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There is a traditional among northern gardeners in which the night before the first frost we all run out to our gardens and cut every tender flower we can find. Last Friday, the night of the first predicted frost, I got home later than I expected, which mean that I ran outside in the very last remnants of daylight and cut every dahlia I could find.
And let me tell you: That kind of harvesting with reckless abandon leads to some beautiful bouquets.
I had an armload of flowers but stuck them all into two bouquets, one bright and one pale.
The bright bouquet truly begged to be viewed carefully, with sunglasses, but it was as cheery as they come. 

The pale bouquet made of the last of the Cafe au Lait dahlias is a study in texture. It was my first year growing the ever-popular Cafe au Laits and my goodness, they are worth the price of admission. Although all of those that were cut for this last bouquet were ivory with just a hint of peach blush, earlier this summer they were pink and peach and bright pink and yellow—an amazing array of colors.

It was a good thing I brought in what I could as Saturday morning, most of the dahlias looked like this.
The bouquets are now faded as well, but they brought immeasurable pleasure for a few days, perhaps enough to see me through the winter until I can see those blooms again. And that’s what makes frost bouquets both the prettiest and the saddest bouquets of the year.
Do you bring in as many flowers as you can before you get a frost?

11 Responses

  1. What beauties!!! Gorgeous bouquets. I too got some frost bouquets which are sadly on the wane now.
    Do you know the name of the dahlia in the 1st and 2nd photos (the one that is front and center with cream and pink petals)? That one is certainly a stunner and I'd love to file that away for next year's garden plans.

  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. I agree! I cut a large bouquet of cosmos and zinnias, a couple of roses, and a single dahlia bud. We did get a hard freeze, so I am glad I did. Of course it was 71 today.

  4. I did not get any of mine in. Didn't even think of it. Now I am totally bummed. First year growing dahlias — new house and the previous owner left all her potted dahlias at closing in April. They were magnificent until last weekend.

    I have been reading up and am going to try the Saran Wrap method with the tubers. When do you usually dig yours up? We are in Ann Arbor area so guessing timing is similar. – Sarah

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