This morning I got up extra early, so when the sun rose over the hill at 6:15 AM, I could head down to the dahlia garden. The reason? The heat! It hit 97 degrees today and I have the first dahlia show of the Season tomorrow up in Portland. I knew if I wanted any decent blooms to take, I would have to pick them before they sat out all day in the scorching sunshine, fading and wilting.
I ending up picking five blooms in the morning and another six blooms after work, right as the sun set. Then I got to work staging them for tomorrow's show. Considering how many 90+ degree days we have had this Summer, and how bad the cucumber beetles have been, I was happy to have anything to stage at all. I think of everything I am taking, my best shot for the head table is my "Martina". It is my first bloom of the year, so it is large and nearly perfect. Close behind it is my white "Joal Louisa" waterlily. It is also the first bloom of the year from that plant, but it unfortunately has 3-4 petals with some serious bug damage. I have done some delicate plucking where I could but there are still two petals on the backside with a small hole that I couldn't pull. Hopefully the judges won't notice!