It’s crucial that we do this at the beginning. Dahlias aren’t the only flowers I love I absolutely love them. They’re simply dazzling and absolutely stunning. Dahlias have a certain appeal that I simply cannot resist and it’s so much more than the amazing range of forms and colors.
Dahlias are unlike any other flower. They’re the most varying and fascinating characters with bigger-than-life personalities that range from large, vivid, and sassy bloomers that have an entire knicker-box full of petals and delicate daisy-like blooms and horribly dark velvet varieties. Let’s not forget the most unusually designed and bizarrely colored cultivars.
In the summer months, when they’re out in the sun, showing off their beautiful flowers and posing with their flowers, they’re having the best time. They make my day more cheerful and make me smile and embrace my heart. In the past, the gardening good-taste brigade thought that dahlias were too many and a bit ordinary. At last, there is a dahlia boom taking place, and a revival of interest and appreciation in these stunning blooms is already underway.
They are the new queens of the border with herbs and are now being invited into the gardens of our garden to add dramatic color, bold drama, and even some fireworks in the late summer. It’s like I’ve been waiting for quite a while for this latest dahlia phenomenon to take off. In 1998, I went to the Royal Horticultural Society Hampton Court Flower Show and fell in love with a tiny exhibition of Winchester Growers, which then included the National Collection of Dahlias.
I was thinking to myself, why aren’t there more people cultivating these magnificent plants? Many gardeners, farmers, breeders, and enthusiasts from all over the world of dahlia play a significant part in the current dahlia era. For our own United Kingdom, certain pivotal people are notable. We have a lot to acknowledge for the passing of Christopher Lloyd and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’.
In his famous gardens located at Great Dixter, Lloyd and his head gardener Fergus Garrett set the British landscape on fire. They designed an extraordinary exotic garden, which was once a formal rose-filled parterre. The garden has huge, green, sub-tropical style plantings as well as a stunning, rich collection of herbaceous perennials as well as annuals. It was a massive well-known, widely talked about the hit.
Of the numerous dahlia types which were propagated and promoted at Dixter the ‘Bishop of Llandaff was the very first that was universally accepted in the garden circles of the polite. It gained a lot of popularity with exotic designs for planting and mixed borders during the 90s. In addition to potnas Heleniums, and crocosmias its deep black split leaflets and deep red flowers also contrasted beautifully with the acid green foliage, massive leaves, and fronds.
In a way, ‘Bishop of Llandaff is a very unusual dahlia as it’s small-large, bushy, and nearly black with divided foliage and simple, clean flowers. It didn’t trigger excessive curtain twitching or ruffle the feathers too much, which is why it was comfortably among the perennially accepted popular flowers of the day.
“Bishop of Llandaff” was first cultivated in the 1920s. So it’s a fairly old breed, however, it was introduced about 60 years later, and for the following two decades, it was going to be extremely popular and eventually pave the way for smaller, single and semi-double blooming dahlias, as being dark-leaved varieties. Not far away in East Sussex, another dahlia guru began developing a passion for dahlias. Sarah Raven uncovered wonderful new varieties and discovered some old favorites which were ideal to cut.
I was fortunate to meet her through my work with her on several BBC gardening shows on television. We soon came to share a passion for these plants. Sarah has been a great help to advocate for dahlia varieties that are vibrant with deep single colors and she’s a sucker for the darkest, deepest claret and crimson varieties. Her eyes for color and design are unparalleled and she’s accomplished much to promote the use of more bold colors in our gardens.
Since the year 2003, in the deepest Cornwall in the National Collection of Dahlias, Michael Mann, Jon Wheatley, and Mark Twyning have performed admirably to introduce dahlias to a wider audience. They have put on the most amazing displays of dahlias in Royal Horticultural Society flower shows throughout the United Kingdom, often bringing the plants to bloom ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show.
Mark Twyning has blazed a path by breeding some of the most interesting new varieties of the garden. The plants are small and compact and have simple, semi-double, or single flowers. These varieties are currently some of the most well-known dahlias that grow in gardens across the United Kingdom. All over Europe and beyond there is an increase in producing smaller, compact varieties that are perfect for gardens in the home and containers. Dahlia lovers may be an odd name however I find it to be the most. I’m not an exhibit or professional gardener.
I am extremely impressed by the people and women who are able to create blooms that are perfection. I admire the enthusiasm that drives the quest to find these perfect flowers. But I’m just looking for plenty of stunning flowers, with as many colors and types as possible to fit in my yard. The challenge of cultivating and integrating the best gardening options into tiny suburban spaces is what makes me giddy.
In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed cultivating dahlias in all kinds of pots and containers, as well as discovering which herbaceous plants look great and do very well. I am a sucker for bright, vivid colors, especially in late summer when the sun is fading but evenings remain longer and warmer. The garden’s summer spectacle is now at its peak and that’s the blooming time of the dahlias. Dahlias can be found in every country.
They are adored and loved throughout the world in a variety of countries including Germany, France, Japan as well as Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. My most recent obsession is watching dahlia-related videos created by passionate growers around the globe, on social networks. I enjoy studying the different ways that dahlia growers conduct their business.
Everyone has their own way of doing things and tricks However, no matter what method you use, these films demonstrate that growing dahlias for display in the garden is easy regardless of the location you reside in. Dahlia growers have turned the cultivation, care, and display of plants into a craft and science.
This is important in situations where you need absolute perfection. But, if you’re an avid gardener with a passion for all things vibrant and beautiful, you’ll discover that dahlias are easy to grow in your garden. I enjoy propagating dahlias making them into varieties and giving my friends extra plants I’ve cultivated from seed.
My partner won’t let me cut seeds, and so meticulously poking out and planting will result in lots of surplus plants to donate. I am a sucker for making simple, vibrant bouquets of cut flowers, or placing the individual blooms in separate vases or jam jars to create a dahlia-themed display for a window. In the end, I enjoy exploring how dahlias can be planted alongside other plants in the garden and also as individual plants in pots.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in a region that has mild, dry winters it is possible that you can keep your dahlias in the ground during winter by putting down an easy layer of mulch. The plants will return the next year, typically larger and more impressive than the previous year. What could be simpler? The times have changed and dahlias are re-invented to reflect modern garden styles and styles.
It appears that the most beautiful dahlia varieties are being developed around the globe specifically to produce characteristics that have not been explored before in this depth, like fascinating leaf forms; innovative and newly discovered flower forms with deeper, richer colors; small varieties that can be used in container gardens and single, fragrant and star-shaped varieties.
I’d like to share my love of flowers and share my experiences from years of the garden that is growing. I’ve experienced a fair amount of dahlia-related disasters, so I’m hoping to assist you in avoiding many of my mistakes and be successful the first time around. Dahlias have done us a huge disservice throughout time.
They’ve been called old-fashioned, difficult, sloppy, and even uncool. They’re not. They are wonderful plants with great personalities and now it’s time to set the factual record in order. It’s a thrilling time to get to know these plants.
Related Reading – Dahlia – Comes in Endless Flower Classification