Another Winter is upon us and although my growing season for the year is over the dahlias are still going strong. Whilst at the flower farm the other day this reminded me that last year I meant to write a blog post abut these fabulous flowers and I forgot....so I'm now going to make up for it.
Dahlias are one of my favourite flowers; I love them for their wide range of colour and beautiful, showy forms. There are single, open varieties such as the infamous Bishop of Llandaff to tiny delicate pompoms which may only be 3 or 4cm in size, to the huge Café au Lait and other decorative dinner plate varieties which can easily be 25cm in diameter. Of course you can't forget the spikey cactus forms and serenity of the water lily dahlia (and that's not an exhaustive list of the forms available).
In terms of colour again there is a huge choice and when you take into account the bi-coloured flowers I wonder if dahlias may have one of the biggest range of colours available in one family of flowers. The only colour which is still not seen in dahlias is the elusive blue - the reason why blue is so rare in flowers would be enough to fill another blog!
Dahlias have been in Europe for over 200 years now and originally came from Mexico. They are typically grown from tubers and can also be grown from seed but when grown from seed they can naturally hybridise, which explains the huge variety of colours and forms we see today.
If you love dahlias as much as I do then the time of year to get excited about is July as this is when they start to flower. They are a fantastic addition to any bouquet or flower arrangement and I use them regularly through the summer....in fact I now have over 400 dahlia plants so I am practically drowning in dahlias but I'm not complaining!