Happy Dahlias

You may recall that earlier this year I attended a Dahlia talk at Crocus at Dorney Court Kitchen Garden. Presented by Val Bourne the lecture was both educational and inspiring.

Dorney Court Kitchen Garden

Since being a small child, watching my mother grow dahlias, I had hoped that one day I would have a garden of my own that would produce these exotic blooms.

Alliums in raised bed

Today, I am in a fortunate aand privileged position in as much as I have access to small plot that I can dedicate to the growing of vegetables and flowers for cutting.
This year I chose to add some new varieties to my existing collection of mainly pink, purple, red, and white dahlias.
Sarah Raven has become well known in recent years for her contribution to gardening and has built an on-line business supplying a huge variety of plants from her garden at Perch Hill Farm in East Sussex.
Thumbing through her Spring 2018 catalogue I was blown away by the vast variety of dahlia tubers that were available. I narrowed down my choice to a collection that would complement my existing plants. Particularly drawn to one called ‘Bacardi’ my search was narrowed down to the ‘Bonanza’ or ‘Cinnamon Spice’ collections.
Aside from colour, space was my next consideration as I have just one raised bed dedicated to flowers and this was already home to half a dozen different varieties of dahlias, as well as a huge number of Alliums.
Sarah Raven’s  ‘Bonanza Collection’ consisted of 7 different varieties whilst the ‘Cinnamon Spice Collection’ consisted of 5. I chose the latter which provided one each of the following:

  • Bacardi
  • Burlesca
  • La Recoleta
  • Tamburo
  • Zundert Mystery Fox
My new collection of smoky, rich dahlias

Described in the catalogue as a supremely beautiful, smoky, rich collection I was very happy with my choice and on arrival I planted them in the garden as per the simple instructions.
I must admit that our unusually hot, dry UK summer gave me cause for concern but I watered the plants from the moment I put them in the ground through the 2018 heatwave.

Cinnamon Spiced Dahlias in Oliver Bonas vase

This past weekend I enjoyed the fruits of my labour as I cut my first stems. Each of the new plants had produced a number of blooms and I was able to cut a decent vaseful in a variety of spicy colours.
I’m now looking ahead to the next few weeks as the plants continue to flower in the late summer and autumn sunshine.
I might even attend the Crocus Garden School on October 3rd when Rachel Siegfried of Green & Gorgeous will be hosting an event entitled ‘Dahlias for the cut flower garden’. Follow this link for details and to buy tickets – https://www.crocus.co.uk/gardening-school/
Happy day(lias)!

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