It was already dark on Friday night when I remembered that I’d better pick my last five ‘Café-au-Lait’ dahlias before an overnight frost got to them. The very next morning, the leaves on the plants had blackened and wilted.
This afternoon I will cut back my dahlias and throw the stems and leaves onto the compost heap. The tubers will stay in the ground this year with a heavy mulch of compost and grass clippings.
I have decided to leave my sweetpeas up for the winter as they are providing shelter for a tender salvia behind them. Come the spring I will cut them back and lay the mass of stems over the dahlias as protection against late frosts.
I realise it is risky to leave my dahlias in the ground, where they may suffer from the cold and damp; however, last year I lost a good few potted-up tubers to the pesky, hungry squirrels in spring, and so I reckon it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy of Rambling in the Garden and I do recommend visiting her page to see her beautiful vase of flowers, as well as links to many other garden bloggers who have joined in this week.