Dreaming of Next Summers Dahlia Garden

Photo by Ralph Alswang

Last spring we planted the abandoned lot next door to us with tomatoes and lettuces. There was a misunderstanding and everything got pulled up and we replanted again with lettuces and cooking greens. At the end of the season we turned a bunch of coffee grounds and compost into the soil to ready it for next seasons planting. Recently with all of the seed catalogs arriving and a couple of warmish winter days we started plotting our 2010 garden...We have decided that this year we want to dedicate the empty plot next door to dahlias. We have dabbled in planting dahlias but never given them a proper spot in our garden and do not know much about growing them.

I do use lots of dahlias from July through mid-October that I buy from Bob Wollam. The dahlias he grows are phenomenal and are the focal point of most of my flower arrangements while they are in season. Last week Bob stopped by and I asked him if he thought the lot next door would be a good spot for dahlias. In addition to his farm in rural Virginia Bob has been planting urban gardens for decades and was very enthusiastic. He has promised to lend his expertise to the project.

We have a few other empty lots close by that we intend to plant with food and flowers this spring as well...