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Dahlia



I have a deep love and a longing relationship with dahlias. Thinking that we had missed the dahlia boat this season after a hot, waterless summer, the dahlias gave us the most beautiful surprise. They grew. They patiently waited dormant in the ground until conditions were right and then as the season ticked over into autumn the plants grew and grew and are now looking lush and are budding up ever so slowly.


What's not to love about dahlias? They are great reproducers and you can multiply your existing stock quite readily. I leave our dahlias in the ground as opposed to digging them up but every few years it pays to dig and divide. Free plants!


There is an infinite range of colours, shape and sizes. There is of course the ever popular (and for good reason) Café Au Lait which is a beautiful creamy colour the size of a dinner plate. Quite impressive to see in bloom and have ordered two through Diggers just this week. I do prefer the slightly smaller headed varieties but nothing beats seeing the oversized ones in the garden.


I was given some tubers by a friend's mum a few years ago and it is a small, intricately petalled, dark maroon coloured bloom. First to flower in the season and usually gets a second round of flowering later in the summer/into autumn. It's beautiful. I love having a story attached to our plants and is another reason why this dahlia is a firm favourite of mine - such a gift.


I also enjoy the single dahlias we grow which I bought as little seedlings from our local nursery years ago. Every year they produce beautiful and very innocent looking blooms in a range of colours from peach, creamy white, red and pink. I haven't divided these beauties yet but I may after this season. Any plant that is a repeat bloomer each turn of the year is the type of plant I want in my garden.


In the traditional language of flowers, to give a dahlia signified instability. In my world though, to give dahlias signifies care and solidarity. To grow dahlias requires patience, care and attention. My dahlia plants were in no hurry to flower this year. They were contented to wait until the time was right and now they, and us, are being rewarded with gorgeous, cool weather and drizzly rain. Perfect conditions for them to grow. Dahlias are definitely the greatest teachers of patience and the greatest advocates for it too. Look at what we receive at the end of all the waiting. The most magnificent creation of nature. I'm still working on my patience and get a lesson on it every time I go to check on the dahlias at the moment and see the buds are still tightly budded! It will all be worth the wait.


The take away here - grow dahlias. Grow them all! Then give them out to people to show you care and let them know you have their back whatever the weather - know that all the good things will come- all in good time and hopefully with a sprinkle of rain.


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