So last week I mentioned that I was looking forward to this particular “3×3 Garden” as it contains two of my most favorite things in the summer garden: dahlias and the color purple! So if you’re like me and have a “passion for purple”, then this combination might be just what you and your partial to full sun spot need! This is also a great trio for those of you who share my love for enjoying fresh flowers in the house as all three of these charmers make excellent cut flowers. The vibrancy of the purple dahlias are a perfect complement to the striking pinks of the smaller plants in this trio. The three amazing plants in the following garden layouts are the Lipstick Calla Lily, the Jan Van Schaeffelaar Pompon Dahlia, and the Purple Gem Cactus Dahlia.

Lipstick Calla Lily (9 total corms)

The color of this little beauty couldn’t be more perfect in this combination, nor could the name be more fitting. Truly reminiscent of a classic pink lipstick color, these callas lilies have a gorgeous, almost honeysuckle color to them with a noticeable yellow stamen in the center of each. Topping out at just 16″ tall, these border-type plants fit nicely around and underneath the larger foliage of the dahlias. Like the other plants in this grouping, this one can handle a little bit of shade so a partially sunny location is ideal.

Jan Van Schaeffelaar Pompon Dahlia (6 total tubers)

The bright pink color and tightly-growing petals of the Jan Van Schaeffelaar Pompon Dahlia are two delightful qualities of this plant. This has got to be one of my favorite dahlias (despite the dreadfully long name :) ). I just love the round blooms it produces and feels it adds a very cheery touch to this garden combination. This one grows 24-36″ tall on extremely sturdy stems which makes it great for cutting and planting in containers.

Purple Gem Cactus Dahlia (3 total tubers)

Texture. Texture. Texture! That’s what this plant’s role is all about in this trio. The rounded edges of the calla lily and pompon dahlia’s petals create a very subdued, relaxed feeling when all of a sudden Kazam!… the radiating, vibrant purple petals of the cactus dahlia stick straight out from the center and make a statement. Sometimes growing as tall as 60″, the Purple Gem Dahlia craves attention as it stands above the rest and puts on a show. Again, great for cutting and handling small amounts of shade, there is sure to be an application for this beauty in your yard.

Garden Layout #1: Circular Garden Bed or Round Container

The tall height of the Cactus Dahlia make them an excellent focal point in a circular-shaped garden area. Begin by placing the (3) Purple Gem Dahlia tubers in the center of the bed in a triangular-shaped pattern, approximately 12-18″ apart leaving them enough room for the lush foliage which grows towards the base of the dahlia plant. Leave approximately 12″ of soil between them and the next dahlias, placing the (6) Pink Pompon Dahlias around them in a circle, also leaving 12″ or so between each. Finish off the layout by placing the (9) Lipstick Calla corms around the dahlias to form a border, leaving 6-8″ of space between each. This should cover a circular bed which is at least 60-72″ in diameter.

Garden Layout #2: Rectangular Garden Bed

This layout would be perfect for planting along a  straight-walled structure as the towering habit of the Purple Gem Dahlias makes an excellent screen or cover to break up a boring wall or fence. Place the Purple Gems towards the back and center of the bed, arranging them in a stretched obtuse triangle pattern as shown in the diagram, leaving approximately 18″ between each. Then place the Pompon Dahlias slightly in front of but also among the Purple Gems in two groups of three, spacing them at about 12″. The (9) Lipstick Callas should then be used to form a border of sorts in front of the dahlias, spacing them 6-8″ apart in a diagonal pattern.

Garden Layout #3: Half Circle Garden Bed

Since these bulbs don’t need a full day of direct sunlight, they can work perfect in a partially shaded bed under a light-filtering tree or other structure. Place the (3) Purple Gem Cactus dahlia around the base of the tree, again leaving 12-18″ of space between them. Continue by planting the pompon dahlias again in two separate “triangle” shapes among the large cactus dahlias. Finish the bed off by filling in the rest of the area, placing the calla corms in a diagonal pattern along the border.

Ah yes. These combinations are truly my favorites. This trio collection is also available for 50% off from Holland Bulb Farms which will make it easy for you to try in your own garden! Click here and check it out! Next week’s trio contains some of the best-loved perennials…great for those of us in the colder climates!

With hands in the dirt and head in the clouds,