Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dahlia Show #3

Today was the Douglas County Dahlia Society's Annual Dahlia Show held in Roseburg. I got up early and headed down south. The weather was horrible. It poured buckets of rain for most of the drive and I arrived a bit white-knuckled and very glad to be there in one piece! I unloaded my blooms in the rain and settled in for the judges meeting. Hours later, after all the judging was complete, I found that I had one entry on the Head Table!

It was my 3-bloom entry of "Cornel". It won best 3-bloom Ball in Show. What's funny about this is my entry was the only 3-bloom Ball entry in the whole show. So that's why I won! Well, I guess I should get a little credit for being able to stage a 3-bloom ball entry this late in the season and with all of the rainy weather that we have had this past week. Still, it's not exactly the way you want to make the Head Table.

I did like my 3-bloom entry of "Martina". The blooms weren't perfectly matched but I do love this variety. And it was the first time this season that I had any "Martina" blooms ready at the end of the week. It was a fun day in Roseburg and a nice way to end the Dahlia Show season.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Staging for Show #3

Tonight I staged my entries for the last dahlia show of the year, to be held in Roseburg tomorrow. It is quite amazing that I have any entries to bring at all. Tuesday it rained hard and it is raining tonight once again. Since today's rain was forecast, I picked all of these blooms last night after work. I am so glad that I did.

None of these blooms jump out to me as "perfect" but that's ok. I have 11 nice entries to take tomorrow.

Amazingly, I was able to stage 2 sets of triple entries for the second week in a row. I figured with all of this wet weather, it will be hard for anyone to bring a good single bloom entry to the show, let alone a triple!

I am really just glad to have some blooms to bring, even if none of them are outstanding. It's much more fun to go judge at a show when you have a few of your own entries in the show too. Plus, I think it's important to bring blooms to support the other dahlia societies.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The "Last" Day of Summer

Tomorrow if officially the last day of Summer. Once again, how fast it has gone!

For me, certain flowers really represent summertime. Among those are Zinnias and Sunflowers. Happily I have both of these plants growing in my garden and as Fall quickly approaches, they are just beginning to bloom.

My two long rows of "Persian Carpet" Zinnias are really starting to look good. Almost of the plants are in the process of opening their first bud. Soon, they will all branch and the row will be a sea of color. This variety is so easy start from seed. For an investment of only $5-6 dollars, you can get a 20+ foot row of brilliant color that will last until the first frost. The more you cut, the more they bloom.

My July sowing of "Bright Bandolier" sunflowers is also beginning to pay off. About 1/2 of the flowers are now in bloom and I have a nice mix of yellow and deep red blooms. It is interesting how much taller the red sunflowers are then the yellow ones. I love how the three rows look this time of the year, back-lit by the late afternoon sunshine.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Harvest Moon

We stood outside tonight to enjoy watching the full Harvest Moon rise over the hillside.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mini Jack Pumpkin

The first "Mini Jack" pumpkin has matured down in the big garden. I didn't get these pumpkins planted until early July, so I wasn't too sure if there would be enough time for me to harvest any pumpkins. As you can see, the pumpkin is splatted with flecks of dirt from our recent rains.With the cooler, wet weather I am not too optimistic that I will get many more ripe mini pumpkins this year.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Best Of Show!

Today was the first day of the Lane County Dahlia Society's 50th Anniversary Show. I arrived at the show around 8:00 AM and set my entries out on the tables to be judged. The judging took up all of the morning and ended around 2:00 PM. When it was all done I was thrilled to find two of my entries on the Head Table.

My first winner was the Best 1-Bloom Miniature Ball in the Show, this entry of "Chimicum Davi". I entered 5 miniature balls in the show and they all got 1st place, so the odds were in my favor! Still, I was so pleased to win best-of-the-best.

Ironically, my other Head Table winner was the Best 3-Bloom Miniature Ball entry in the show. This entry is "Chimicum Les C" a dark red miniature ball. For the past month, all of my Chimicum Les C" blooms have has green centers and I was getting very frustrated. But miraculously,  the blooms that opened this week had perfect centers and I had many blooms from which to choose. Two years ago, I progressed to the highest level of dahlia showmanship and now must enter my blooms as a Advanced Amateur. This was the first time, since I moved to the top ranks, that I have made the Head Table. And I did it twice!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Getting Ready for Show #2

Tonight I staged my blooms for our local dahlia show to be held this weekend.

I actually started picking blooms in the garden Thursday night. I picked two of these beautiful "Embrace". They were perfect, with no bug damage and I was scared to wait even one more day! I placed them in some water and set them in a dark, cool room. Tonight I picked two more so I was able to stage a single entry and a triple. If I had to guess tonight, I would think that my 1-bloom "Embrace" entry would have the best chance of making it to the head table tomorrow.

I staged a total of 20 entries - the most entries that I have ever taken to a show. Eighteen entries were 1-bloom entries and I even managed to stage two 3-bloom entries too!

