Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Delightful Dahlias

One of the lovely things about being such an unknowledgeable, cash-strapped gardener is that trends for the most part pass me by.
I'm not saying that those who know more (that'll be everybody then) slavishly follow the fashion in gardens but someone must I guess otherwise there wouldn't be trends.
In my case, ignorance really is bliss. Thanks to my wonderful trip to Chelsea earlier this year I could probably name a couple of things/plants/colour schemes that are "in" but it's only because of Chelsea that I could.
I haven't bought any gardening magazines for ages - mostly because I've been concentrating on the interior and boy! there's a lot to concentrate on and partly because when I'm neglecting my gardening side (yes, it's happened before and no doubt it'll happen again) I feel so unbelievably guilty reading about all the jobs I should be doing and all the veg I should be picking. So I don't bother to read them. For a while.
But something must have seeped in (maybe via the tv and Gardener's World) because I have it lodged in my brain that dahlias were "out" but are now making a comeback. Who knew? Well, everybody obviously. But not me, clearly.
I love 'em. You just plonk them in the ground and before you know it the plants are growing really well and - wow! - you have flowers in your front garden, making it look like you're not a complete no-hoper on the gardening front after all. Phew! What's not to love? 
My dahlias were rescued, I vaugely recall, from another part of the garden, although I can't for the life of me remember where. Other parts of the garden that could be home to flowers are non-existent. Anyway, I planted them a year ago last Easter when it was hot and I decided I would tackle our two sorely neglected borders at the front. I say I but if I'm honest I think it was number one son who actually did the plantings. I was faffing with some stocks I think that never, ever reappeared after that first year. Are they meant to?  See, totally ignorant.
I'm not sure if you're supposed to pull up the dahlia bulbs in the winter and store them somewhere. I'm afraid to report that for me, lazy as well as ignorant and poor, this is a step too far. I haven't anywhere to store them anyway (seems I can add "shed deprived" to the ever growing list too). Still, they seem to have done okay this year as they did last summer. Next year, I shall be back lamenting, no doubt, their disappearance. So I'm enjoying them while I can.


  1. I often leave mine in the ground and they are generally fine, I think as you are in London they should be fine in the ground. Why not enter a pic of your blooms in EmmaT's village show http://emsworthvillageshow.blogspot.com/

  2. there aren't all that many good gardening magazines that are about gardening and not keeping a neat surface.
    but, I like the brittish Grow your own-mag which is all about vegetables and trying to live an organic life.

  3. Ah yes, PG, forgot about that after saying I would enter. Hmmmm, will have to visit her site to find out how.

    Glad to know that you don't lift yours either. In my last garden we didn't and had the most amazing displays every year. We're a bit further south than London so should be ok.

    Schmut - that's one of the gardening mags I buy, when I'm buying them. I love that one!

  4. There's trends in gardening? That's a shame everyones garden should be as unique as them!

  5. Dahlias have long been a favorite of mine in the garden, since I was a little girl and my Dad planted them en masse. That's a lovely apricot color. :)

  6. Me too, me too (giggle). I have always loved Dahlias, they are very little trouble and give a fabulous display. Not sure if they will like the cold and damp of a Cumbrian winter but like everything else at Bag End, they will survive or not!

    Magazines - just started buying The English Garden, far less like a comic than most of the monthlies and not as intimidating as the RHS publication. Here you go: http://www.theenglishgarden.co.uk/ no affiliation, etc. Think there is a "first three isues for a fiver" offer going at present.

  7. Dahlias - love 'em. The gaudier the better. There's a man with an allotment near ours who kind of breeds them. I have never seen such beauties plants - flowers the size of saucers. My favourites are the cactus types. Gaudy and a bit rough round teh edges. Now who is that like I wonder.

  8. Lovely Dahlia - they are something that are on my shopping list for next year.
    Do check out Emmas show - they would make a great entry.
    Warm regards

  9. I bought a number of dahlia tubers from a catalog and the poor things never made it into the ground this year! I went out to the shade house yesterday and there they were, sprouting in the bag! Talk about persistence!

  10. yes! I just found this completely by accidnet! Send me the pic to anicegreenleaf AT hotmail DOT com - or I can just pinch it off here! :-)

  11. Awesome photograph...dahlias really are nice. I had some dwarf dahlias a few years back and they attracted butterflies by the dozens!

    Great blog, by the way!

  12. I love dahlias, and yours is gorgeous.
    My dad used to show them, so we had a back garden full of them. Mine haven't started flowering yet - obviously success at dahlia growing isn't genetic!