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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mid summer flowers for 2012

One of the things I try to keep going in my gardens is flowering plants all year long, except for winter. I have crocuses which bloom as early as late February to a perennial sunflower which doesn't bloom until November, and there are plenty of flowers blooming in between.

My second favorite flower would have to the dahlia. Here are a few of them. These guys grow from tubers which can over-winter in zone 6 as long as they are well protected, and I use leaf filled bag to protect mine instead of digging them up and bringing them indoors which is too much work.

Here are the results.

Angel wing begonia: I bring this one in every winter, and it blooms nonstop

Annual flowers

One of my sedums: I have over 20 species of sedums, some that get tall like this one, while others are ground covers.

Long bean blossoms


Luffa gourd: This stuff blossoms by sunset, and they tend to fall off early in the morning

Those are all male flowers up above. Here are the actual gourds. This is very prolific as 1 plant can can produce around 30 gourds a week with ideal conditions. They get up to around 2-3ft long by 2 inches, but they are best harvested by around the 2ft mark when they are still relatively skinny because they turn bitter if they mature, and produce seeds.

The vines from the stem can cover perhaps 1000 square feet of space or more if there is an infinite amount of room, and the stem gets fatter and fatter throughout the year. This stem is still relatively skinny now, but it should grow to be fatter than the 1 inch thick pipe next to it by the end of the year. This is why this vegetable is so productive. This vegetable is great for stir-fry, or soups. It is basically Chinese Okra, and gets used for the same purposes as broccoli.


  1. Really great to see.

    1. Dahlias are one of the easiest flowers to grow.

  2. Great selection of blooms there and like the idea of using leaf filled bags to protect Dahlias!

    1. Most people throw away their old leaves so I basically collect hundreds of them, and use them to over-winter plants, and eventually allow them to compost in my gardens. Placing a leaf bag to over-winter plants seems to be one of the easiest way to protect plants that are rated slightly out of my climate zone.

  3. Amazing array of dahlias! I should give them a try - my garden is sadly lacking in late-season color (too many peonies! :-) Those gourds look so cool.

    1. They generally keep blooming until the first frost so they are pretty dependable. All you need to start with is 1 small tuber to get one of these large plants.