Today I thought I'd share with you all the anemone and collarette dahlias dotted around my garden. Now that we're in autumn it's only a matter of time before the first frost of the season hits them, and the flowers and plants die down for the winter season.
first introduction to dahlias was by my Aunt, who was a big dahlia
collector when I was growing up. I remember many happy weekend
afternoons following both, her and my grandfather around their back
garden as they worked, and admiring my aunt's many dahlias. I thought
they were big and beautiful, and wished for some of my own one day.
started collecting dahlias myself when we were living in Wellington. I
came upon a bedraggled dahlia tuber sitting in a bag at a garden store,
and took it home in order to rescue it, and gave it a new home. That
dahlia was Dahlia Lucky Number.
Lucky Number is a big dahlia, measuring over 1.5 m tall and is a
prolific flowerer, with hot pink flowers the size of a dinner plate.
Because it is a collarette dahlia, with the heart of the flower exposed,
it is very popular with both bees and butterflies. In truth, it is one
of my favorite dahlias.
wasn't long before I picked up another dahlia, this time the Keith
Hammett bred (he's a New Zealand breeder) Dahlia Mystic Sparkler. Mystic
Sparkler is another collarette dahlia, and has beautiful dark foliage
which shows off the hot pink and yellow flowers. This dahlia is also
attractive to birds and bees as well. This dahlia is compact, and grows
well in pots and planters.
When we moved back to Dunedin in October 2019, my dahlias had already arrived ahead of me. The winter of 2019, I had dug up all my dahlias, trimmed them, and couriered them down to my sister in Dunedin, where she put them into her garden for the upcoming summer season. Once we had found a home down there, and after the summer season (and the first Covid 19 lock down), we dug all my dahlia tubers up, and I took them home to plant in the ground.
meanwhile, in October 2019 after we had moved into our home, I couldn't
resist picking up another Keith Hammett dahlia from the garden store,
and planting it in my front garden. Dahlia Mystic Enchantment is a
dahlia related to Mystic Sparkler. Mystic Enchantment has the same
characteristics of Dahlia Mystic Sparkler, except it has florescent
orange flowers, and is an anemone dahlia. Bees are also attracted to its
flowers, and the plant is a very prolific flowerer.
More recently I've picked up another Keith Hammett Dahlia, this time the collarette dahlia, Protegee. It has the same dark foliage as Mystic Sparkler and Mystic Enchantment, but it's flowers are bright pink in the middle, surrounded by a lighter pink.
And another Keith Hammett Collarette dahlia I've also acquired recently is Dahlia Home Run. It has pretty, bright pink flowers, and adds nicely to my ever growing collection of Keith Hammett dahlias.
And as if I couldn't get enough of Keith Hammett's dahlias, he has a website where you can buy seed packets containing dahlias seeds from his breeding experiments. Each seed will give rise to a dahlia that has never been seen before. You will never know what you will get. I've bought seeds from his Beeline, Beeline II, and Sunflower collections, and sprinkled them around my garden. The photos below show the variation I've gotten so far from my seed sowing.
I have many more Keith Hammett dahlia seeds stored away, so who knows what colours I will get in the years to come as I sow more seed. But these aren't my only dahlias, I also have a number of stunning dinner plate and decorative dahlias also, and I will show you those as well in the coming weeks.
you are new to dahlias, and are unsure how to look after some of you
own, I really recommend the book, Discovering Dahlias, by Erin
Benzakein. It contains detailed information on looking after dahlias,
and has many great photographic examples on how to do things like
dividing dahlias etc.
is certainly settling in down here in the deep south, the nights are
getting longer and cooler, and trees are starting to change colour. As I
am having sinus surgery late next week, the next week in the garden
will be very busy for me, getting jobs done before I will be recovering
for the next three weeks after that. I have spring bulb orders arriving
soon, and I would like to get them in the ground as soon as possible,
otherwise hubby will have to do them for me, which should be fun...
Have a wonderful day,