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Fiery border


By Janey


Last summer I noticed my beautiful Dahlia, Bishop of Llandaff wasn’t flowering too well and just wasn’t as strong as it had been. I must have had it around 9 years now.

So, as yesterday was sunny and mild, I decided to dig it up and start again in that border. I would have gentle colours, lavenders dusky pinks, blues, whites and purples. Be very sedate in my colour scheme. No more vivid reds and garish oranges. All decided.

As I began digging, I couldn’t believe the size that the tubers had grown and the area they had taken up.
They were huge! And very healthy. More and more tubers!

Enough there for at least six new dahlia plants, only where would I plant them? Well, back in the border, never mind delicate pinks and lilacs, the border will be more fiery than ever, 6 pops of vivid red…beautiful!
And what did I find growing right next to it, vivid orange oriental poppy, well three poppies now, so red and orange will be flaming away this summer..:))

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I’ve a palette of warmer colours in the house, Janey. The garden tends to be more muted. I think I may look at having a fiery corner in the garden this year too. Why not!
I’ll find some space somewhere, even if it’s up on the bund area.

24 Jan, 2020


Hi Kate, ah, I'm the other way, the cottage has delicate colours and outside is vibrant. The border is south facing by a long wall and vivid colours suit it, the sun being on it most of the day in the summer. I call it My Jewel Montys..haha..

24 Jan, 2020


I will Meadow, the foliage of this one is very attractive bronze and deeply cut, and it gives the border a deeper colour. Yes they soon bulk up. I did the same as you, I had an area especially for dahlias last year and have left them in, but I do want to use it for veggies, so they will have to go. I'm looking forward to seeing yours this year..

24 Jan, 2020


That's it Janey, I have decided ! My front border (south West facing) ,is going to be filled with vibrant colour too,this year..I love Bishop of Llandaff too,but I've never actually bought this variety,in fact it's quite a while since I had any Dahlia's at all..My last ones were from a freebie packet on a Gardening Magazine,and were beautiful .

Thanks for posting this,and my usual Pelargoniums will be in pots this year...cuttings of which,are doing well in the Conservatory :o) xx

25 Jan, 2020


That is my favourite Dahlia. I don't grow them any soil is too heavy to keep them in through the winter and when I grew them in pots they just kept getting taken over by the winds. I might have one or two on the patio in pots in future, but that will be all. I too love their paint box colours and their lengthy flowering period. The Earwigs though....ugh! ;0) I look forward to seeing all those Bishops in your border Janey....perfect in your lovely sunny protected spot. :)

25 Jan, 2020


Now that has made me smile, every year I dream of a two colour scheme in my main beds, vibrant in front of the roses, pastels on the other side, it never has happened, I always find something the wrong colour that needs a home and naturally the only space available is in the wrong place, too old now to change everything and start from scratch, I will continue with my mixture and admire other gardens from afar...

25 Jan, 2020


Wow, what a discovery Janey . . . so the best laid plans go all awry! But the best decision.

I’ve been inspired by Bunny Mellon’s garden ( Monty’s second American episode) and have ordered several lilac/mauve Phlox and Campanulas for a pinkish bed: we shall see, but it’s fun to make plans on this grey day 🙂.

25 Jan, 2020


Im loving the USA series Sheila. I watch it on a sunday morning. A lot of the gardens are actually parks. But when he goes into peoples back gardens, and gardens where you can actually see planting, not just trees and lakes, I love it. I just wish we could see a bit more of the plants and a bit less of the people!

25 Jan, 2020


I shall look forward to seeing your vibrant fiery boarder. Shame you could not add and mingle a few softer colours in there coming up at a different time.

25 Jan, 2020


Hmm, my soil is too heavy to leave dahlias in it all year round but I do love them ..... your comment, Karen, about growing them in pots has me thinking that perhaps I could grow them in pots sunk into the flower beds and lifted out into the greenhouse for the winter? I have enjoyed Monty's American Gardens series too, it has been quite an eye-opener for me perhaps because they refer to their gardens as 'yards' which has conjured up quite a different picture!

26 Jan, 2020


Its nice to hear about your dahlias and plans for more.They are gorgeous aren't they? Sadly here they are just slugs breakfast so I gave up on them.....

26 Jan, 2020


I can't make my mind up about dahlias. I think I want some in the garden then I change my mind. My grandad used to grow those huge ones and I think that put me off them!
I shall look into it with an open mind this year!

27 Jan, 2020


The Bishop of LLandaff was always a favourite of mine Janey its not too big and showy ,you'll have a gorgeous bright bed packed with colour in the summer, Chris I understand where you're coming from I,m not keen on the huge ones after seeing so many at flower shows it put me off them as well ..

