Dallying with the dahlias. A memorable line from Somerset Maugham, I think. Travels with my Aunt, I believe. For some time out-of-favour with gardeners, dahlias are making a comeback.
The general advice is to lift plant tubers in autumn to store over winter. Plants can also be left in situ. Use straw for insulation, applying a thick layer of mulch to protect roots from frost.
We planted a couple of dahlia early summer 2018. One plant survived – in a sunny patch under the far cherry tree. It’s produced deep red flowers. Not huge dinner-plate dahlia sized, but lovely all the same and quite surprisingly visible from the flat through the window.
Summer 2019 showed very slow vegetative growth from the dahlias. But they are growing and in very late summer are showing some sign of flower head development. Which makes me think they do need more delicate care (eg lifting in autumn), but that’s too fussy for me. So we’ll mulch them again and hope that in time they grow in resilience and strength.