A Dahlia, Sort Of

IMG_0074After months of waiting there is something resembling a dahlia flower, but not a perfect one, in the hot border! Let me introduce ‘Procyon’, a decorative dahlia with a flowering period of July to October – pah! A few weeks ago there was, for a brief period, a bud on the smaller ‘Orange Nugget’ but something discovered it before it was fully open and it has yet to produce another. I suspect ‘Procyon’ is similarly in danger as the outer petals have already been nibbled, but in the meantime she is a perfect candidate for the hot border. The other dahlias  I decided to have a go with have greenery of sorts but no sign of flower buds and similarly with the ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ which was bought as a plant last year and overwintered. Hmm … dahlias are not filling me with much enthusiasm so far…

I AM pleased, though, to see Crocosmia ‘Emily Mackenzie’ flowering for the first time after having been planted last year at the same time as C. ‘Constance’ and C ‘Canary Bird’, both of which flowered last season. I was unprepared for how deeply orange Emily was, with that much deeper throat (wasn’t that a porn film?) – very attractive. They are clearly slow to clump compared to the others, but a bigger clump would be a very welcome addition – as have been these Which? Gardening trial sunflowers, which are a sensible height and nicely multi-headed.


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17 Responses to A Dahlia, Sort Of

  1. Annette says:

    Nice crocosmia, this Dahlia is not for me and I wonder once more why some don’t flower for you. Dahlias are such reliable plants, usually. Where did you get them?

    • Cathy says:

      Admittedly the dahlias were bought as tubers from our local garden centre in packets – not how I would normally choose bulbs/corms/tubers – and I just picked according to appropriate colour for the hot border with no forward planning. Perhaps that is a lesson…;)

  2. Pauline says:

    Sorry you’re not having much luck with your dahlias, that must be very frustrating. My “Bishop” was new this year and has behaved himself by putting up quite a nice number of flowers, I think maybe next year he will get some fertiliser. I tried Emily Mackenzie and she promptly died on me, I never saw her again!

    • Cathy says:

      Interesting about your Emily, as mine has definitely lagged way behind the others which were planted at the same time and has not bulked up at all in the 18 months or so it has been there.

  3. Jeni says:

    Hi Cathy, I’ve only recently come across your blog but am certainly enjoying it.
    Your trial sunflowers which have grown to a reasonable height: are they the A type, the tallest of the 3 in the trial? Mine have grown to 8 feet and have got so branched & multi-headed that the sideshoots have broken under the rain and wind of the past 4 weeks. I’ve lost about 50% of the topgrowth on all the A’s. They are still growing strongly though, loads more buds to open. Can you post a wide shot of your sunnies soon? Thanks!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Jeni – thanks for dropping in. Yes, they are the ‘A’s and the only ones to have survived to flowering stage, having grown strongly and sturdily right from the start. No heavy rain here for ages (and they are in a fairly sheltered position anyway) and there are now multiple buds opening whereas until recently there had only been the one. I shall post a wider picture probably tomorrow.

  4. Anna says:

    Yaaay – a dahlia flower at last – you must be so pleased! I think that I would need sunglasses for that particular one Cathy 🙂 Hang on in there though with dahlias as they should be more obliging and treat you with more consideration than they have done so far. I am wondering when you planted them. ‘Emily Mackenzie’ sounds most attractive – I’ve intended to buy a couple more crocosmias for some time for late summer/early autumn colour so must do something about it.

    • Cathy says:

      The dahlias were started at the same time as fellow bloggers but took ages to sprout – as I said to Annette I am suspecting now it was the quality of the tubers which were bog-standard garden centre pre-packed ones. Apart from Emily my crocosmia flowered earlier and for a shorter period than last year so I shall be looking out for some later ones too – these were mail order from Broadleigh Gardens from where I have had several snowdrops too. Always good quality.

  5. Christina says:

    My crocosmia died, but to be fair I didn’t give it enough water, having seen them growing so beautifully in Cornwall I realise they need more water than is available here.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose they do, but as this is rarely a problem in the UK I have not thought about it before – the fact they grow wild in places as diverse as Cornwall and NW Scotland says it all!! 🙂 A shame for you, as they have such zingy colours and are so reliable here.

  6. I think I am giving up on dahlias….even this year with heat and lots of rain, only one bloom.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t blame you Donna – I think I will try again next year but shan’t bother after that if success is hard to come by. I don’t think that’s defeatist, is it?

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