RITUAL: Buy dahlia tubers and other summer bulbs

It’s time to order summer bulbs (and corms and tubers) so put your order in before the best sell out. The world has gone so dahlia crazy the amount of varieties now available is mind boggling. I find if I’m not careful I order too many of the same type, same colour and just too many full stop. So, if you’re not planning on starting a flower farm, but would like to plant a variety of dahlias that look good together here is an edited list. Some recommended by me and some by my dahlia heroes – Floret and The Land Gardeners.


Dinner plate:


Smaller Pompom:


If you’re planting them in the kitchen garden for cutting, plant one tuber of each in as many varieties as you have space for. This produces plenty of flowers to cut for the house and give to friends. If you’re adding them to borders, to cut a few but really for their late summer colour, then a smaller selection using more tubers of each would provide better rhythm and harmony.

For a really easy cut flower bed, plant an evergreen hedge (yew, box or rosemary) around the space available. Plant up with tulips bulbs in the autumn, pull these up to use and re-plant the space with dahlia tubers in late spring.

sarahraven.com gives plenty of advice on how to grow dahlias. We have a ridiculous number of slugs at home, so I prefer her method of planting them up in 3 ltr flower pots in March/ April. Keeping them in a bright frost free spot and then once the frosts are over planting them into their final position. Put a stake beside each plant at the same time to tie them in as they grow. They should start flowering from July.

SuppliersĀ farmergracey.com/ hallsofheddon.com/ national-dahlias-collection.co.uk/roseccottageplants.co.uk

Other summer flowering bulbs

At the same time I will also be ordering:

  • Abyssinian gladiolus (Gladiolus murielae) for their green leaf, late summer unusual white flower and scent
  • Gladiolus ‘The Bride’ treat as an annual and use them to edge chard and spinach beds
  • Lily Honeymoon is a tree lily and I’ve never grown these before but the soft yellow colour and the fact that it reaches 2 meters in height is too intriguing. I’m going to plant a couple in our veg garden where it will get the water and feeding that it needs and use it as a cut flower.
  • Anemone ‘Galilee Pastel Mix’ is a new from farmergracy.com and I’m going to pop them in around the edge of one of the raised beds in our veg garden.
pic credit Floret Flowers

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