Plant of the Month 7/12 – Dahlia

Dahlia are beautiful and they come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. They look good in pots (if you can tolerate the bugs… keep reading) and in a flower bed or on an allotment.

Lots of people think they are a bit dated, kinda blousey. I guess they do remind me of an 80’s blouse or something. But their bold, kitsch appearance is what I love about them.

True if you maybe over do it and go all Dahlia, your garden could resemble your nan’s… But if you dot them around your garden with some other plants they really inject a bit of colour and drama. They look especially nice up against a plain wall or fence.

So… I was starting to feel that I would never be pleased enough with my first ever Dahlias to be naming them a plant of the month. Oh how things change, because here they are!

They started out well as seedlings, but the ones which started to flower in my garden were covered in aphids, which lead to the plant pots being full of ants. Then some of the plants had gotten too heavy and had flopped over in the wind. Also, the slugs liked them. Cue grumpy gardener!

I had tried so hard to keep the ones in the garden pesticide free and using organic methods only, but after a bit of straight talking from Dad I accepted defeat and used some non-organic methods to get rid of the bugs.

I am now pleased to say that they are doing fantastically at the moment and they look beautiful. They add a real burst of colour into the yarden and I love them.

Now… on the other end of the scale… The Dahlia who live at the allotment.

They have given me no problems, not one. I guess, as they live on the open plot they get a bit more of a breeze which makes it harder for aphids to cling on. It’s less sheltered there too so they get full sun!

These guys are in full bloom next to my cosmos and they look fantastic too. I popped up the plot this afternoon to have a quick check before a weekend of camping and I was hit by an explosion of colour!

So there you have it. My 7th plant of this year. The wonderful, versatile, colourful Dahlia. I think there must be a version out there for everyone. Aside from the aphids and occasional slugs, they are pretty easy to look after, and let’s face it they’re a classic.

Thanks for reading.

Amy x

 

 

The Propagator

One of my Christmas presents last year was this little beauty!

Today, my ‘Garland Fab 4 Electric Propagator’ has had its first use. I have planted up two packets of Dahlia seeds. We have Dwarf Double Mixed and Pompon Mixed.  Which were super cheap from Wilko, as you can see! 

Once they have started to sprout in the Propagator, I will prick them out and keep them in a larger tray or pot until they are strong enough to brave the outside, probably around May. When I will keep them in their trays/pots in the garden for a couple of weeks before moving them to the allotment.

After working on Gardeners’ World last year, I was inspired to use some of the space at the allotment as a cut flower border. This way throughout the summer months, I can bring fresh flowers into the house which I have grown myself – rather than forking out for a bouquet in store.

Plus, what a thoughtful gift for friends and family, a bouquet of flowers from our own allotment!?

Keep an eye on my blog for updates on my newest gadget – and the little seeds I have planted in there!

You could get the same propagator as me from Garland Products – they also do larger versions if you have more seeds to plant than I do!

Amy x