Dazzling dahlias ♥

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Dahlias are back in fashion and in a big way…not only in our gardens, but also as a cut flower in our florist shops. And there are so many different sizes, shapes and colours available.  They’re loosely classified into ten groups, according to flower shape : pompon, waterlily, ball, decorative, collarette, single-flowered, anemone-flowered, cactus, semi cactus and miscellaneous. Colours range from deep purple to pastel pink, white to red, orange and near black.

Named after Dr Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist, dahlias grow from frost tender tubers. They’re great as a cut flower, as once they’ve been cut, they’ll come again.  And they’ll bloom from July until November.  Then it’s best to lift and store them over the winter.

If you’d like to introduce dahlias into your garden for next summer, they’re generally available as dry, dormant tubers from nurseries, garden centres and mail order specialists in late winter/early spring. Pot them up in March or early April.  Then wait until the frosts are over before planting them in a sunny spot.  They like fertile soil with moisture and good drainage. You’ll need a sturdy stake to support each plant.  Knock this in first and then place the plant by its side.

And if you’re interested in the ‘Language of Flowers’, dahlias represent good taste, elegance and stability.

P.S.  Did you know that there are over 1,500 different varieties of dahlias in The National Dahlia Collection in Cornwall?

Thanks for reading,

       

P.P.S. Sarah Raven loves Dahlias - find out her favourite dahlias, and her tips for how to plant dahlia tubers...