Updated: Mar 3
The fall of 2020 was incredibly beautiful and long. Our early first frost produced the most beautiful fall colors we've seen in the last twenty years and the picture taking opportunities seemed to never end. Here are a few of the flowers and sights this fall.
Once again we tried out growing heirloom mums from King's mums. I learned last year that they are much more prone to frost than I would have guessed and so we have carefully covered them with frost cloth in the high tunnel on the many cold nights we have already had. Some were still touched by frost. A heated high tunnel would be so lovely. But that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
Heirloom mums with eucalyptus
Heirloom mums in a bouquet
Mexican bush sage and eucalyptus on the right in the high tunnel.
The Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) which we planted in the high tunnel made it all the way to November this year--again, carefully covered with frost cloth on all the cold nights. It is a beautiful late fall flower and well worth the trouble of covering it on cold nights.
Our eucalyptus has grown to about ten feet although we cut it very close to the ground this spring. It is a beautiful wall of green for now. Really, it looks like a forest in there.
This was not a great dahlia year for us. Before beginning our cut flower business I had grown Cafe au Lait dahlias for a number of years and had a large stock of tubers. This was one plant I thought I could depend on and it was really the inspiration for beginning this journey in many ways, but that's another story. However, the last two years I have struggled with my dahlias. This was the worst Japanese beetle year in many years and I hope we get a break from them next year. I have great hopes that next summer I will "crack the code" of larger scale dahlia production. The only really successful dahlias we had were in the high tunnel and they did not begin blooming until well into October. They were gorgeous though, but their bloom time fell outside of our regular growing season and we really had just a few plants so there was limited opportunity to sell them. There's always next year. :) Gardeners are eternal optimists and I have my order in for a whole bunch of new gorgeous varieties. If I had five high tunnels I'd fill one with dahlias. (I'd fill another with snapdragons, 2 with ranunculus, anemones and tulips and the last one with heirloom mums, and no doubt soon I'd wish for more.)