How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
This time of year, Dahlias really come into their own. Here are a selection from my neighbours garden. Jim is in his late eighties, but spends all day in his garden growing vegetables mainly, but also has a bit of a penchant for dahlias.
Pom Pom Dahlia
Some facts about dahlias :
- Dahlias were originally grown as a food crop, as they apparently have edible tubers.
- They are native to Mexico, but now grown all over the world.
- There’s no such thing as a black dahlia. They come in just about every shade under the sun, except true blue and black. “Black” dahlias are actually burgundy. You can see from my picture
- Best time to plant tubers is May.
- There are 42 species and about 20,000 cultivars of dahlia.
- In the mid 19th century a London newspaper offered £1 to the first breeder to produce a blue dahlia. The reward has never been claimed and breeders are still striving for the elusive blue colour. There have been several near blue cultivars.