September is the month these bright and blousy garden drama queens come to the for, from the delicate with dramatic foliage to the massive dinner plate show stoppers. Making striking additions from garden boarders to centre pieces in a flower arrangement, Love them or loath them, there is much to admire in these old fashioned garden favourites.
D. Bishop of Llandaff: This old favourite, has striking dark purple foliage standing 90cm tall, with dramatic bright red single flowers with golden stamens. A striking addition to the late flower boarder.
D. Bantling: A fine pompom Dahlia with rich mid green foliage and a mass of round vibrant orange flowers up to 90cm tall. Good for flower arranging.
D. Lindsay Michelle: This is a show stopper of a Dahlia with large flowers held above green foliage. The base of the petals are a clear yellow and the serrated tips a shocking pink. A dramatic planting and superb as a cut flower.
D. HS Wink: dark burgundy foliage, with clear pink single flowers with a magenta base splash and yellow stamens, make this Dahlia a good choice for mixed late boarder planting. Up to 80cm tall.
D. Witten: An elegant Dahlia with emerald green foliage and rounded white petals some flushed blush pink. At 55cm tall a good plant for the front of the boarder.
D. Blackberry Ripple: A tall hansom Dahlia at 110m with green foliage and large striking flowers of white and purple stripes. A must as a cut flower and a garden talking point.
D. Bishop of York: Purple foliage and clear yellow flowers with golden stamens standing at 90cm tall make this a must have addition to the central boarder planting.
All Dahlias like a good sunny spot in the garden and grow best in humus rich soil which dose not become waterlogged. They are not hardy, so here in the south of England they can over winter outside if protected from frost with either dry straw or horticultural fleece to protect the crown ( cut down to 20cm off the ground before the first frost and then protect).As long as the tubers do not get water logged , in heavy soils it would be best to lift the crowns. If you are concerned then you can treat dahlias in the classic way which is to lift the tubers, dust off the soil and allow to dry out in a shed.
For many years Dahlias went out of fashion and were rather sneered at for being to over the top and only for flower shows, but they are making a come back and it is well deserved!