Looking back – National Dahlia Collection

National Dahlia Collection Varfell Farm in mid September

On Twitter there seems to be a split between those looking back on summer from the depths of winter, (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), and those who want to keep it real – this is now, snow, frost. rain! Me, I’m sitting on the fence. This is looking back but the lateness of the post is due to laziness and the need now to get cracking with ordering dahlias for this year .

Last year’s dahlias were a bit of a disaster, partly due to the weather (very cold/hot, little rain), although old faithful’s came through the winter and flowered fitfully, including Sam Hopkins, Karma Choc and Dark Desire.

This was my first visit to the National Dahlia Collecton at Varfell Farm in Cornwall and to be fair we had had a very hot summer followed by the remnants of a storm with heavy wind and rain the day before our September visit.

Dahlia Bengale

I have a soft spot for the whoppers of the dahlia world and although many had been downed by the wind and rain, I liked the zing this one has with the slight purpling in the orange.

Dahlia David’s Choice (1968)

Neater all round, zingy orange again but with darker leaves and stems, a possible for the exotic border this year

Dahlia Red Cap (1957)

Well behaved, medium height, another possible.

Dahlia Irene Van de Zwet (1957)

Quite an attractive single as a replacement for Honka Yellow which has more spidery petals.

A medley of singles
Dahlia Moor Place (1957)

Could I love a pompon dahlia? Perhaps one for the old rose bed. I’ve lost a couple in this bed and there’s a dumpy lilac coloured waterlily dahlia Rosella that I don’t like at all. The colour is ‘right’,  it reminds me of the old, later flowering Clematis viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’.

Not so sure about Buttercup in an open border… too stiff?

Dahlia Buttercup (1971)
Dahlia Asahi Chohji (1962)

A bit of fun, I’ve grown him in the past, pots of this dahlia would be very jolly (and more bee friendly!)

Dahlia register – information in various languages

Kynance Cove Cornwall – this was the sort of weather the dahlias had received their battering in!