Red Dahlias

The colour status of my March Garden is difficult to classify. There isn't much blue, or yellow. It's easy to see the greens - and then there are the browns. Yippee for the red dahlias!

There's pale brown with a touch of grey (gum tree leaves, scattered everywhere), pale brown tending to the colour of straw (large patches of the Moosey lawn), mid-brown (edges of ageing hosta leaves), and so on. The garden views from the house seem filled with greens - spiky flax foliage, scruffy shrubs which are past flowering, the light, clear green leaves of the big Nicotiana Sylvestris plants. And there must be a few green patches on the lawns which surround the gardens!

 Purple? Black? With a definite touch of red...
Red Dahlia Number One

Initially there doesn't seem to be enough colour. But wait! Screwing up my eyes, I start to see 'them' - small random patches of red, defiantly dotted around the house gardens. Yippee! My motley collection of brave red dahlias are flowering!

Self-Sown Loners

My red dahlias are all loners - they lead solitary lives, dodging the daylilies, pushing through the Lamium and ignoring the Ericas. No red dahlia has ever actually been purposefully planted - they are all self-sown, and every part of the house garden has at least one.

 A touch of pale orange?
Red Dahlia Number Two

And my red dahlias are proudly individual - their different styles, shapes, and colour shades are proof of this. No collective mediaeval consciousness for these flowers! Thanks to the bees, and to the head gardener's laid-back attitude to let sleeping dahlias lie, there's variety in hue and subtlety in flower form.

Moosey Dahlia Classification

The Moosey Dahlia Classification is yet to be officially adopted, but many general gardeners will recognise the main types. Do you grow any single-floppies, or semi-double-spikies? Alas, as yet there are no X-Treme Big Reds. Bees, get onto it!

 Cerise? Cherry red?
Red Dahlia Number Three

The famous Moosey Big Whites are dahlias which have stood the test of time and shovel - dahlias who were here first, in the dawn of the Moosey Garden. Flowers the size of a dieter's dinner plate, first to flop and last to flower, much admired by garden visitors who are prepared to get down (and possibly dirty). I'd love my bees to hybridise a Big Red...

My Red-Heads...

Serious dahlia growers (who can spot a semi-cactus in a blinking of an eye) might too easily dismiss my collection of red-heads as merely 'decorative'. Not a problem - a very complimentary description! And if anyone requires class and style I can always direct them to the good Bishop, who leads a suitably solitary, serene life by the garage.

 The scarlet aristocrat - Bishop Llandalf.
Red Dahlia Number Four

I love my random red dahlias. Think of the dazzling effect if I actually got organised and did a huge mass planting!