Snap up the best ones from spe­cial­ist dahlia sup­pli­ers by get­ting your or­der in now

Garden Answers (UK) - - Celebrate -

For the best choice of dahlias, get your or­der in now. Gar­den cen­tres will stock a se­lec­tion over the com­ing months, but spe­cial­ist sup­pli­ers have the great­est choice and they’ll be snapped up quickly. There’s a mind-bog­gling ar­ray of dahlias with dif­fer­ent flower forms – peony, waterlily, pom­pom, decorative, orchid, anemone-flow­ered and cac­tus – in al­most ev­ery colour you can imag­ine. Some are low-grow­ing and per­fect for con­tain­ers; oth­ers have tall wiry stems and sin­gle flow­ers that are great for wild bor­ders in among grasses, and many of them make great cut flow­ers. Dahlias are ten­der plants so they can’t be planted out­side un­til mid-May, but if you have a pro­tected, frost-free space, such as a green­house or con­ser­va­tory, you can get ahead and plant up tu­bers ear­lier. When you re­ceive your tu­bers store them some­where frost-free, cool and dark. Then, in April, pot them up into con­tain­ers filled with mul­ti­pur­pose com­post. Grow on, harden off and then plant out in May.

‘Dark But­ter­fly’ Waterlily type with cream, yel­low and rose-pink flow­ers. H1m (3ft 3in) S70cm (28in)

‘Ver­rone’s Ob­sid­ian’ Near black nar­row star-like flow­ers with golden cen­tres. H and S60cm (2ft)

‘Art Deco’ Slightly twisted orange petals with dark red un­der­sides. Good in pots. H and S40cm (16in)

‘Eve­line’ Ex­quis­ite white flow­ers blushed with lilac. Good cut flower. H1m (3ft 3in) S60cm (2ft)

‘David Howard’ Golden orange blooms and dark fo­liage; free-flow­er­ing. H1m (3ft 3in) S70cm (28in)

‘Labyrinth’ Fab­u­lous shaggy petals in peachy­or­ange and shock­ing pink. H90cm (3ft) S60cm (2ft)

DE­LIGHT IN DAHLIAS Or­der tu­bers now to cre­ate your own sum­mer ex­trav­a­ganza, in­clud­ing va­ri­eties such as jazzy ‘Dutch Car­ni­val’

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