Ask a Question forum: My wife always wanted a garden like these pictures

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Rockville, Maryland
Apr 12, 2018 5:56 PM CST

New Member

We walk the neighborhood and my wife says that she loves this garden that we walk by which blooms in the fall.
So, now that it is spring, I want to plant a similar garden for her.
I don't know much about flowers and don't even know what these flowers are, so I would appreciate any advice as to what flowers to plant, can I plant from seed, and what is the best way to grow and care for them.
Any and all advice or comments are welcome
Also, we live in Maryland, the suburbs of DC, with lots of deer roaming around. Is fencing it off, the only way to make this deer-proof?
Thank you
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Beavers
Dragonflies Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers
Apr 12, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Those are all dahlias. I don't know if deer browse on them or not, but someone in deer country will likely chime in. You might also want to find out if you can leave them in the ground over winter or if you would need to dig them up for winter protection. I live in a region that is kind of borderline and the best advice I got from a dahlia grower was to dig up a small number of each type I grew, and leave the rest in the ground. Chances are the in-ground ones would be fine but if not I'd have a backup. They come in all sizes and colors, and as your wife notes, can make quite a splash.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Apr 12, 2018 6:17 PM CST
Our main database page for Dahlias (Dahlia) says they are deer resistant so perhaps you wouldn't need fencing. Some Dahlia's grow quite tall though and may need to be staked to keep them from flopping. We have lots of varieties listed in the database:
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[Last edited by plantladylin - Apr 13, 2018 8:55 AM (+)]
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Tracy, CA 9a
Dog Lover Dragonflies
Apr 12, 2018 8:47 PM CST
Your wife is a lucky lady to have such a thoughtful husband!!! Beautiful photos too!!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
Apr 12, 2018 8:56 PM CST
I agree Go for it, and she'll be so happy!
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 13, 2018 2:26 AM CST
Go for it together ... Smiling

The easy part is the "wanting". The fun part is the creating. Sharing that creating is a wonderful experience.

You might want to get a local landscaper for an initial consultation who knows the climate, the soil types, the resources and more ... has hands on experience with a lot of the plants that work best in your climate.

The creation of a garden is an on-going experience and I know I have never gotten bored as I learned more about the plants and how to put them together.

Good luck with your adventure ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Tracy, CA 9a
Dog Lover Dragonflies
Apr 13, 2018 8:26 AM CST
I love surprises!! You could start by prepping the bed where you want it and weeding it out. It's an exciting adventure. Especially when you get to kick back and admire all the hard work that you began out of love ❤️

So cool!! Hurray!

Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Apr 13, 2018 9:41 AM CST
Potentially useful information about dahlias, a few years back, in The Baltimore Sun.

Rockville, Maryland
Apr 22, 2018 7:43 AM CST

New Member

Thank you to everyone who has replied and offered me advice and encouragement.
Sorry for not getting back sooner
From my research it looks like Dahlia tubers are rather expensive so I was wondering how the packets of seeds work. Would I get flowers from seeds the first year?
I will also supplement with some other flowers that I will get from local gardening shops
Also, Costco has these: [url=hxxps://]hxxps://[/url] (because I am a new member, this website won't let me post a link to other websites so replace the "hxxps:" with "https:") for $35 which seems like a good place to start.
Does anyone have any experience with Costco dahlias?
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 22, 2018 7:58 AM CST
Costco carries quality products, I've always had good luck with their plants, bulbs, tubers etc
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Tracy, CA 9a
Dog Lover Dragonflies
Apr 22, 2018 10:56 AM CST
I have also had a good experience with Orchards and Home Depot plants!!

I don't really have a dedicated plant store.

But with the companies that came and donated on the raffle not a raffle I would send away for seeds and other plants. They care more about what they sell and have the knowledge of the plants they have grown up.

Don't forget the internet.

I even used to get fish off the internet, pets, and they made it just fine!!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias Gardens in Buckets
Region: Pennsylvania Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Apr 22, 2018 11:11 AM CST
Something I don't think anybody has mentioned is that because Dahlias take so long to start blooming in the meantime you might consider Dahlia-flowered zinnias to provide blooms. Some of the bigger ones actually rival the Dahlias themselves and you have the first blooms 6 weeks after sowing seed. Then in August or whenever the Dahlias start blooming, just cut down or uproot the zinnias (or leave them alone).
Keep going!
Name: Janett
Gamleby, SWEDEN
Apr 22, 2018 12:33 PM CST
Jai_Ganesha said:Something I don't think anybody has mentioned is that because Dahlias take so long to start blooming in the meantime you might consider Dahlia-flowered zinnias to provide blooms. Some of the bigger ones actually rival the Dahlias themselves and you have the first blooms 6 weeks after sowing seed. Then in August or whenever the Dahlias start blooming, just cut down or uproot the zinnias (or leave them alone).

Regarding how big the plants get I don't think its long. I bought cheap NOT top notch bulbs on a springmarket and planted them beginning/mid maj when it was still a bit cold temps here, frost nights has not passed yet and this picture is taken June 7. The paler will be around 3+ ft and already has buds and will keep growing as its not even half its full size here.
The other is 4/5 fter and will take a few weeks longer for flowers but they did put out a splendid flower show all the way until fall frost and storms took them out around end of September.
I plant mine in a mix of 2prts compost and 1 prt peatmoss and they love it. They grew so big I had to take all the other plants out as the Dahlias took over the flowerbed. there is five Dahlias in this bed and each side is little over 4 ft wide and its a hexagon shaped bed.
You do have to dig up the bulbs wintertime as I think you are in Washington and store them but they are worth the trouble.

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