A pretty "Tioga Autumn" bloom.

I staged until 10:00 PM tonight. I have picked the best that I have and now it's up to the judges. But first, I need to get some sleep!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Sunflower

The first "Bright Bandolier" sunflower opened today. As you can see, this plant is a cheery, bright yellow. "Bright Bandolier" is a mix, so I will also have some deep, solid red blooms to enjoy as well. Nothing says Summer quite like a sunflower in the garden.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Tomato Harvesting

I was able to harvest once again from the tomato crop today. There was one nice sized "Black Krim" to pick.

The two cherry tomatoes, "Sweet Million" & "Galina" continue to pump out the fruit. Between the two, I harvested just short of 100 cherry tomatoes today. All five of my plants still have lots & lots of green fruit on them. I really need a warm, dry September to allow everything to ripen.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Corvallis Farmer's Market

Saturday morning we got up and drove to Corvallis to enjoy a girl's day-away and The Corvallis Farmer's Market. Corvallis' Farmer's Market is located on first street, right next to the Willamette River. The street is closed for the morning and and the Market takes over. It makes for such a nice venue with lots of space for everything.

Like most Farmer's Markets, this one was full of musicians adding to the ambiance.

Many of the booths had samples to try. This particular one had an impressive variety of different watermelons to taste and to purchase.

I loved this display! Color, color, color! 

And speaking of color, look at this great mound of peppers. Sweet or Hot, there was something for everyone.

 I was drawn to these pimento peppers.What a great color and shape.

There were wonderful flowers bouquets for sale. Of course I was drawn to the ones full of dahlias.

With Autumn right around the corner, Pears are in season.

Baskets full of deep, purple plums.

It wouldn't be late summer without squash and pumpkins. How cool are these "Long Island Cheese"?! Such a great buff orange color.

Trays of ripe peaches.

The Market had a few stalls selling nursery stock. 

We had to stop at this booth and get my Dad is own mini Blackberry pie. After we finished strolling through the whole Market, we went down and stopped in at The New Morning Bakery. Being an OSU graduate, I was pleased to see they sold not only Bear Claws but also Beaver Paws!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Dahlia Garden in Early September

Monday was the final day of the holiday weekend and I finally had some time to work in the garden and take some pictures.

While the garden is not at peak bloom, I am certainly seeing more and more color each week.

As you can see,  many of the plants are quite tall this year. I got horribly behind on my garden "to-do" list this Summer and at least half of the dahlias weren't stopped in a timely manner. Hence, lots of tall plants this year. At least this doesn't affect bloom quality - you just might have to look up to see them!

I can't decide if I should keep "Jac's Julia" for another year or not. It doesn't produce many blooms, but the ones it does certainly are pretty.

"Clearview Debby" is a new-to-me variety this year and I just love it. I will definitely be saving my tubers this year and planting a lot more of this variety next year. It's a BB sized formal decorative in a light blend of lavender and white.

"Lolita" just glows in the garden, especially on an overcast day. 

"Camano Susan" a BB sized semi-cactus in orange.

"Bracken Sarah" is such a soft beauty. A BB sized formal decorative in a light blend of yellow and orange.

I have wanted to grow "Hollyhill Tigress" ever since I first saw it at a show. It's quite the striking variegated waterlily.

"Creekside Volcano" lives up to its name. Hot colors!

This "Crazy 4 Jessie" bloom is only about half open but you can see how pretty it is going to be. A BB sized incurved cactus in a dark blend of dark red & yellow.

A young "Embrace" bud.

Two plants of "Lakeview Glow"

"Sorbet" a B sized semi-cactus form in a dark blend of white & purple.

"David Lam" a dark red collarette.

"Purple Sparkler" a purple and white collarette.

"Odyssey" a miniature ball in a light blend of lavender and white.

"Fidalgo Julie" a stellar in a dark blend of orange & red.

"Cornel", a red ball. I have grown this variety for years.

This is a new variety for me this year. "AC Rooster" is a red stellar.

"Higgo Wonder" a BB sized laciniated in a dark blend of purple and white.

Martina" a white & purple dark blend miniature formal decorative.

Joal Louisa" a white waterlily.

"Tioga Autumn" a B sized laciniated dahlia in a light blend of pink and yellow.

"Embrace" a bronze BB sized semi cactus.

"Chimicum Les C" a dark red miniature ball.

There are now nice size buds on the "Bright Bandolier" sunflowers. It won't be too long before I finally have some sunflower blooms in the garden.

I am excited to have my first blooms opening on the "Persian Carpet" zinnias. 

There were quite a few bees working the first open female flower on the "Mini Jack" pumpkins. It looks like I won't have to worry about hand pollination with this group.

Now that the rabbits have finally quite munching on the morning glory plants, I have some blooms to enjoy! Above, a "Scarlet O'hara" and below a "Grandpa Ott" flower.