Plants and Dogs

Dahlias and Dogs

Dahlias have seemingly been blooming for months and my dark-leaved, single-flowered Bishop is sprawled all over the ground. I go through this every year because I'm too lazy to stake it. Can anyone tell me if cutting my plant back in June would solve the problem? Will someone call me in June and remind me?

Meanwhile, botanic gardens from coast to coast are stuffed silly with the plants and it's hardly news. But we were lucky enough to have TP friend Jay Blackburn at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden just when the dahlias went to the dogs.

dogs on a bench

I won't ask you to i.d. the varieties of dahlias in the background, but can you count how many species of dogs are on the bench? photo credit: Jay Blackburn hide caption

toggle caption photo credit: Jay Blackburn



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Is that question below the picture supposed to be a trick one? Because there's only ONE species of dog! However, if you meant how many "breeds" of dogs, it looks as though there are two: Pembroke Welsh Corgi and (possibly) German Shepherd.

Sent by Kristi | 1:50 PM | 9-11-2008

Yeah, well, it is a trick question but a strictly visual one. Sorry, wrong answer!

Sent by Ketzel Levine | 2:03 PM | 9-11-2008

Three. There's a little one in between the two corgis. Actually I can bet you the varieties of the dahlias as I direct the Mendocion Coast Botanical Garden.


Sent by Chris Woods | 7:21 PM | 9-11-2008

Three - there seems to be a little terrier cutie tucked in between the Corgies on the left. I really had to look!

Sent by Kailla in Portland | 8:07 PM | 9-11-2008

Do you have some widget, Mr. Chris Woods, that lets you know when your botanical garden gets blogged? I'm impressed! Thanks for stopping by.

Sent by Ketzel Levine | 8:44 PM | 9-11-2008

Thanks to Chris for helping to keep the Garden so well maintained and attractive all the time. I drive up from Santa Rosa regularly, (about 3.5 hours R.T.), to catch what's blooming and it's always worth the time spent.

The dogs were posed by their owners for their own photos but within a couple of minutes, the Dahlia garden admirers had gravitated to the bench and were taking pictures of the patient pooches. We were a group of clicking poocharazzi.

Those contented dogs were having their day.

Sent by burro | 9:33 PM | 9-11-2008

As I was sending in that somewhat cheeky answer I saw that little hidden terrier! Yes, that is definitely a tricky visual!

Sent by Kristi | 2:05 PM | 9-12-2008

Do not cut back dahlias! You can pinch pack the main stem after the plant grows four or five sets of leaves; this will create branching and more flowers, but it won't make the plant smaller. Just put the stake in the ground as you plant the tuber. If you're in a zone where you don't have to dig them up over winter, just leaves the stake int he ground at all times. (Check out

Sent by Monica Milla | 4:56 PM | 9-28-2008

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from