Dazzling Dahlias

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At this time of year, most plants are bent on making seeds, not blossoms. Not so the dahlias. Among the blowsy seedheads and fading foliage, their vibrant colors declare that the season isn’t over yet.

My parents retired to Mendocino, on the coast north of San Francisco. There, the cool but mild climate is similar to that of England, and dahlias (indeed, most perennials) thrive. Those my dad grew were as big as dinner plates! I admit to jealousy. Here in Colorado, it’s not so simple; you have to want to grow dahlias. Spectacular flowers in flamboyant hues are your reward.


Hudson Gardens: A Littleton Oasis

cleome-hasslerana_spider-flower_hudsongardens-littletonco_lah_0603Labor Day is past, but there’s no reason to sit inside and sulk. Fall means blue skies and more moderate temperatures beckoning us back outdoors. One of the best gardens to visit at this time of year is Hudson Gardens, in Littleton, Colorado. Situated along the South Platte River, you can enjoy 30 acres of flowers, shrubs, trees, and grass—from exotic annuals to water lilies.

Once a private estate, the gardens are now open to a public, and right now, there isn’t even an admission charge. You can’t beat that! (There may be a small fee during the peak summer season.)