dahlia variabilis 'bishop's children' | why sarah loves this

Sarah explains why she loves these brilliant, richly coloured flowers set against dark crimson foliage.

A truly magnificent dahlia for a pot, is ‘Bishop’s Children’, and that’s what all these are, and they’re all grown from a packet of seed, these are not from tubers. They’re a first year flowering perennial that you sow from seed, they flower, you then you store the tuber if they’re in a pot because of course they’re not frost hardy in a pot because the frost can get at the top and at the sides, but then you store them and they come bigger and better the following year, these are actually three year old tubers which is why they’re such stonking plants, but that’s all from a packet of seed three years ago, and the other thing I love about them is that they come in these brilliant jewel colours, orange, deep pink, red.

Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ isn’t just splendid in a pot, it’s also absolutely perfect in a cutting garden and an ornamental veg garden where I’m standing now, and we have it lining our grass path, underplanted with verbena rigida, and it’s a really beautiful jewel-like combination of the purple of the compact verbena and scarlet and deep red, and crimson and turmeric-yellow, and bright yellow and orange, just absolutely lovely, all grown from a packet of seed, and these plants here are all this season’s plants, so we sowed them this spring, and here I am standing now in September.

Also we use it as an edible flower, you just pick a head like that and then you just pull the petals off and scatter that over salad, and also we just had a family wedding, and it makes the most incredible confetti, you can just put it in the fridge and it lasts a couple of days. It’s just such a wonderful, wonderful dahlia.

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