For the Love of Dahlias

There are certain things in life that I would happily collect indiscriminately  (herbs, pots, seed catalogues etc) but thankfully there is a little voice in my head that says “Enough! You don’t need anymore!”. I’m not generally known for doing as I’m told but I usually listen to this advice.

Just recently, however,  my thoughts have turned increasingly towards Dahlias and the strange thing is, the little voice has deserted me! I usually prefer my plants to be subtle, frothy perennials, understated and pretty, but all of a sudden I need a fix of acid brights and in your face brashness! Is this me intuitively knowing what will work well in my south facing plot… or have I simply lost the plot? 

My family bought me a great present from Sarah Raven’s Dahlia Collection  and the parcel arrived yesterday. Hooray! I know that Sarah Raven’s seeds and plants seem fairly expensive but in my experience the quality is excellent and the service is outstanding.


Unfortunately, this little bag of tubers is doing nothing to help my obsession – especially as it arrived so beautifully wrapped with two additional plant catalogues… full of dahlia pictures!! I’m already wondering how to recycle the hessian and ribbon as I love to re-use things. I can’t stop looking at the beautiful Dahlias!

This is what they could look like this Summer!

I’ve only grown Dahlias once before and I didn’t get to enjoy them properly before the slugs had a feast. It was a sad day and I vowed to grow only slug repellant plants after that, especially as I don’t use slug pellets or chemicals. So much for garden vows, eh?

Okay, I must go and order some more Dhalia tubers before the bossy voice comes back. I’ve seen a lovely magenta variety that the bees will simply love!

16 thoughts on “For the Love of Dahlias

  1. I’m with you on this one – I do love a good Dahlia – I have a dozen carefully stored tubers from last year and have bought four more this year. They didn’t do too well last year due to the adverse weather but I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will fare better this year.

    • Your kitchen garden is lovely Elaine! I can’t wait to get mine established. I have some Dahlias in the shed as I daren’t leave them in the ground over winter. It gets quite windy here as we’re on a hill so I’ll have to remember to stake them well!

    • I get a strange satisfaction from “putting the garden to bed” in readiness for Winter so lifting Dahlias will be like therapy for me. Niagra is gorgeous and you have such spectacular colour in Autumn x

  2. I usually prefer the understated, but I agree sometimes one needs a real punch of color. I discovered that my pretty pastels wash out to nothingness in our hot summer sunshine, while the bolder colors can take the heat. Enjoy your dahlias! I like the sack they came in, too.

    • Ha ha ha…. we unfortunately don’t have a problem with too much sunshine in England! This garden has no shade so I’m going to try some bright ones. Thanks for your comment – I think I’m going to plant some carrots or salad leaves in the hessian sack.

  3. I have Sarah Raven’s Venetian collection and they are simply gorgeous. Deep jewel tones of red, orange, purple and pink. Very Liberace! Enjoy yours!

  4. Dahlias are so cheerful! In my front garden I have yellow and purple flowers, and I have some big yellow dinner plate dahlias there that I have fallen in love with. I did go to war with the slugs the first year I had them. (I used beer traps and went out in the evening for a few days hunting them with a flashlight.) Since then I haven’t seen hardly any slugs – I’ve either killed them all off or convinced them to go to greener pasturers. 🙂

    I planted some other dahlias last year, but they didn’t do so well where I put them. There are so many pretty varieties – I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours!

    • Thanks Indie – I’m still laughing about the slugs! Mine usually have great tenacity but I will try to deter them this year with beer and a flashlight (was this used to illuminate the little terrors or bash them over the head???).

  5. Gardening near the Stiperstones hill range, Pontesbury Hill and Pontesford Hill means our garden is so cold in winter and so prone to frost that we lose our dahlias if we leave them in the ground heavily mulched or protected in the greenhouse, so we lost our Sarah Raven collection. They were great in the first year! Now we are trying to grow some from seed. Fingers crossed.

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