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Dahlias and our front garden — 27 Comments

  1. Great to see your new dahlias looking so healthy and full of flowers. I usually plant all new dahlias in pots outdoors in early spring and then into the garden when growth is going well, but I have had bedding dahlias in pots overwinter under my garden bench several years along with my begonias which also seem to be happy with the light frost now and then we get here in London. I haven’t lost a single plant, tuber or bulb to frost yet, not even in winter 2009/2010.

    However, growing dahlias this year has been rather tricky, since I moved I have had to grow ALL my dahlias in pots and containers, most of them have really big tubers and they seem to not like container life in summer. Not sure if it is too hot, not enough nutrition, too often dried out compost or all of the above – they all have lots of green leaves but very few flowers, some none yet. Can’t wait to get them all in the ground!

    How nice to see your front garden, looks very immaculate with the grass….sometimes I look at pictures like that and I think how lovely it would have been to have a bit of grass here – and then I quickly come to my senses and realise how much work I am saving myself by not having any! But it looks beautiful 🙂
    Sorry to hear about your computer problems, my laptops are put through about 8-10 hours hard labour a day, 7 days a week – they don’t hold more than 3-4 years, I have learned the hard way to keep backup of all the things I make, I have a 4 TB Touro, best investment I have ever made, it will soon have to get a sibling as it is almost full 🙂

    • Helene, I thought of you when writing this post, had it in my mind that Dahlias would probably be fully hardy in London. Well, I got rid of the grass at the back, guess I will keep it at the front.
      I will make sure about the backing up of files from now.

  2. I am trying Dahlias for the first time this year and have to admit I am rather disappointed with the rather expensive pots of plants I purchased. Although whether this is my fault or not remains to be seen. It could be the rotten summer, my care or possibly the plants had been neglected in the GC. I am going to attempt to keep them over winter and like you’ve had to do bring them on on a windowsill.
    You’ve a few beauties there Alistair, I particularly like the last one Karma Gold. I’ll bet your neighbours are jumping with joy at having Myra and yourself living next door. A truly colourful display. I have to admit to being rather poor at backing things up on the laptop – perhaps I should learn a lesson from you. Have a good week!

    • Angie, it can be frustrating trying to come up with answers as to why some years a plant hasn’t performed as well as we would have hoped. One Dahlia in Aberdeen which never let me down was Bishop of Llandaff.

  3. Alistair, 5 feet – that’s amazing. I adore the brightly coloured garden bed and the pot display. Both are a bit like a beautiful arrangement in a vase. Do you find you don’t need a greenhouse because the weather isn’t so harsh as it was in Scotland?

  4. The vibrant gold finale is a beauty.
    We got rid of our huge, and rotting wood, garden shed.
    Now everything must find a home in the garage.
    And I still have pots everywhere, but I am slowly and steadily getting the plants in the ground.

    • Diana, almost two years ago you couldn’t move in our garage for plants in pots. When this was sorted out we demolished the garage, bit extreme, but it gave extra room in this small house. Hope you are settling in at False Bay.

  5. Alistair, I’m here through Jennifer blog. I love your dahlias, especially ‘Acapulco’. I grow some of them but in this cold summer my dahlias started blooming very late and now are still have buds. Lovely photos!

  6. Your garden is stunning, Alistair! I wasn’t interested in growing dahlias until I saw the beauties exhibited at our local fair last month. Now your posting makes me consider giving them a try. I can’t decide on a favorite — maybe Karma Gold. I am so sorry for your computer troubles. I finally decided to pay for a monthly backup service after twice losing valuable (to me) files. P. x

    • Pam, Dahlias seem to becoming popular once again. The computer problem was driving me crazy, it seems this windows 10 gives an option to back up your files, I will suss it out eventually.

  7. Hi Alistair, your front garden looks no less spectacular and immaculate than the back! The dahlias we have at the moment were ones rescued from a rubbish pile at the back of the garden shortly after we moved and they’re OK, but too short for where they are planted at the moment. I like the dark leaved dahlias, the “Bishop of..” series as I don’t think they need to be lifted for the winter. The winter lifting and storage was the reason I didn’t have Dahlias previously but there’s a new border planned for next year that I want to have star many hardier Dahlias.

  8. Your garden is a visual feast! You have accomplished so much in a short time. Your neighbors must wake up every morning and think they are in Heaven! I have never grown dahlias, but I am in wonder of yours.
    Sorry about your computer problems. My own computer is getting old and I shudder to think what will happen when it dies, though I do have back-up. My son, the computer geek who originally set it up, now lives 2000 miles away!

  9. Your computer wows are a cautionary tale. I don’t have my images backed up and I should.
    I am quite blown away with your front garden. I well remember the before pictures from a while back. Such a colorful transformation! I haven’t grown dahlias, perhaps because I can get them as cut flowers at the local Farmer’s Market, but more because I have nowhere to start them in early spring. Perhaps one day! Yours are just terrific Alistair, especially the pink one in the centre front garden.

  10. Your garden is looking stunning Alistair and the dahlias certainly finish it off. I have blown hot and cold about dahlias over the years but still love the Bishop series which I used to grow from seed every year. I have a few mixed bedding dahlias purchased from the local scouts and as usual I have grown them in containers and can certainly tell you one thing from experience and that is they need plenty of root-room to thrive, plant too many in a container and even though they are fed they just don’t perform.

  11. Wow, your front garden is stunning! I love all your lobelia edging! Aha, thank you for giving me the secret behind the dahlias. I grew a few this summer, but up North they are far less impressive than the ones I had down south. I shall pot them up early next time! Glad you were able to save all your files. Thankfully my husband is very tech-minded and backs up the computer on a regular basis. If I lost all my files, especially the ones with my family photos, I think I would cry!

  12. I think I may just give up on the dahlias here….this year none bloomed with our insane weather…20+ inches of rain in spring and then a dry summer. I may plant them in a new raised bed if I can overwinter them…not easy to do as I have no heated garage or shed, and the basement may be too warm. I will give it a go though. I am just speechless with your front plantings and stunning dahlia blooms…really gorgeous Alistair.

    • Donna, Years since we last grew Dahlias, it was even more of a challenge in Aberdeen, at least we had the greenhouse to bring them on. I think we will again have a few for the front garden next year.

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