It's September, - There are still lots of flowers left on the field, - but the Undisputed Queens of the Autumn Flower display are the Dahlias.
Once considered old fashioned, - they are back bang up to date, and some make wonderful cut flowers. Here are my favourites.
Jowey Linda. - This Bright orange large pom pom, is just about the only Dahlia I know that will last a full week. I've even used it in my cafe displays. It has long stems, shrugs off Earwigs, and looks great with all the other jewel colours. - I've grown triple this year, what I had last year, - and need to triple that again for next year.
Dahlia Rocco - This purple mini pom pom, is great for bouquets, buttonholes (lasting fine out of water), and just keeps producing. It goes well with Karma Lagoon.
This bright Pink Waterlily flower has sturdy stems, - and lasts for 5-6 days in the vase. Paula paired this with Nerines, Lavender and Dianthus Green Trick on one of my favourite Bouquets for a photo shoot last Autumn.
(Image Emma Davies)
The other Karma Varieties that I grow are Karma Choc - Beautiful, but I find slow to get into full swing. and Karma Naomi, - (another deep red) doing very well in it's first year, and going to make the grade for major propagation next season.
Sticking with the deep reds, I'm also a fan of Nuit D'ete, Rip City and and unnamed variety (top left, Anyone?) that I got from a clients garden many years ago. All last 5-6 days in the vase.
Moving on to the paler colours, - Dahlia Preference has got to be top of the list for a flower that goes with everything.
It's a colour that bridges the brights and the pales, and has tinges of peach, salmon and pink. - Here Paula used it in a luxury bouquet with dark roses (Munstead wood)
The Shape works well with Dahlia Tu Tu, (the White cactus in the top photo of this post). Tu Tu, is a lovely shape, and lasts well, but it's neck is a little bendy, so it needs support for the larger flowers. - I'm currently trying to find an alternative, But white's that don't attract Earwig's are hard to find.
My best and longest lasting pale so far is Evelyn.
This was a star find brought to me by Paula's mum Chris. We used it for a photo shoot, and loved it teamed with the purple sage, until we found the sage didn't last out of water......
The Dahlia does though, - this is a good 6 days in the vase.
So now we come to my least favoured, and most requested Dahlia - Cafe Au Lait.
It's my least favoured, because Earwigs love it. - Because if you disbud it, the heads are huge, but if you don't, you get short stems, because the colours differ from plant to plant, and week to week - I think depending on the weather! From a whole bed of plants, I never manage to have more than 5 perfect ones ready at the same time, and It only last 3 days in the vase, in my experience, BUT
it is a wonderful flower to show off. - It is the "in" Bridal colour (this year) and florists will pay more for it.
Will I grow more next year - of course I will!
So how do the Dahlias fare out of water - well here's the flower heads from the top picture a day later
Top Left - Bottom right
Cafe Au Lait, Rocco, Mary Evelyn, Karma Choc, Evelyn, Preference, Karma Lagoon, Nuit D 'ete, Red Ambition, Tu Tu, Canary Fubuki, Jowey Linda, Salsa, Karma Naomi