Allotment // Dahlia Hall of Fame 2019

It’s nearly the end of the 2019 growing season so I thought it would be nice to recap on the dahlias I’ve grown this year with a couple of notes on each. I’ve grown 21 in total with some of them being more than one plant.

1. Linda’s Baby

Type: Pom Pom / Ball.
Bloom Size: 8-10cm.
Colour: The perfect peachy pink.
Stems: Long and strong, some disbudding required to achieve maximum stem length
Vase life: Excellent (at least five days of looking perfect), even as it fades to a yellowy middle it still looks great.
Other notes: Prolific flowerer, one of the first to flower on the plot this year and is still flowering well (26 Oct). It produces around 30 plus flowers per week and is a reasonably large sized plant.
Is it a keeper?: Definitely! Everyone that has seen Linda’s Baby has said they love her so she definitely wins a place at the plot next year and I’m going to try and propogate her to get even more blooms next year.

2. (Fake) Wizard of Oz

I didn’t know whether I should include this one as mine didn’t look like a proper pale pink Wizard of Oz.

Type: Pom Pom / Ball.
Bloom Size: 8-10cm.
Colour: Very similar to Linda’s Baby but slightly pinker.
Vase life: Excellent again like LB, even as it fades to a yellowy middle it still looks great.
Stems: Not quite as long and strong as LB but possibly due to the shorter size of the plant with minimal disbudding required.
Other notes: This was one of two that I got from Sarah Raven as an already established plant and this one didn’t seem to grow as well as the ones I grew from tuber. Growth seemed stunted, only a third of the size of Linda’s Baby. It was also quite late to flower and only produces 10 or so flowers a week. Not sure if this is how the plant was started or if it’s how this tuber is.
Is it a keeper?: Ummm, I’m not sure – she’s so similar to Linda’s Baby so maybe I will keep her and see how she goes for another year before I decide!

3. Small World

Type: Mini Pom Pom / Ball.
Bloom Size: 2-3cm.
Colour: Off white with a hint of pink on some of the flowers.
Stems: Long! Surprising with the flower head being so small.
Vase life: Not great, only 3 days of perfect vase life.
Other notes: A smaller plant than most of the others but would be the perfect size for a groom’s button hole.
Is it a keeper?: Yes although I probably wouldn’t grow too many mini pom pom sized flowers, I am hoping to maybe supply some flowers for a wedding next year and it’ll be perfect!

 

4. Karma Maarten Zwaan

Type: Waterlily.
Bloom Size: 10-13cm.
Colour: White with a hint of green.
Stems: Medium, some short. Disbudding required to maximise stem length.
Vase life: Excellent, to rival Linda’s Baby – at least 5 excellent days.
Other notes: Very upright, nearly as floriferous as LB. I believe it was specifically bred for the cut flower market and I can see why.
Is it a keeper?: Definitely and it’s made me want to look at the other flowers in the Karma range.

 

5. Blanc y Verde

Type: Decorative.
Bloom Size: 15cm.
Colour: White.
Stems: Long and strong, needs some disbudding.
Vase life: Decent, not as good as Karma Maarten Zwaan though.
Other notes: I grew two of these and they produced hundreds of flowers over the whole summer, has started to slow down in the cooler weather but has been prolific. The flower head faces outwards which makes it different KWZ.
Is it a keeper?: Yes although I think I will only keep one at the allotment and maybe move the other to the garden.

6. Platinum Blonde

Type: Anemone.
Bloom Size: 15cm.
Colour: White.
Stems: Long and strong, minor need to disbud but the heads are heavy so this really helps the stems support the flower.
Vase life: Not the best but a good three to four days of looking perfect.
Other notes: So unusual, but is hard to incorporate into arrangements. Decent producer but definitely not hundreds of flowers, although I did nearly kill this when it was a small plant so it took a while to get going.
Is it a keeper?: Yes although I’m going to move it to the garden to enjoy there.

 

7. Henriette

Type: Cactus.
Bloom Size: 10-13cm
Colour: Pale apricot to stronger peach, fades with a yellow middle a few days after cutting.
Stems: Long and strong, quite a bit of disbudding to get nice long stems.
Vase life: Excellent – I’ve had some of these in a vase for seven days still looking decent.
Other notes: The only one I grew of this shape and I didn’t think I liked it until later in the season when the temps dropped and it’s colour changed into a more peachy colour. Although I wasn’t mad about it, it was a good one for a bit of a different texture in the vase. I also grew two of these and they were prolific, sooo many flowers every day.
Is it a keeper?: Yes although I will probably move one to the garden.

