January 2022: Anne Barnard on Dahlias

Anne Barnard from Rose Cottage Plants nursery in Essex has many years experience of and is a specialist in growing dahlias, as well as exhibiting widely including at RHS shows. Dahlias, which originate in Mexico and Central America, come in a wide variety of colours from pastel to rich reds and mahogany.

Anne described how planting dahlias in summer beds can transform them and suggested how to choose and use them to best effect. Anne said they provide an outlet for personal creativity, style and artistic expression. She used her own garden, field displays in Holland and Chenies Manor as illustrations.

Dahlias had gone out of fashion, but in recent years there had been a revival of interest in them.  Their rich colours were particularly attractive and ‘jewel’ gardens had become common.  Many new and more popular and often exotic looking varieties had been developed. Many originate in Holland and she visited several important and influential growers. She said after bulbs, tulips and alliums have flowered by June/July,  gardens begin to look tired and dahlias wide variety and rich colours give life to the garden and make a good display right up to the first frosts.

Anne went on to describe a wide variety of dahlias:

Continue reading January 2022: Anne Barnard on Dahlias

Members’ gardens, September 2020

Annie has harvested her garlic and it’s done very well this year. I expect these would have been part of her Autumn Show entry, never mind, next year..

Cutting back lavender is this month’s job. Kathy was a bit mystified by these structures revealed when the lavender was cut back. They look a bit like Nigella seed cases! But Mr Google says that they are the nests of the Wasp Spider, a fearsome looking spider which is spreading to the South East of England from the continent. It is actually quite harmless, and mimics the wasp so that predators leave it alone.

A lovely selection of Cosmos and Dahlias, definitely September’s flowers. These are Cosmos Purity, Dahlias Verrone’s Obsidian, Mexican Star and Bishop of Auckland. (Plus an unknown beautiful double red one).