By Carol Stocker
Some of us have had our first frost!
But many flowers are frost proof and will keep flowering late into the fall. These include marigolds, roses, chrysanthemum and pansies. I have been particularly impressed by the new Cool Wave pansy strain bred for cold weather tolerance. They survived last year's mild winter here. Individual plants were my first flowers in the spring as well as my last flowers in the fall.
Unfortunately, dahlias have no frost tolerance. But though mine have died above ground, the tubers are safe underground and I am waiting two weeks for them to "ripen" in the ground before digging them up to store in my basement, along with gladiola corms and canna tubers, over the winter.
I like to grow dahlias. Some are better for landscaping while other varieties make great cut flowers. These were my favorite prolific performers this year:
Chilson's Pride, pure pink with white centers on five foot tall plant. Long lasting and productive. Great cut flower.
Miss Molly, very pretty three inch yellow and pink waterlily style variety. Five foot plants. Good for cutting.
Sunshine, low growing large orange daisies with dark foliage for landscaping. Very popular in England. Better for landscaping than cutting.
Cafe Au Lait, five foot tall plant produces giant but subtle mocha colored blooms for cutting, great for weddings. Recommended to me by floral designer Pauline Runkle.
Taboo, fuschia purple five inch balls one five foot plants
Cornell, dark five inch red balls
Bonbini, prolific Karma dahlia in jack-o-lantern bright orange and yellow three inches flowers appropriate for fall bouquets
Lagoon and Amanda, large violet/pink/white Karma dahlias, bred as cut flowers
Fascination, low growing dark foliage covered with small pink/red button flowers for landscaping.