Those of you that follow me on social media will have seen the pictures I have been posting of my Dahlias. I have to say I don't think this is my best year. There was a slow cold damp start which encouraged slugs and snails. Followed by a drought. Dahlias are absolutely delicious to slugs and snails and they also need plenty of water and feeding during the growing season. They don't cope with frosts or waterlogged ground in the winter.....
I grow about 100 plants of a multitude of colours and use them in my autumn weddings and bouquets. I leave my dahlias in the ground over winter but mulch them thickly to protect them. Feeding with chicken manure pellets early in the season and tomato food once flowering.
Dahlias come in a variety of shapes and textures. The larger "Dinner Plate" varieties such as Cafe au Lait don't last as long in the vase as the smaller more compact varieties but have a huge wow factor. Small pop pom style Dahlias are great for buttonholes and then there are Water Lily and spiky Cactus varieties inbetween. Dahlias don't travel well so are best cut and used as locally as possible. They also have a shorter vase life relatively speaking and so a short "cut to vase" time span helps prolong the time they can be enjoyed.
Favourite varieties this year have included Thomas Edison and Downham Royal both purple and Karma Chocolate burgundy, Some of my Dahlias have lost their labels so I don't actually know which varieties they are anymore! With some coming from suppliers not ending up the colour I was expecting....but they are all beautiful.
I am already thinking ahead and wondering which colours and styles to add to my collection for next year!
My story in flowers started as a child growing a tiny patch of London Pride Saxifraga...also known as Whimsey or Look Up and Kiss Me! Fast forward to 8 years ago when I started a City and Guilds training in floristry. I qualified as a florist and then to deepen my growing knowledge and skills I trained in horticulture as well. I trained under a WRAGS scheme at Darsham Nurseries and at Somerleyton Hall. Developing a passion for both growing and designing/arranging British garden flowers, I planted a cutting garden. Having become increasingly concerned about where and how flowers are grown, coupled with a love of British grown flowers. and natural styling, I now specialise in growing and using beautiful British grown flowers to make romantic natural designs. for weddings, events, gifts and much more.