I have waited and waited…and finally she has bloomed in her full glory. They do say that it take faith to garden. I think that is correct. Isn’t she beautiful.
So last year I wanted to grow a huge Cafe au Lait dahlia because the size and the colours of the petals were so beautiful. I absolutely love dahlias as a cut flower but it is so hard (and expensive) to buy them. The only thing for it was to try and grow our own. I was really worried about slugs. Isn’t it strange the a small fear of something going wrong can stop us going on the bigger adventure? Last summer I bought the original dahlia as a plant and we got one flower, quite late on in the season.
Encouraged by reading Sarah Raven’s book A Year full of Flowers and Arthur Parkinson’s book The Flower Yard I overwintered the dahlia tubers in the garage and then brought them to life in the spring. Please believe me when I say. I had no confidence in what I was doing.
We do have a garden with a pond, grass and borders and if you have been following me for a while you will know that I do love my roses, hydrangeas and shrubs. But it has seems to me that in order to grow dahlias successfully I am better off planting them in pots. In the spring I turfed out the tulip bulbs and began placing the sprouting dahlias and weeny cosmos into the pots. I put in some plants supports, and yes they look a bit ugly to start with but now it is impossible to see them.
I do love following Anne Marie Powell’s instagram feed – My real garden. Her weekly updates are like a very quick reminder of what you can be doing in the garden. She has reminded me each week to feed the pots and honestly this has made a difference.
This week everything looks very green, and I am waiting for the full blush of the cosmos. It makes me wonder if I have fed too much. But I know that for September at least we will still have cut flowers inside the house. That is the dream.
Listen…what would I know about gardening…but something occurred to me this week. Many of my most exciting ‘hobby adventures’ have started with me going…’I love that. I wonder how you could make it?’ This is true for crochet, marmalade….cut flowers. Honestly I could fail at all of these and I make so many mistake. But for every slug eaten leaf, there are many more flowers that give me so much joy.
I’m a big fan of Libraries. Few people realise that they have the most up to date books stocked and if they don’t have the book you want they will borrow them from other libraries. Ask you local library for the Sarah Raven and Arthur Parkinson book. They are fabulous and if you like them then buy them for your own reference. I am so pleased I have them to encourage my cut flower journey.