With 3,000 acres of daffodils to harvest, the start of the year is always busy on the farm. The Dahlia collection (situated on the flower farm here in West Cornwall) is gearing up to start despatching dahlia tubers and further planning for our busy shows’ season.
It’s an exciting time, the days are lengthening and we always hope for some sunshine to lift the temperature in the tunnel which will kick-start the tubers into life. We’ll then be able to start taking cuttings.
We do use supplementary heating and lighting but a couple of hours of sun warms the tunnel beautifully, we’ve even started to irrigate this week (the dahlias are not taking part in Dry January!). There are a few shoots beginning to show, but don’t worry if yours aren’t, remember we gently force our dahlias.
It’s natural to be making resolutions and plans for the year ahead during the first few days of January and the National Dahlia Collection is no different. We
After a wild weekend which saw more rain in a morning than we’d seen in months and 2 days and nights of sustained high winds, the dahlias in the field looked sorry for themselves and we took the decision to close the garden.
We’ve not had frost here yet and the temperatures have been beautifully mild meaning that the flowers continued to open and buds develop, the wind succeeded in burning the foliage and turning the dahlias a not-so-autumnal shade of brown. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of autumn colour as much as the next person but dahlias aren’t known for this particular atribute and ours were struggling to carry off the look.
Although this year and last have been very different weather-wise, we closed the garden on October 14th in 2017 after a sharp autumn storm and the same thing happened at the same time this year. Being fascinated by the weather goes hand in hand with being a horticulturalist and from that perspective it’s
The evenings are drawing in and the Harvest Moon has been enjoyed, there are the faint murmurings of Christmas chat but here at the National Dahlia Collection and there is still a huge amount to see in the Dahlia Garden.
After a very successful week at BBC Gardeners’ World Live where we won a platinum award and Best Summer Flower display the team are back together at the farm for a brief spell before some of us head off to the Hampton Court Flower Show.
The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show brought with it amazing views and a gold medal for the dahlia team. For me this is all very new. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable weekend building the stand with Jon and Lorraine who are experts at this flower show business and I learnt a great deal. Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ and ‘Karma Irene’ are 2 of the top sellers from the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, we can’t keep them on the shelf!