Monday, August 27, 2007

My first 2007 Dahlia

The First Dahlia to flower in the flat. Four plants were rescued from being eaten by slugs at Hils garden and brought back to the flat.

Three are growing with no buds, but the fourth plant grew one flower bud which looked like the photo below. Two days later and the bud unfurled.
Its not the most complete Dahlia flower but the magic of seeing a plant flower is always a pleasure. Even with some buds missing.

The Flower buds looked like a watercolour painting with Pink and white petals, with yellow leaves at the top of the ball.
Dahlias are the national flower of Mexico, and have been grown in Europe for 200 years.The original parent plant of all the Dahlias grown since, came from a box of tubers sent to Amsterdam in 1872. Only one plant survived the trip. Dahlia Juarezi with red flowers. Nurserymen crossed this plant with the earlier ones from Mexico. These were grown in a Madrid Botanical Garden and looked after by the Curator Andres Dahl..Who gave the plant his name. Years later there are 50,000 cultivars.
They have been out of fashion, but now they are back in vogue in British Gardens.The most famous one is the Bishop of Llanduff, with its scarlet flowers and smokey foliage.I saw that in Cheltenham lots of them for sale.
These plants will make the trip to the new house in the next few months. They are prone to slug attack though so need protecting if they are grown in a garden. They are not frost hardy either as you'd expect from a Mexican plant.The Tubers can be lifted after they have done flowering and be stored somewhere dry over the winter.
I wander what colours the other three plants flowers are. Will have to see if I have any more Dahlias this year.


Gardenista said...

So pretty! I don't have any, but will someday. Here's my burning Dahlia question: how do you pronouce "dahlia"? If they were named after Dahl, I would think the "a" would be pronounced as in "barn" or "father" rather than "say" or "glade". Everyone here pronouces them like "DAY-lia". Yeah, sounds like a stupid question, but I'd love to know what you refined British people say????

David (Snappy) said...

Hi Gardenista,I think the British pronounce it Day-Lee-Ah, as in three syllables. It should be DAhl ee ya, but the british love mangling foreign words esp a swedish name.
Theres a shrub called Cottoneaster which the posh people pronounce co-ton-eee-aster, but i say Cotton Easter.Gardening is funny in that it has funny words.
Glad you had a burning Dahlia question.

Unknown said...

The new house? I missed some news! Do tell. :)

Thanks for the background on the dahlias... I never knew the history of their cultivation in Europe. How cool.

David (Snappy) said...

Hi Blackswamp girl,I am looking for a house with a garden in.Its presuming I get one the blog post...I like plant historys when i can find them about their cultivation from being brought back by european plant collectors. :)