GBBD/Blog Action Day: Darling Dahlias and Water

I'm delighted with my darling Dahlias this month because there's just a precious few days before we're bound to get the first firm frost of the season and then they'll be no more. The pictured D. 'Moonfire' at the bottom and top of the picture are even more precious as they managed to survive the severity of last winter.

Not all my Dahlias were so lucky: it seems the protection of a neighbouring wall was a key factor for those that did. Therefore I'm currently eyeing up the nominal autumn tidying up I need to do in the garden to make sure I have an extra thick Dahlia Duvet of homemade mulch ready to take them through the coming chills.

I've also had mixed results with the supplementary Dahlias I planted out in the spring. A cold May and subsequent drought have meant they've flowered at a much later date than usual. Some didn't flower owing to my tough love this year, but I'm pleased to see sultry D. 'Arabian Night' (middle left) glowering again in my borders.

The other two are a complete surprise as they're examples of mislabelled-icanthus: the middle one should be a cranberry and white striped D. 'Duet'. It also looks like D. 'Sneezy' at the top is quite embarrassed by its chucklesome name, so its snowy white features have turned pink at the thought. No matter, they're a welcome last hurrah in my garden this month.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

NB It's also Blog Action Day today and the theme is water. I found this water security map a few days ago which is most thought provoking. We think of our nation as being awash with rain, but you'll see many of us are pretty vulnerable because we're a small island with a large population using a lot of water hungry gadgets. Perhaps my experiment with seeing how the garden gets on without supplementary water during this summer's drought was a useful lesson for the future?

If anyone's wandered over from The Guardian today, you're most welcome :)


  1. Good afternoon! I really like dahlias and fell for the dark stemmed ones I've seen in more northern gardens. I can grow them here and we have to dig them up~Too wet in the winters more then cold. Have a great Bloom Day! gail ps I've posted for both occasions, too.

  2. Here in Massachusetts where we don't usually have to worry about water we had the driest summer on record. I have a well and cannot water the garden so plants definitely suffered. We gardeners are going to have to think about what we plant, and how best to use the water we allow ourselves.

  3. Darling Dahlias indeed! I'm going to have to lift mine, I have heavy clay. I am much challenged by the water issue in the garden. I now have 4 water butts, and didn't top the pond up this year - it thrived anyway - but I love growing veg. No space means I have to grow in containers. I'm hoping the extra butts will allow me to water the pots from them for longer, but I think I may have to get more picky about what I grow, it ceases to make sense to use up what is a precious - and pricey - resource just to indulge a flirtation with growing edibles.

  4. if it isn't already, water security looks to be a much harder problem to deal with than a lessening supply of petroleum.

  5. How I envy you for being able to plant Dahlias in the ground and have them survive. I have to treat them like annuals, and I forgot to get one this year. Water has been on my mind almost constantly lately, as we haven't had a significant rain in about a month.

  6. Just seen your article in the Guardian - very good indeed. Well done. Nice image they chose as well.

  7. I always lift my Dahlias and store them in the garage. Mainly because I often plant them in different parts of the garden the following year

  8. Now there's pretty especially 'Arabian Night' ~ hope that your beauties enjoy a few more frost free nights. The 2010 drought though nowhere near as severe as 1976, was certainly memorable in this damp part of the country with the introduction of a hosepipe ban. Time for some of the utilitity companies to get their act together!

  9. I have no real luck with Dahlia and envy those that do. I had a neighbor who had gorgeous ones each year, and mine always came so late. You have a wonderful selection.

  10. Lovely pictures of dahlias, Veep! They really are beautiful. An old neighbour of mine was obssessed with growing them. We lived in back-to-backs in Leeds with small front gardens but every square inch of his was given over to his dahlias. They seem to kindle real passion in folks.

    Re water, when my partner and I spent a wet week camping in Wales this summer, I had mixed feelings thinking of the long hot hours I’d spent the week before, carrying water to parched ground i.e. our allotment plot, which doesn't have a tap anywhere near it. Please read the story below (but only if you like!)

  11. Hi everyone - glad you liked the Dahlias! Sadly they're a mere shadow of their former selves having finally succumbed to frost over the weekend :(

    And a big welcome to gardenwalkgardentalk and Mandy_S - thanks for dropping in :D


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