8. Lilac Perfection

Type: Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size: 20-25cm.
Colour: The name is slightly misleading because this is more of a beautiful bright purply-pink, with a green eye.
Stems: Long and strong.
Vase life: Decent, up to five days.
Other notes: A very uniform large bloom, which I loved nearly as much as my favourite Cafe au Lait.
Is it a keeper?: Definitely and I will try to propagate her because she’s beautiful.

9. Belle of the Ball

Type: Semi-Cactus / Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size: 20-23cm
Colour: Bright pink, almost neon but fades heavily in the middle to white when cut.
Stems: Medium, some short. Disbudding required to maximise stem length.
Vase life: Petals look healthy for at least five days but the centre fades to white after 3 or so.
Other notes: Very pretty colour but the fading is infuriating. Produces a fair amount of flowers though for such a large flower, needs some disbudding.
Is it a keeper?: Not sure, I might move to the garden as I don’t think it’s a great cut flower due to the fading.

10. Belle of Barmera

Type: Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size: 20-23cm.
Colour: Bronzey-orange (although it should have some pinker tones I haven’t seen them yet).
Stems: Medium, some short.
Vase life: Decent, three to four days.
Other notes: Very late to bloom but it was my first year with this tuber so that might have been a reason for it.
Is it a keeper?: Not sure, I don’t have anything in this colour so could be a reason to keep her but I’m not crazy about oranges.

11. Labyrinth

Type: Decorative / Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size: 17-20cm.
Colour: The most beautiful mix of pinks, pale peach and raspberry colours.
Stems: Medium, some long.
Vase life: Decent, three to four days.
Other notes: Steady bloomer throughout the season, slowing down in the cold like many.
Is it a keeper?: Definitely, she’s gorgeous.

12. Penhill Watermelon

Type: Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size
: The biggest on the plot, as the weather has cooled it’s been a solid 25cm or more but was smaller in the heat.
Colour: The colour has varied a lot with the temp from kind of a dark pink in the heat and a lovely lighter pink with gold tips in the cooler weather.
Stems: Long.
Vase life: Decent, three to four days.
Other notes: Steady bloomer throughout the season, but definitely enjoying the cold weather. I didn’t like her too much in the heat, I found her blooms to look a little straggly and have to admit I threw more than one in the garden waste bin. But now the temps have dropped I love her. I also propagated her, the only one I did this year so now I have two.
Is it a keeper?: I wasn’t sure at the start of the season but her blooms in September and October have sold her to me, so yes.

13. Cafe au Lait

Type: Dinner Plate.
Bloom Size
: 23-25cm.
Colour: Varies from a lovely creamy colour to the softest pink.
Stems: It is essential to disbud regularly to maximise stem length or they are very short.
Vase life: Good, up to five days at least.
Other notes: Didn’t bloom until August and has been a reasonable producer since. Not the biggest producer though and I probably get five to seven blooms from each plant a week. Really responds well to being fed and increases the pinkness of the petals with feeding at least once a week with tomato food once it’s started blooming. One of the plants I have produces a sightly different type of flower which is more upright than the others, not sure why but it is the same tuber I had last year and is now doing something different but I like it!
Is it a keeper?: I have three Cafe plants and I think that tells you everything! She’s the queen of dahlias and I don’t think any dahlia cutting garden should be without one at least!

14. Lucca Johanna

Type: Waterlily.
Bloom Size
: 15-20cm.
Colour: Variegated petals going from a purple colour at the back to a creamy white centre.
Stems: Medium.
Vase life: Good, up to five days at least.
Other notes: I have kept this one at home in a pot and it’s stayed small and not produced as much but I have probably neglected it a bit. The flowers are very pretty though. Bought as a plant from Waitrose.
Is it a keeper?: Yes but I think it’s another garden one.

15. Snowflake

Type: Small Pom Pom.
Bloom Size
: 5-7cm.
Colour: Creamy white.
Stems: Medium.
Vase life: I haven’t actually cut any of these to know!
Other notes: Another one that I’ve kept at home rather than the allotment. I bought it as a plant from Waitrose looking slightly sorry for itself so it hasn’t really grown very big or produced many flowers.
Is it a keeper?: Yes but I haven’t decided if it should be at home or the allotment.

16. Mystery but possibly Bishop of Canterbury

Type: Small Open Single.
Bloom Size
: 10cm.
Colour: Bright pink, almost magenta with visible pink stamens.
Stems: Long and thinner than most.
Vase life: This is more of a garden flower but does keep in a vase decently for about 3 days.
Other notes: This was a tiny tuber that was in a bag with a Cafe that I bought from Sarah Raven so assumed it had just fallen off the main one. It had started sprouting so I potted it up and this is what appeared!
Is it a keeper?: Yes but definitely one for home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: