Thursday, 25 July 2013

The garden in July ~ dahlia

Echinaea purpurea prairie splendour

It's been a funny old week in the garden. It's either been unbearably hot and humid or it's been pouring with rain, no half measures it seems.

It's also been a time for me to take a stroll down memory lane, because the flowers this week have huge sentimental significance for me. 

This border of Marguerite daisies have just flowered this week and will continue to for a few more weeks, and soon they'll be joined by the adjacent crocosmia which, with their vibrant orange, will look fantastic next to them. They're such happy little flowers, don't you think? Just poking their sunny little faces up to the sun and growing without making any demands at all. Just a bit of water and they're happy.

When I was very small, I remember going to the very end of our garden where there was a huge soot pile. It was there because although my dad worked at a pipe fitter during the day he had an extra weekend job as a chimney sweep. My brother and I used to go with him to the chimney sweep jobs and would stand outside on the pavement while Dad went inside to start sweeping. It was our job to watch for the brush to appear at the top of the chimney pot and then run inside and tell Dad. I used to love doing that.

When he'd finished we'd go home and Dad would put the soot onto the pile at the bottom of the garden. It seems crazy to me now - a huge pile of soot - but it was just always there, behind the shed.

But right next to the soot pile were the most beautiful flowers I'd ever seen, the Marguerite daisies. So simple and beautiful and growing in the most inauspicious of places. They still have a special place in my heart.

Dahlia 'Bluebell'

The humble dahlia is another plant that is loaded with memories for me.

My Dad was quite a keen gardener and he grew a lot of dahlias, mostly of the pom-pom variety which I'm not so keen on, but other types too.  So I thought I'd have a go at growing some this year and early in the spring I planted some tubers below the living room window. This bed gets lots of sun so I thought it'd be a good place to start.

After a slow start, and at one point thinking they'd been killed of by the late snow and frosts in February, they have earned their place in the sun. They are completely gorgeous and I honestly can't stop looking at their perfect symmetrical beauty.

Dahlia 'Bluebell'

I can see what Dad liked about them and they've become my newest garden favourite. I don't even mind the slightly old-fashioned image they have, in fact I think it adds to their charm.

There are two others in the border, and so far the semi-cactus 'Purple Gem' has just started to open but the other one is still in bud. They've grown so tall that we have to be careful not to chop their lovely heads off when we open and close the windows, but of course the best thing about dahlias is that the more you cut them the more they flower. What's not to love?

Dahlia 'Bluebell'

I'm joining in again with the How Does Your Garden Grow linky which this week is being hosted by the lovely  Helvetia Handmade while Mammasaurus is off on her hols.

Helvetia Handmade