Six on Saturday: 19.10.19 Bishop’s Children

The garden is starting to fade but the dahlias have provided stunning late-season colour. They are still going but will be shrivelling up soon. This is my first year growing dahlias and I’ve been inundated with support and advice which has been much appreciated. I grew several varieties from tubers and Bishop’s Children from seed. The seeds came from Sarah Raven. With dahlias reputation as slug favourites, I didn’t expect much success in my first year but these shot up. But I ended up with almost 30 plants. They’ve been pretty minimal fuss. No staking, though deadheading has been almost daily. More than enough plants to fill my garden from one bag of seeds, a good few pots filled and gifted some away. Even the window cleaner got one! Within just one pack of seed, there has been a massive amount of variety in the plants. This week six is looking back over several of these beauties.

1. Red

The most common colour of the Bishop’s Children has been red. Lovely, rich vibrant colour through Summer and still shining out there in the dark Autumn garden.

The dark foliage of the Bishop’s children has also been quite attractive amongst the lighter foliage.

2. Yellow

A number have come out yellow with a burnt orange centre.

3. Velvet

This child of the bishop has come out with the appearance of velvet.

4. Sunflower

This child almost went unnoticed as it was growing next to sunflower. With its pure yellow flowers, it blended in amongst the mix. But it is indeed another Bishop’s child.

5. RHS Perfect for pollinators

Bishop’s children are a single variety of dahlia making them popular with many pollinators. The mass amount of open flowers late in the year has proved a useful food source for many insects.

6. Butterflies

The butterflies have been all over the Bishop’s Children. They were much visited by the mass migration of the painted ladies earlier in the year.

I’m still amazed by the variety I’ve seen through just one bag of seed. For just £2 for the bag of seed, I’ve filled my garden with colour for several months of the year. Apparently growing from seed the plants won’t have time to form large enough tubers to be worth storing, but I think I’ll try a few. But they were easy enough to grow that I think I will grow them again next year. I may also try the cactus mix for some variety in shape and form. I hope you’ve enjoyed my bursts of colour on this cold Autumn day. Don’t forget to check out the Six on a Saturday’s founders blog and the comments for more wonderful gardens.

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18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 19.10.19 Bishop’s Children”

  1. Nice six. I’ve only ever grown dwarf varieties of Dahlia from seed. This year I grew some larger varieties from tubers and purchased a Bishop of Llandaff and Auckland as big plants. The bishops have done quite poorly compared to the others. After reading your post I’m going to try growing them from seed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are smaller than Llandaff. I didn’t have high expectations of these but almost every seed germinated. A full tray in a few weeks. Potted into 10cm pots, then onto a bigger size, then the ground or their pots. I started quite late in comparison to other people’s I’d followed but still had several months of flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My seed raised Dahlias have overwintered in the ground in year one no problem. I’m going to have a hard hearted mass cull this year because I want to grow a new batch, seeing what you get is the best bit. I’ll just keep the four or five best seedlings. I’ve collected seed from some, as well as from some of my named plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The couple in the ground I’m going to leave and plant bulbs around. I’ve got quite heavy clay soil so I’m not sure how they’ll do but was easy enough from seed. Then got a handful in pots I’ll lift so I can use the pots for Spring bulbs.


    1. I’m going to try and store the ones from pots, then test the ones in the ground to see if they survive. I just got my seed delivery today ready for next year. I went with more of these and a cactus variety with the RHS good for pollinators award. So even if they don’t survive the winter I should be able to replace loses.


  3. Couldn’t find anywhere to comment on your recent post about tulips. Queen of Night are lovely and I am growing them again this year for the first time in a while. They look lovely with Ballerina which is one of my all time favourites. It comes up in a pot year after year and is such a pretty flower and with a lovely scent too. I am sure you will love her.

    Liked by 1 person

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