27 Jan, 2020


I must say,Amy,the single ones,which I last had,were much appreciated by bees and insects,with them being so open,and I have never seen an Earwig on any of them.Maybe they hide better in the double more showy ones ? x

27 Jan, 2020


They just keep on giving, Dahlias. Look forward to seeing them.

27 Jan, 2020


Well what a lot of lovely comments and interest in those humble tubers. Isn't it strange out of those ugly bulbous lumps, the most beautiful leaves and flowers magic!

Hello Sandra, well it's good to know these have inspired you to have a try at growing them again this year. I'm not really struck on the pom-pom or the cactus type and the single ones or open centered ones a seem more popular now, better for the pollinators. They're so easy to grow as well, let's all go for some brilliance this year..glad to hear your pelargoniums are doing well.
Just caught your second comment and yes the single ones are very pretty. Do you remember Motinot who used to be on GoY, she always grew them. I have a peach coloured one with raggy petals, it's just lovely..:))

Hi Karen, I've been very lucky, I haven't seen any earwigs, and don't get much wind coming into the garden it's always at tree height. That's a shame though, they're so,pretty and bright and cheerful, like sunflowers.
I'm just wondering what colours actually complement bright red? White? But red and white together are supposed to be unlucky...mmm....

I know what you mean Lincs, it can all be a bit overwhelming to alter main parts of the garden even if we think we know it would be better. I'm sure your mixture is a proper cottage garden, it always looks lovely...

27 Jan, 2020


Haha Sheila, yes, I'm going for the total opposite to what I'd planned.. Thinking about it though, in the summer this border takes all the sun, so pale colours would look flat and colourless, whereas in a shady area they shine out. I'm sure your phlox and campanulas will look calm and peaceful, matching your garden..:))
As yet I haven't seen Montys American Gardens, but with snow maybe this week, I'll be able to catch up..

I'll see how it goes Thrup, I do have some lavender colours in there and pale pink Knautia....just not the best to go with red, do you think?

Hi Xela, yes that's good advice of Karen's, I'm sure you could sink the pots into the ground, I suppose it depends on your type of pot, the dahlias may need large ones.

The strange thing is Stera, that these dark fern like leaves of this Dahlia don't seem to attract the slugs, like the bright green fleshy ones. All the Bishop family of Dahlias have highly serrated leaves, so you could try them...

Yes, I know what you mean Wildrose, those show Dahlias like the Chrysanthemums with the old fashioned way of gardening.. Most of the Bishop variety have medium sized flowers, make a nice clump with as I say, the attractive leaf too. There are all colours too. I think if they're planted amongst your other plants, you'd be so pleased at how long their flowering season is, giving you colour when other plants have finished.

I know it was Amy, and I'm not sure if mine wasn't gift from you? It's been there so long, and not looking too well this last year when all the time it needed splitting and more space! What colour do,you think I could choose to grow along side them? The original was planted amongst shrubs..
I do hope you are feeling better and more like yourself now..X

They certainly do Linda...:))

27 Jan, 2020


Great to be able to replant the Dahlia tubers & get so many more new plants!

I grew some on the balcony last from seed from the Gardener's World mag. They were seeds of D.'Bishop's Children'. They took most of the summer to grow to flowering size so I didn't get many flowers. I hope they will flower a lot better this year.

I also planted some of the seedlings in the church gardens. Some flowered & some didn't. They have remained in the ground all winter alongside others I planted years ago. One in particular, a yellow one, flowers every year & there is also a red one & a white one on either side of it but they have never made much of a show. Like the yellow one they also come up every year. As the seedlings were planted close by & around these 3 I hope they will survive the winter & grow & flower much more profusely this coming summer.

28 Jan, 2020


C’mon Janey, you’re an artist! “what goes with red?!” - I’d say a darker red plus a lime colour? But I’m sure you’ll happen on something that works. x

29 Jan, 2020


Haha.....don't care for a dark red though Sheila, mmm....maybe lime....complement or contrast?
Might do a Christopher Lloyd and have all vivids!

29 Jan, 2020


Well I missed that issue of GW Balc, they would have been worthwhile seeds to have. Yes they do take a while to bulk up, they are something to look forward to seeing this year.
And what a lovely idea, planting your spares in the church garden, thinking of that, we have a small flowering garden in our church grounds where we gardeners have planted spares in the past. It had been out of bounds during the restoration, I remember planting rudbeckias and nicotiana in there a few years ago. I'm sure you'll be surprised at how colourful your church garden will be this summer...:))

29 Jan, 2020


Janey, thank you for the tip re slugs - but it was Bishop of Llandaff that got chomped almost to death. This is a very sluggy place. We used t have a few toads but they seem to have disappeared. Do newts eat slugs?

29 Jan, 2020


Oh heck Stera, I thought mine was Snail Cottage! I would think newts would, you don't often see newts these days.
How about some taddys in the spring, baby frogs would have a feast!..

30 Jan, 2020

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