Thoughts of summer flowers

This morning my husband needed some wood for a project we’re working on; so a trip to the local DIY store was necessary. 

and just guess what had arrived.


There’s also a couple of packs of Cannas, just to try!

Last year I bought my Dahlias quite early (but not as early as this, I’m sure) with the intention of planting them directly into the ground as soon as the weather warmed up; but last year we had a cold spring and I have to admit that some of the tubers were rather dried out by the time I planted them.  They did all grow but not as well as they should.  It is my intention this year to plant them into pots (next week) and put them on the lower shelves in the greenhouse to grow on and hopefully make some strong growth before they are planted out.

40 thoughts on “Thoughts of summer flowers

  1. Christina, I am very happy that your husband needed wood and went to the DIY shop for it: you discovered a treasure. Well, you did not have to look for them, they put them in your hand. I have the Dahlias commissioned from December and they bring them to me at the end of February here in Madrid. I have never planted Dahlias. I was going to do it at the end of April, because we plan to go to the country house at the beginning of April and I have to remove the “jungle” of herbs beforehand and prepare the soil. Thank you very much for your wisdom in gardening. I will do the same: plant them in pots when I arrive. I do not have a greenhouse, I’ll put them inside the house. Please, a question. At what approximate temperature can Dahlias be planted in the garden? And how long does the bulb take more or less to leave the earth? Sorry to ask you so much, but I can not find it anywhere and you have a lot of experience. I beg you to answer me. Thank you so much. I hope that your Dalias this year are spectacular and with many flowers. Greetings from Margarita.

    • I’m not a Dahlia expert either Margarita, but I know they should be planted into the ground as soon as the last expected frost time is over. When I’ve planted the tubers directly into the ground they have started to grow very quickly (maybe two weeks if it is warm). My dahlias usually start flowering in the middle of June, in the UK it can be August before they start flowering. They should continue to flower prolifically until the first frost, mine usually slow down in October. Some plants will produce 100-150 flowers, but even if not that many they are very generous with their flowers.

  2. Looks like you have plans !! Canna’s are such easy plants but they need a big space and lots of water to grow.

  3. You went to town, literally and figuratively, Christina! I placed an order with a Washington state grower for dahlia bulbs earlier this month but they won’t ship them until April. The tubers I saved from last year are tucked away in the garage and my cutting beds are currently full of other things but your idea of potting tubers up to get an early start is a good one. I may try that too!

  4. Yes, we have both found that summer feels a bit nearer once we start thinking about dahlias 😀 This year I have ordered some from cuttings for the first time as PN did not have what I wanted – a new experience

      • Well in fact they were the next size up from cuttings – young plants that start out as cuttings taken this year. I would rather have had tubers but think I was too late from that particular company. You will certainly get to hear how I get on with them

          • I have always potted up the tubers from PN as soon as they arrive (March?) and then saved ones at the same time. Last year Steve of Glebe House talked about potting his once they were dried out – storing them in pots of compost essentially. It was about this time of year he mentioned it so I potted my saved ones up immediately – and certainly reaped the benefits of earlier flowers. The new ones flowered several weeks later. I shall only water very minimally until there is growth, which will be a long way off yet

            • Thanks Cathy, that’s really useful; I think I will pot mine up now; even in the ground they usually start appearing in April, which is why some were hit by the late frost last year. I will put them on the bottom level of the shelving where I’ll be able to see when they shoot and maybe move them to the cold frame, if there’s any room by then, which I doubt!

            • That sounds like a good plan. I planted mine out quite early in May I seem to recall – really need to make a note of all these dates!!

            • Yes it should be simple enough to add it to MY sowing and germinating sheets – why didn’t I think of that?!! I shall do it immediately – thanks for the prompt!!

            • Me too, I definitely don’t think to put in ‘last flower’ – which woud be interesting to record, but perhaps we are always hoping for more…

  5. You have plenty to keep you busy there! Once your dahlia take I am sure they will stay happy in your garden and you will have no need to lift them. Do you like any Dahlias with open flower heads? Amelia

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