Use advanced navigation for a better experience.
You can quickly scroll through posts by pressing the above keyboard keys. Now press the button in right corner to close this window.

Summer Bulbs

February is a cruel month. More often than not (and I have a feeling that this year will be no exception) it taunts us with promise – buds bursting, early bulbs poking through the soil, a few sunny Sundays. We think that spring is finally underway – only to have a week of snow flung in our hopeful faces.

Time then to banish winter blues, retreat to the fireside with a sloe gin and a gardening catalogue or two and let the month grind on outside at its own pace.  This year I’m planning on growing lots more flowers on my allotment. There were definitely a few moments last summer when I was sick of courgettes and could’ve just done with a bit of colour to perk up the relentless greenness.

Dahlias thrive in similar conditions to most vegetables, loving rich soil and plenty of sun, so they’re an ideal flower for the allotment or veg patch. You can even, according to the ethnobotanist James Wong, eat the tubers. It makes sense, I suppose, as they’re related to edibles such as Jerusalem artichokes and sunflowers. Apparently the cactus-flowered types make the best eating, and of these, the yellow and red-flowered ones are the best. I’m intrigued to try, although it won’t stop me from putting in a few spuds!

dahlia garden

Colourful Dahlias

 

There are literally thousands of cultivars, in all shapes and sizes, from huge doubles the size of a football to diminuitive, elegant singles and everything in between. They truly are joyful plants; I love them for their richness of colour, and their generosity of bloom. I’ll be growing ‘Arabian Night’ and ‘Noordwijks Glorie’  – the former is a sultry dark maroon, the latter is a deep, warm orange not found in many other flowers.

Remember though, that dahlias are a little on the tender side. Pot the tubers up in spring in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, and plant out in mid-May, once the risk of frost has passed. They’ll richly reward you with flowers from July until the first hard frosts take them down.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.


× 8 = 40

Gardening on sandy soil

Our customer service advisors have informed us that recently they have had enquiries from some of our customers about gardening on sandy soil (also known as light soil). The adv[...]

Herbs

Gone are the days when home cooking confined itself to a roast and two veg. The trend towards eating out more, especially in foreign-food restaurants, has made everyone more aware [...]

In Due Season - October

The ornamental garden. This is mainly a month to continue those jobs started last month – dividing and replanting herbaceous perennials, taking up old bedding plants and replacing [...]

small_keyboard