Dahlias are a lot like marmite you either love them or hate them! A lot of people remember their grandparents, the couple next door or someone growing them on their allotment. Well I’m here to tell that you are to forget those horrors of the 1970’s and embrace the new varieties of the 2020’s. They come in all shapes and sizes and this is where it begins to get quite technical, I promise I won’t bore you so please stick with me. I believe there are 14 classification groups in the UK and America has 20 (well they would wouldn’t they). Dahlia bloom range in size from a tiny pom pom at around 5cms diameter , these are the tight ball dahlias to a whopping 25cms or more and these are often referred to as dinner plate dahlias and really are the size of a dinner plate and often bigger.
Dahlias don’t have a very long vase life which makes importing them from the Netherlands or elsewhere almost a waste of time, which is great for English growers.. None the less they make a great statement flower and certain varieties are in huge demand with brides as the must have flower in your bouquet, the chosen ones at the moment are ‘Café au Lait’ which has beautiful tones of creamy pink and beige, ‘Wizard of Oz’ with a pale pink centre and a white tiny pom pom called ‘Small World’.
Each year I have a new favourite,.one year it was a dahlia called ‘Labyrinth’ which has pink and peach petals but this proved incredibly difficult to get hold of as a warehouse in Holland was burnt to the ground destroying hundreds of thousands of tubers however I tracked it down and I’m always so happy to see it flower. It amazes me how such ugly looking potato-like tubers produce such amazingly beautiful flowers and such huge plants. Dahlias are so simple to grow you pop them in the ground after all signs of frost have passed, maybe scatter your chosen form of slug repellent (I don’t use the chemical kind) and sit back and be rewarded with vase after vase of beautiful blooms. Even better order a bucket of these beauties from me. https://northcombe.co.uk
By: Charlotte Tombs