I happened to go on a garden tour of Ferncliff Gardens in Mission BC. I have purchased many of my Dahlia collection from this company and like what I have grown. Owners Dave and Sheila know everything there is about Dahlias so they are a great source of information. Dave has been growing dahlias for forty-five years. This time I was able to see the dahlias in the growing fields and decided on a few for next year. Faced with hundreds to choose from this was not an easy task.
Dave led us down a short path past his cutting garden. It was filled with not only dahlias but sunflowers, amaranth, cosmos and zinnias. It was a riot of colour. Ferncliff Gardens sits above Westminster Abbey. Look at that view!
Once past the cutting garden we came upon the fields of dahlias starting with the shorter plants at one end and working up to the dinner plate dahlias at the far end. How will I ever choose just a few for my garden? I walked up each row looking for colours that I liked and plants that produced a lot of flowers. Some dahlias produce less flowers than others. I also looked for compact plants.
This is Dahlia ‘Kelsey Radiance’. I like this one but it’s a very similar colour to one I already have.
When I saw this red Dahlia called ‘Clearview Claret’ I ordered it. I don’t have a red Dahlia. How did that happen? This one had lots of flowers and a nice shape to the plant. Notice that it also has red stems which adds extra interest.
How could I resist Dahlia ‘Ferncliff Inspiration’? It’s flowers measure almost eight inches across. I like having a few of the dinner plate dahlias in the garden. If you look on their website this one is called a large dahlia but there are giants as well. The giant dahlias are about ten inches across.
It was so hard to choose just a few from the fields of amazing flowers. I ordered three dahlias and they will arrive in the spring of 2016. I always start my dahlias in the greenhouse in early April. I plant them up in one gallon pots to give them a head start. What I have found is that if I do this they rarely need staking. Plants can vary in height so its important to support the taller ones when planting.
One of the most prolific dahlias I have is ‘Mango Sunset’. If you want to have a bouquet for the home this is the dahlia for you. I hope to split this tuber in the spring.
Then there is Dahlia ‘Alpen Cherub’. This collarette dahlia attracts bees to the garden with often two bees collecting pollen at the same time. I have about five plants in my collection so three of them will need new homes next year to make room for my new dahlias. Plant dahlias in well-drained soil in full sun and you will be rewarded with blooms from late June to frost. I always lift my Dahlias around the first frost and store them in my garage for the winter.
For how to store Dahlias, read how to put the Dahlias away for the winter.
If you interested in learning how to collect seed, read how to collect Dahlia seed.