October 14

Dahlias: In Memoriam

We had a hard frost on Friday, the 12th of October, earlier than usual. That morning we had visitors to the garden and I was pleased that they enjoyed the congregation of dahlias flowering wildly in the vegetable garden–mostly in shades of red, from scarlet to crimson to plum and streaky orange, but pinwheel and button whites too, and warm yellows. We spent the late afternoon draping reemay over the blooms, thinking that would protect them from the night’s predicted chill, but the next morning they were all black and shriveled and it was hard to recall their gaiety just a few hours before. The tender salvias went too and plectranthus we had left out, and the geraniums lingering in pots. Bosco had gathered cuttings of his favorites, safely potted up in the greenhouse, and I had to content myself with a vase of brassy blooms brought indoors on Friday for the kitchen table.

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