This month's purchase is one plant I tend to have mixed feelings about. My grandfather was a big Dahlia grower and although I have many fond childhood memories of them growing in his garden, I have less fond memories of those clipshears. What is a clipshear? I hear you ask. A clipshear is what we Scots call an earwig. I remember my Papa fighting what seemed like a never ending battle against these wee beasties. There was upturned pots filled with straw dangling all around his garden. I wonder will I have the same issues? Clipshears are presently not an issue in the garden.
As children clipshears filled us with dread. It was a childhood belief that these wee beasties crawled into the ear and would eat our brains. My brother was a particularly squeamish sort and I remember once I collected a few of them in an empty matchbox and terrorised him with them for hours. Let me tell you, my backside took what it got when mum finally caught me. What a cruel big sister I was! I wonder, are there similar childhood believes attached to these insects from where you're from?
|Dahlia Happy Single Kiss|
Before I set out on my shopping trip, I had already made up my mind to source a Dahlia or two. I think Dahlias would fit into the type of garden I am trying to create out front. I did not want bedding type, I wanted the tuberous kind. I am following hot on the heals from my success of over wintering begonia tubers. Idealy I wanted something with dark foliage and a deep coloured single bloom. However, that was not to be. Most of what was available were either too pale, too sweety pink, too showy or too blousy. 2 single pots in a far corner suddenly caught my attention.
Dahlia Happy Single Kiss. I managed to find something with dark foliage but the colour of the blooms was not quite the colour I was looking for but I was willing to compromise this time.
According to the label D. Happy Single Kiss has salmon flower head with dark centres. The picture above reflects their description but to my naked eye they are more of a peach/orange colour than what I'd consider to be salmon. The camera hasn't quite caught it. I would have preferred to buy 3 pots but as there was only 2 left they had to do. I snapped both of them up before a lady standing by me beat me to it. I think she also had her eye on them.
|Foliage - Happy Single Kiss|
Both pots are very healthy and are a good size. A 3l pot cost me £6.99. Yes, an expensive way to buy considering I probably could have bought tubers a lot cheaper a few months ago but at least this way I start off with plants that are already growing well.
Each plant is not only healthy but also of full buds. Apparently, I need to keep dead heading to encourage more throughout the year. The buds are plump and very shiny as you can see below. Almost like little individual fruits. Checking up on toxicity, the flowers are apparently not toxic but the foliage and tubers are if eaten in large enough amounts.
Being single flowered they will also benefit the pollinators visiting the garden. I specifically wanted a single variety for that reason. It will reach a height of around 60cm with a spread of around half of that. I am hoping that they will be short enough to to require support but I will have some ready at hand just in case.
Both plants seen below with another purchase I made this month. One though that does not qualify in so much as I already grow Alstroemeria. The purple foliage also shows up the red blooms of the Alstroemeria well too.
|Dahlia Happy Single Kiss and Alstroemeria Princess Kate|
They are not yet in the ground. I want to wait until the roses bloom then I can find a spot where they can nestle in and look good.
Do you grow Dahlias? Do you find issues or are they relatively easy going plants? I'd be interested to know experiences with them.