing you some drab photos of dead-looking dahlias, take a look at these gorgeous 'Princess Irene' tulips. This is my favorite tulip. I brought these home from the nursery and potted them up this morning. The tulips in the ground are not blooming yet. It is sad that the beautiful pots of bulbs at our nursery are sitting unseen by customers (we have curb-side service at the moment).

One of our weekend rituals is to watch Monty Don's show Gardener's World. The new episodes air on Friday night but we save it for our Saturday night treat. We lead very exciting lives!

On the latest episode, Monty took his dahlias out of winter hibernation. Of course, his looked great, right down to the moist layer of soil covering their roots. This prompted me to take the only two dahlias I have out of their paper bags in the basement and take a look. Unlike Monty's, mine are stuffed into paper bags and they looked bone dry. This is my usual method, however, and it has always worked in the past.

After putting them in pots and covering with potting soil, I watered thoroughly and left them out for the afternoon rain. I see green already and have faith in them  -

I brought out the canna ('Panache') too. Although the winters here are mild enough that they would probably survive the temperatures, the wet winter conditions is another matter. I am not a big fan of cannas but I do love this one because it is so elegant and unique. I have struggled with placing it and still am not satisfied. I have no idea where it will go this year.

But, fingers crossed, in a few months, it will look like this again -

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Very tough for many business these days. Having a curve-side offerings is a cool idea, and I hope it helps. Nurseries were stocking up like crazy in early March only to have the virus hit everyone like a ton of bricks. 'Princess Irene' tulips are absolutely stunning! Do you use them as annual, or do they bloom reliably multiple years?

    1. I just planted some last fall so I will see. In my former garden, the only tulip that came back reliably was the white one called 'Maureen'.

  2. That is an unusual canna. I can see why you treasure it. I bet it would live in your climate outside all year. I have even had cannas survive our winters in the ground. I have always thought cannas can survive in the edges of ponds. Maybe that is just certain varieties.
    How do you get Gardeners World? I can't seem to find it on the stations we get. I love watching. I watch old shows that I find on youtube. We live an exciting life too. This staying home business hasn't cramped our style as yet. I will miss family on Easter.
    Our early tulips, in ground, are blooming. So uplifting to see. The wind blew them to the ground the other night. I hope we get some sun and they will right themselves.

  3. Tulips here just started coming out, or should I say the leaves are coming out. In our zone 7 most tulips do not come back. I may try some species tulips next year after hearing they are Good at that.


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