For those of us who get caught up planning the delightful exhibition of colours and scents that will greet and accompany up through the summer months, the action often comes to an abrupt halt by early July (something we are all guilty of.) There is an easy solution! Dahlias are the perfect way to bring tenacity, vivacious colour and dramatic style into your garden from June all the way to the first frost in early September. With such a wide variety shades and shapes, from cactus or peony to single or star, how can we not be captivated by this delightful perennial?
So how can we achieve this firework display of blooms? Dahlia’s like rich, slightly acidic soil with lots of water! Dahlia’s need a lot more watering than many other plants so mulch around them whether they are in a pot or the ground to keep the roots from drying out. You should be thinking of planting your tubers (similar to bulbs) in early spring after the frosts. (Top tip! Make sure the ground is not too wet as the tubers will rot before having a chance to grow!) When planting Dahlias find somewhere they will get plenty of sun, but also periods of shade, otherwise they will dry out. If you are planning on using stakes, do this when you plant so as to reduce the risk of staking through your tubers! You can now get more attractive solutions to the old bamboo cane stuck in the ground, such as corten steel circular frames; visually attractive in their own right they add something to the garden before your flowers are even in bloom.
- Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ – classic, bold, iconic. This spectacular red semi-double peony bloom falls into stark contrast against the deep black foliage. Winner of RHS awards and our hearts, this is a staple to any Dahlia display.
- Dahlia ‘Ambition’ – With bright pink/purple semi-cactus flowers, this is a hardy, easy to grow Dahlia, great for borders, pots or cut flowers.
- Dahlia ‘Little Snowdrop’ – Cut flowers or in planting beds, this pompom style bloom is a hit with us, compact, perfect petals spiral themselves into a dazzling heads. (A fun alternative for a wedding bouquet?)
So what can we say? With the Dahlia revival in full swing we are definitely on board, submerging ourselves in a riotous garden party all Summer long…
Going on this summer! It is the RHS Wisley Flower Show from the 6th to 11th of September, and the National Dahlia Society are hosting its annual exhibition from the 7th, so why not head down and be inspired?