Dahlia ‘Sunshine Girl’ is a collarette Dahlia that was raised by Jack Gott, and introduced in 2012.  Plants produce these lovely, creamy white flowers; each bloom features a white ruff that’s attractively highlighted with touches of creamy sunshine yellow.  This yellow infused, white collar encircles every flower’s centre.  Dahlia ‘Sunshine Girl’ plants produce lovely fresh green leaves and stems, which co-ordinate rather beautifully with the white flowers, giving a fresh and lovely touch of green and white to the garden.

Dahlia ‘Pink Pat and Perc’ is a lovely collarette Dahlia that produces these rather splendid rose-lilac coloured, collarette flowers.  Each flower is adorned with a co-ordinating white ruff, which highlights the centre of each flower; it’s really quite a lovely thing.

I have found that Dahlia ‘Pink Pat and Perc’ is a great Dahlia to grow to provide pollen and nectar for bees, hoverflies, and butterflies. 

Dahlia ‘Katie’s Velvet’ is a gorgeous collarette Dahlia, with deep chocolate-red coloured petals and a lovely matching collar.  Plants produce these sumptuous and very glamorous looking flowers, which in the sunlight really do look like they’re constructed from a rich burgundy velvet.  This really is a special Dahlia!

I love Dahlia ‘Katie’s Velvet’ for its magnificent flowers, but I also greatly value this plant for producing pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other insects. 

Dahlia ‘Teesbrooke’ Audrey’ is a collarette Dahlia that produces lovely pale lilac-pink coloured, open centred flowers, which are enhanced by an attractive white ruff, which decorates the centre of each flower.  This is a super Dahlia to grow, if you’re looking to encourage bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other beneficial insects into your garden.

Plant Dahlia ‘Teesbrooke’ Audrey’ in a lovely warm and sunny spot; Dahlias flourish in the sunshine. 

This is Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Nouveau’, a medium sized Dahlia cultivar, that produces these handsome, vibrant pink coloured flowers.  I’d say that Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Nouveau’ produces medium sized blooms.  One thing that I want to highlight right away, is that Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Nouveau’ flowers are not accessible to bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.  So if you’re looking for bee friendly plants for your garden, this is not one to add to your list! 

Dahlia ‘April Heather’ is a beautiful collarette Dahlia, it produces beautiful open centred flowers with soft yellow florets which are bathed in blush pink.  This is a super Dahlia to grow for cut flowers, its open centred flowers are very popular with bees.

 

Dahlia ‘Café-au-Lait’ is a tuberous perennial, with green foliage, that grows to about 1m (3.2ft) tall.  Dahlia ‘Café-au-Lait’ is a decorative Dahlia, which produces very large, multi petaled, attractive, nude-peach-blush coloured blooms.

The flowers that Dahlia ‘Café-au-Lait’ produces really are gorgeous – I love them.  It’s just frustrating as this Dahlia really isn’t very generous with its flowers and the blooms are no good for bees, butterflies, and pollinating insects. 

Dahlia ‘Pooh – Swan Island’ is a cheerful, and very colourful, collarette dahlia.  This is a really fun plant; it’s a Dahlia that’s easy to grow and is certain to bring so much joy to your garden or allotment!  Dahlia ‘Pooh – Swan Island’ plants produce these vibrant, orange-red and yellow, open centred flowers.  The blooms have quite a painterly effect and are very attractive to bees and butterflies. 

Dahlia ‘Classic Rosamunde’ is a tuberous perennial that produces very dark, bronze coloured foliage and beautiful anemone-like, semi-double, rose pink coloured flowers, that are very popular with both gardeners and bees and butterflies.

This is one of my absolute favourite Dahlias, which is really saying something, as I adore growing Dahlias and hold a great deal of affection for many cultivars! 

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2023

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 14th July 2023 until Sunday 6th August 2023.  Taking a Butterfly Count is one of my absolute favourite things to do.  I’d really like to encourage you to join in and take your own Butterfly Count – they’re great fun!  A Butterfly Count only lasts for 15 minutes – this activity won’t take up much of your time – you could take a Butterfly Count in your tea break, whilst sitting having lunch, or when you’re out for a walk.   

Ideas for Celebrating Father’s Day 2023!

Father’s Day is on Sunday 18th June 2023.  I hope that my list of special garden events and activities held over the Father’s Day 2023 weekend will help you to enjoy a memorable, happy, and very special weekend with your family and friends.  To save time scrolling, click on the links in the headings above. 

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2022!

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 15th July 2022 until Sunday 7th August 2022.  I’d really like to encourage you to join in and take your own Butterfly Count – they’re great fun!  A Butterfly Count only lasts for 15 minutes – this activity won’t take up much of your time – you could take a Butterfly Count in your lunch break.   

When midsummer passes us by, rhubarb production naturally slows down.  Unless you’re growing a late summer and autumn cropping rhubarb (like ‘Livingstone’), stop picking rhubarb now to allow your plants to build up their strength for next year’s harvests.  Rhubarb thrives in wet summers.  After heavy rain (or a thorough watering), spread a mulch of well-rotted manure or homemade garden compost over the soil around your plants.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 (part three)

Welcome to the third part of my overview of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 (see part one here and part two here)……

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

For one year only, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2021 has moved to September!  How has the change of date affected this event?  Moving from a late spring show to an early autumn spectacle has opened Chelsea’s door to allow new VIP (very important plant) access for late summer flowering perennials, berries, seed heads, dahlias, pumpkins, tomatoes, and vegetables!

Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2021

This weekend brings us our final chances to take a Butterfly Count for Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2021.  This lovely annual event closes for the year on Sunday 8th August 2021.

A Butterfly Count lasts for 15 minutes, it’s fun, relaxing, and really couldn’t be easier to do!

Why count butterflies?

The information gathered from all the Butterfly Counts taken across the UK, will help Butterfly Conservation to identify the species of butterflies and day flying moths that are becoming more scarce and highlight which species are succeeding or recovering. 

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count 2021!

Have you taken a Butterfly Count this year?  Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from until Sunday 8th August 2021; so you still have time to participate in this lovely activity.  The weather this summer has been absolutely atrocious; so far, I’ve only managed to find one 15 minute period that I was able to take a Butterfly Count in between the heavy rain showers!

Alliums: Spectacular Summer Flowering Bulbs!

Last autumn, Dutch Grown sent me a range of their bulbs to try.  I planted all the bulbs Dutch Grown sent me in containers filled with peat-free composts from Dalefoot Composts, Melcourt SylvaGrow, and Happy Compost.  I’ve already published one update full of pictures of Dutch Grown’s colourful spring flowering bulbs; this update is dedicated to Dutch Grown’s Alliums…here are the results!

I first grew Chinese Kale ‘Kailaan’ (also known as Gai lan or ‘Kai laan’) in about 2006; I was really impressed by this vegetable’s speedy growth and the bounteous harvest my plants produced.  ‘Kai lan’ leaves, flower buds, and stems are all edible, but it’s the stems that provide the main harvest.  Try it raw, stir-fried, steamed, or boiled; ‘Kai lan’ is a little like broccoli.   

Brilliant plants for bees and butterflies!

The furry bees, colourful butterflies, mysterious moths, darting hoverflies, and other pollinating insects that visit my garden are just as fascinating as the plants I grow.  The sound of bees buzzing and the sight of butterflies fluttering relaxes and inspires me.  I want to help you find the best pollen and nectar-rich plants to attract insects and bring your garden to life!