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.
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.
A number have come out yellow with a burnt orange centre.
This child of the bishop has come out with the appearance of velvet.
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.
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.