Friday 25th March 2022

Here are some of the Dahlias and annuals we’re going to be growing this year at Garden House.

Let’s look at the choice of Dahlias in closer detail –

Plant ident.

Dahlias

There was a time when these fabulous plants were somewhat neglected by regular gardeners. Perhaps because they were seen as complicated things to deal with – and only worth growing by Mrs Cholmondley-Smythe at The Manor for Withering-in-the-Water’s Annual Village Show. Thankfully, in recent years, they have come roaring back into fashion.

Nowadays it’s thought that unless you have very hard ground frosts, it’s feasible to leave Dahlias in the ground from one season to the next. This is especially the case in warm, sheltered areas of the country. They should, however, be given a good dressing of mulch in the winter to provide extra protection.

When in bloom, keep picking the flowers to encourage greater floriferousnessesses. Apparently, their petals are edible!

Dahlia ‘Nicholas’

A Decorative. The colour moves from apricot at the outside of the flower head through to crimson at the centre.

Dahlia ‘Renato Tosio’

One of the Decorative group of Dahlias, with a wonderful starburst quality to its flowers. A soft, pinky-orange, it’s an early flowerer, starting in July and continuing to perform over a long period – often into November.

Dahlia ‘Josie’

Named for the Head Gardener at Perch Hill, Josie Lewis. Described as being brighter still than D. ‘Totally Tangerine’, it promises to be a winner. Anemone-type.

Dahlia ‘Sarah Raven’

An Anemone-type Dahlia, named after the famed gardener, cook and writer. Her catalogue describes this one as having ‘tall, straight ebony stems and a good vase life. Exceptional amounts of pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies. ‘ We’re sold.

Dahlia ‘Molly Raven’

A Decorative Dahlia: ‘Rich stripes and stipples over a soft coffee to pink petal base. The foliage and stems contrast perfectly to the flowers.’ Sounds scrumptious. Wonder if it could be made into ice cream?

Jobs for the week

Pot up Dahlia tubers

These are Dahlia tubers – not creatures from the Black Lagoon. Now is the time to start potting them up. Store in a sheltered place, somewhere light and frost free, keeping them moist but not soaking wet. Once the plants have reached about 20 cms, pinch out their growing tips. Only plant out into the garden after the last frosts.

Note: the last frost will be the one which comes the day after you have planted out your Dahlias

Continue planting on cut flower bed

The gardeners are camouflaged behind the architectural structure of the Olive tree, but they are busily planting seedlings of Dill and Beth’s Poppy.

Plant out hardy annuals

Add them to pots on the display area outside the greenhouse.

Plant out the forced Hyacinth bulbs

These Hyacinths have now finished flowering indoors. Remove the spent flower heads and plant the bulbs out into the garden. Leave the foliage to die back naturally; the leaves produce the energy the bulbs need to form next year’s flowers.

Sow salad seeds in boxes

Cover with cling film. The boxes, not the gardeners. This will speed germination.

Take time to look at the new growth in the garden

Adopt a romantic pose. Recite a few lines of poetry, should the mood take you.

There’s plenty to inspire us

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