Deciding on Dahlias

Today was the day to get cracking with

preparations for a workshop on dahlias to be given to members of the Garden Club in March.  

The idea will be to create some enthusiasm among attendees who will then order some tubers, plant, grow and come back in September with some GRAND blooms to show at the Club flower show!

I’ve begun rereading some of the books in my library.

Gareth Rowlands, “The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Dahlias” is the one I refer to most.

A new favorite book  is “The Dahlia Primer” by Eleanor Welling which will have great information for the beginning dahlia grower, including a month by month calendar.  In January, there are six points on the check list.  I am paying attention to #6 – entreating us to review our catalogs and place orders – DO NOT WAIT!  Waiting can lead to disappointment as the most rare and coveted tubers invariably end up SOLD OUT!

(By the way, how cute is that clip board?  You can order your own personalized clip board http://www.smallfieldpapers.wordpress.com.)

Some of my favorite catalogs are:

Swan Island Dahlias

Old House Gardens

Brent and Beckys

Of course, you can order on-line, but I prefer to thumb through the catalogs, and eventually cut the color photograph of the chosen flower out of the catalog to paste in my dahlia journal.  This is so much easier to refer to when a mystery dahlia shows up blooming in the dahlia bed!

I have ordered some interesting heirloom dahlias from Old House Gardens.  One of the rarest offered is Atropurpurea (1789!), one of the first of three wild dahlias to arrive in Europe from Mexico.  While I won’t expect it to be a show stopper in my garden, it will give a sense of how the dahlia has evolved.  A little dahlia history!   

Dahlia Atropurpurea

The thing about dahlias is….they multiply, so new beds must be dug, and you must limit new orders…but can you?  I couldn’t pass up Cherubino!

Dahlia Cherubino

And speaking of cherubs, here are my two cherubinos who have kept me company indoors on this cold January afternoon while I DECIDED on dahlias to order!

Cavalier King Charles cherubinos!

About Jayne on Weed Street

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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7 Responses to Deciding on Dahlias

  1. Tricia says:

    I think you should start a Cavalier blog! Your portraits are sensational! They really do look like swashbuckling cavaliers with their old-soul eyes reflecting long-lost triumphs. The dahlias — well — they’re like grandchildren — beautiful to see and glad that someone else is responsible for their care. I’ll be looking forward to pictures!

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  2. Holleygarden says:

    Cute dogs! I have never tried growing dahlias. But I believe they are one of the most beautiful flowers, and I love how varied they are. Maybe I should give some thought to trying some in my garden. Your books look enticing! I invite you to join my garden book review meme on the 20th of each month.

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  3. Dahlias are something I have not tried in the garden. I certainly enjoy their beauty, but they always seemed like a specialty plant like orchids. Perhaps this book will get me started…

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  4. Dahlias are a late summer favourite of mine. I have limited garden space in full sun and so I get my dahlia flowers at the local farmer’s market. I did not know that there is such a selection of books available on the subject of dahlias. Good to know! P.S. The photograph of the pups is adorable!

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  5. Dorothy says:

    I have never had luck with dahlias although my mother grew them and my son also has been successful. Perhaps the dahlia growing gene skips a generation! I am planning to try growing tree dahlias again. I received some in a trade some years ago and mine promptly died. But I really like their look so I’m willing to give it another try. Thanks for the links to the catalogs!

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