I have been asked to include notes on the flowers in our walled garden. The garden is about an acre but it is not all fruit and vegetables. We do have flower borders as well as flowers amongst the vegetables.
Today I want to talk about Dahlias. For many years these were not my favourite flower, I associated them with the large immaculate blooms grown to show in exhibitions. Then in 2011 my daughter was getting married and wanted me to do the bouquet, buttonholes and table decorations from “flowers in the garden”. The problem I soon discovered was that middle of August was not best for the flowers I grew.
In fact up until 10 years ago the only flowers I grew were either planted by birds or inherited when we moved. How things have changed, having “retired” to renovate the walled garden I have visited numerous gardens, attended talks and met many friends who are “flower people” and have taught me so much.
The dahlia’s I love are the small ball and pom pom ones and especially the Bishops Children, single dark ones, and the raggedy looking cactus.
This year I decided to grow from seed rather than tubers. Seeds for a mixed cactus and Bishop’s Children were sown under cover in January transferred to bigger pots in March then planted outside in June.
Flowering now it is good to see the different colours the come in the cactus and the dark foliage of Bishops Children is a favourite sight. I will leave the ones planted outside over winter, give them a good mulch against the winter weather and fingers crossed the will come up again next year.
It amazes my how the tiny seed can produce reasonable sized tubers in just a few months. They were grown by the Aztecs as a food crop, I tried this a few years ago but after tasting them I can see why they failed to catch on in favour of the potato!