Big Stalky Stems

My friend and great gardener RB brought these to me this afternoon; I could not resist photographing them.   I knew right away what they were, but I could not believe their extraordinary size.  They are hollow stalks; this picture I took of the interior wall.

 This picture of the bottom was taken from the top.

I could barely get my hand around one.

They were prominently segmented.

He cut these pieces a full 18″ off the ground-with his pruning loppers.  No pair of pruners would have been adequate to the job.

I have never seen dahlia stalks grow to this size-neither had RB.  He said this was his best year ever growing dahlias-and he has been growing them 20 years.  He puts his tubers in the ground in a sheltered spot in late June. All he grows in this plot of land is dahlias-mostly the very tall plants with dinnerplate size flowers.  In August they are good; in September they are spectacular.  Not having had a really hard frost even yet, he had flowers all of October.  And plants every bit of 8 feet tall.  I cannot imagine what a job it will be digging the tubers this year.  He cuts the stems very tall, and leaves them for a week or so before digging.  The flowers on these giant dahlias were similarly overscaled.  These stalks speak to his skill as a gardener, and how a plant can more than thrive given a favorable season and great culture.  Very impressive, RB!

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