In a Vase on Monday. A Delight of Dahlias.

I don’t know whether there is a collective noun for dahlias, but if we can have a ‘charm of goldfinches’, then why not a ‘delight of dahlias’? Once you give your heart to dahlias your late summer and autumn garden is transformed. I have grown dahlias from seed for a few years but in the past I concentrated on trying to get ever darker children of the ‘Bishop of Llandaff.’ This year after caring for 100 seedlings which was an awful chore, I have dahlias in every colour and shape; masses of them. They have been regularly fed, watered and deadheaded and they have been delighting me since July. Every week I fill vases with them and give bunches away. What other flower gives on this scale for so long?

Here are a few vases I did today, I started picking for one vase and then got carried away. The garden is very wet and drippy so I thought I would bring some of it inside. Let’s start with the reds. Several of them show vestiges of the white collar showing that ‘Night Butterfly’ is in their genes.


The bright red one in the centre is an old favourite ‘Murdoch’. These double ones don’t usually have seeds because they are a challenge for the bees. The one with narrow reflexed petals has ‘Honka’ in its make up. I have this shape in a variety of colours.


This next one is gorgeous. The petals aren’t as narrow as the ‘Honka’ ones but I love the way they are reflexed.

This one shows that it has ‘Honka’ in its blood as well as a tiny bit of ‘Night Butterfly’.

There is no ‘Honka’ here but a larger collar showing its’ Night Butterfly’genes

There are plenty of pinks ones too. The central dahlia has the  narrow petals of a ‘Honka’ dahlia.

I used some sky-blue Lobelia uliginosa and Verbena bonariensis in this vase. Also Aster ‘Little Carlow’, one of my favourites. The dark purple flowers are Salvia leucantha ‘Purple Velvet’.

The fully double pink dahlia with the white centre is the only fully double seedling . I actually prefer the single ones.


The next vase is mostly orange and peach.

I used a salvia and orange Sphaeralcea incana to go with it. This lovely plant has been blooming for weeks.
The next photo shows Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ which is clearly the father of several of my seedlings. The one next to it has inherited the colour.

I think this next one is even better than its parent. The flowers are larger.

The pompom dahlia is ‘Cornel Bronze’, again this doesn’t set seed but I am not so keen on the pompoms anyway.

When you deadhead dahlias it is sometimes difficult to see which are buds and which are spent flowers. The ones to cut off are the pointed ones, the buds are round.

Save some for seeds though . It’s easy to pick out the black seeds  from the papery cases. Make sure that they are dry before storing. I sow mine in  late winter or early spring. It is amazing what big plants you have by the end of the season.

Here are a few more of my babies.

Thanks to Cathy at Ramblinginthegarden for hosting this fun meme.

 

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42 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. A Delight of Dahlias.

  1. Heyjude says:

    Oh, these are so lovely. Your garden must look so colourful, even now.

  2. Cathy says:

    Oh my goodness, Chloris, such dedication! But worth it for the results you have got – it must be fascinating to work out the potential parentage of your new blooms. Will you keep these progeny or kill them off and breed some more – or is it a case of dahlia eugenics…?! I have grown dahlias from seed most years but it becomes a matter of space and I think I won’t next year

  3. Flighty says:

    A delight of dahlias is perfect for these wonderful flowers. xx

  4. magpiesue says:

    Thank you for filling my inbox with color! ❤

  5. bcparkison says:

    Beautiful. I really must grow some.

  6. AlisonC says:

    A fabulous collection and what fun to grow from seed though it sounds like hard work. I’m tempted but I probably wouldn’t look after them properly. They are beautiful and intriguing, perhaps you’ll breed the next big thing.

  7. Kris P says:

    I’m very glad to know that I’m not the only one who gets carried away when it comes to preparing vases of dahlias! You have some beauties. I’m generally drawn to the pinkish-orange varieties but I love your red ones too. (I’m missing my red ‘Lover Boy’ this year as that tuber didn’t make it.) My biggest issue at the moment is that the plants have grown too tall to be properly supported by the tomato cages I used to enclose them and the combination of wind and top-heavy stems is causing them to crash.

    • Chloris says:

      They do need to be well staked, I have had trouble with a couple of them getting blown over. You have some lovely varieties this year, have you thought of growing some from seed?

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Definitely a delight of dahlias! So many different ones. Do you pollinate them yourself or let the bees do it? My favs are the peachy ones and the half white/half purple is pretty special, too.

  9. pbmgarden says:

    I’m inspired by your ambitious dahlia collection and your energy. Gorgeous vases.

  10. Goodness a delight of dishy dahlias. The garden must look incredible. Beautiful

  11. Wow, the variety is amazing. I have two long suffering Dahlias in my garden. Yours look so healthy and entirely different!! Well done.

  12. snowbird says:

    Certainly a delight of Dahlias here. So many varieties, and how wonderful working out their heritage! You have inspired me to collect some seed and give it a go myself! Loved all the vases, as always.xxx

  13. Frog says:

    I only started growing dahlias this year, and I wonder why they ever fell out of fashion ! As you say, what other flower gives so generously in shape, colour and abundance ? I love your creations, well done !

  14. Cathy says:

    I’ve looked through this post several times now and it is just glorious Chloris! Your ‘babies’ really are delightful. I also usually prefer the single ones, but the double pink is wonderful. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  15. My gosh, you could start your own Dahlia breeding business. You’re very industrious, or I suppose you just really love Dahlias!

  16. tonytomeo says:

    They really are delightful, but some of us would have difficulty referring to a group of them as such. (Some of the cultivar names of rhododendrons are so silly that we just make up names, or not grow them. Seriously, if you want your cultivar to be popular, don’t name it ‘Pillow Party’. Growers will avoid it.) When I was in school, I got in the habit of referring to all groups as ‘herds’. Some trees are in groves. Some perennials are in colonies. Otherwise, ‘herds’ just works.

    • Chloris says:

      When it comes to silly names, I think Day Lilies win the prize. I can’t imagine who comes up with them or why.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, that’s just it; “WHY?”. I would seriously avoid a cultivar with an embarrassing name.

      • Chloris says:

        I do have Hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’ but I never tell anyone its name.

      • tonytomeo says:

        That one is so silly, I think I would flaunt it, just to see of colleagues took it seriously. The citrus I used to grow had respectable names, including a few that were derived for where the cultivars originates (which is a tradition among citrus). ‘Washington’ (which is not named after a place) ‘Robertson’ ‘Skaggs Bonanza’ ‘Lisbon’ ‘Eureka’ ‘Ponderosa’ ‘Seville’ ‘Marsh’ ‘Oro Blanco’ ‘Moro’ etc. It was not easy to transition to the weirdness of rhododendrons like ‘Pillow Party’ and ‘Teddy Bear’, and camellias like ‘Buttons and Bows’.

  17. Meriel says:

    Wow! What a collection.

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