Yellow and Red Dahlias
Yellow Spiky Dahlia
Bright Summer Colours
I really enjoy their summer flowers and bright colours. I must have purchased this yellow spiky dahlia - such flowers do not appear by chance. But when? Allow me to quote from my 2004 journal:
A yellow spiked dahlia is flowering at the back of the glass-house and I have absolutely no memory of purchasing or being given it. Surely one remembers dahlias? Hmm...
My flower reference book talks about cactus flowering and semi-cactus flowering dahlias. My bright yellow plant will be one of these, and I must have shifted it into the Island Bed at some stage.
Update - Summer of 2012
The yellow spiky dahlia is still flowering and growing well, despite some serious overcrowding in the summer Island Bed. Those red dahlias keep on self-seeding, and random Lycnhis plants fill up the gaps between them. Everything gets really bulky in mid-summer. At least the weeds are invisible.
Spiky Yellow Dahlia Flowers
To add to the chaos I recently planted three white hydrangea shrubs in the middle of the Island Bed in early spring, when there seemed to be heaps of room. So yet more summer flowers will be competing for light and space when they get established. Oh well. At least this very bright yellow dahlia will be easy to spot in the jumble!
dahlias and gypsophila
The quiet life...
Dahlias have always lived quietly (and multiplied madly) in the Island Bed. Red dahlias are everywhere, and the bees adore these because they have mainly single flowers. There seems to be every shade of red - from scarlet to deep magenta, and everything in between. Is it possible to have too many red dahlias? Not in a large country garden with lots of contrasting green foliage.
A summer show
Dahlias put on such a great show in summer. In this very early photograph they're contrasting beautifully with the frothy white Gypsophila and the feathery Toe Toe plumes.
I don't take much control of the dahlias in my garden. I certainly don't stake them, though occasionally this pops up in a list of zealous New Years Resolutions. They just need to lean on a neighbour, and I do have some spectacular flops when the hot summer winds blow.
soft lemon dahlia
Thanks to the Bees
I must give thanks to the bees for creating such pretty coloured flowers for me. From the yellows and reds they've managed to create some wonderful in-between shades. There's much self-seeding from the single reds, and they're welcome to spread themselves around. Just a little!
I leave the dahlia tubers in the ground over winter - the frosts are never too severe. And the soil here is free-draining, just a little bit sandy, so there's no danger of the tubers getting waterlogged and rotting. The most danger they face is a random slice from my garden spade in winter.
Dahlia Dead-Heading Works!
And I try to dead-head when they first flower - honestly I do. Dahlia dead-heading does work, and I seem to get a much better flower display for longer. But I know that, of course!
I love the plain, uncomplicated, single red dahlias. They are a much loved part of the Moosey garden original plantings, and so suit my garden. Beautiful colours and simple flowers to celebrate in the scruffy summer months!