Over the last couple of years my love of dahlias has grown. So much so that through late August and through September I usually always have a vase of them in my home. I just love their symmetrical form and dazzling colours.
Last September I took a trip to Anglesey Abbey (the gorgeous National Trust property in Cambridge) to visit their spectacular display and it did not disappoint. I am planning to go back again this year to visit their Dahlia Festival.
At Anglesey Abbey you’ll find 70 varieties of dahlias which are set out in a sensational garden sweep. Be prepared for an amazingly pristine display which will have you clicking away with your camera, if you’re a camera lover like me.
This summer whilst in Cornwall I made a visit to the National Dahlia Collection at Varfall, Penzance. Despite visiting this scenic part of Cornwall before I’d never realised that this amazing jem was hidden down a country lane just outside Penzance.
For a plant lover and a keen photographer I was like a kid in a sweet shop. How many images of dahlias can you take in 30 mins, let’s just say I have more images of dahlias than I could ever know what to do with!
The collection contains over 1,600 varieties, including every shape and colour that you can imagine from anemone right through to waterlily type dahlias. Every variety is labelled with its name so make sure you take a pen and pad with you or take a pic of the name so that you can build up your shopping list. The varieties are available to buy on their website for delivery directly to your home, I certainly have my list ready!
If you grow dahlias in your garden then you will know that they are a welcome sight to late summer borders. When selecting dahlias you have a choice of cuttings, tubers of garden ready plants. Cuttings and tubers will typically be cheaper to buy, however garden ready plants can be planted straight into your garden and will flower in the same year.
If you pick dahlias to use as cut flowers then to help them last longer, make a fresh horizontal cut at the bottom of the stems and place the cut ends in 5cm of very hot (not boiling) water for at least an hour. Plunging the stems in hot water, helps the blooms last for 4-6 days. (Source http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/bulbs/dahlia-flowers/)
Top of my shopping list is this dahlia which not only looks amazing, it also has the most perfect name!
Here’s a gallery of my top dahlia’s.