Internationally renowned designer with more than 40 years experience chooses her favourite dahlias.
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Auckland’
© Dorling Kindersley ltd/Alamy
A most elegant, single-flowered dahlia, very prolific and adored by bees and butterflies. I plant it through Anemanthele lessoniana, Agapanthus ‘Midnight Star’ and Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’ as if in a meadow. One of the best of the Bishop Series. Flowers: July – September. Height: 1m.
Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’
© Rachel Warne
This dahlia’s large, double, velvety dark, burgundy blooms are perfect for mixing in a border. In my own it’s surrounded by Succisa pratensis, Deschampsia and Phlox paniculata ‘Düsterlohe’. The almost black heads add a rich texture to the border. Flowers: June – September. Height: 1.2m.
Garden designer, landscape architect and illustrator with a deep connection to nature chooses her favourite dahlias.
Dahlia ‘Honka Fragile’
© Tim Gainey/Alamy
This distinctive star-shaped dahlia with radiating petals that roll inwards at their tips is really striking both in a border and a cut-flower display. The white flowers are delicately edged in pink-red. Never fails to draw attention. Flowers: July – November. Height: 80cm.
Dahlia ‘Waltzing Mathilda’
© John Martin/Alamy
A semi-double dahlia with ever so slightly twisting petals that lend it a more relaxed appeal. Flowers are a wash of orangey coral pink, set off against dark purple brown stems and foliage. I love it nestled among large clumps of airy ornamental grasses. AGM. Flowers: July – November. Height: 70cm.
Award-winning garden designer, and plantswoman with a love of romantic planting chooses her favourite dahlias below.
Dahlia ‘Lilac Time’
© Peter D Anderson/ Alamy
A magnificent yet neat dinner-plate dahlia in shades of pinkish-lilac-blue. It is quite restrained and exudes self-control – I like to grow it with unruly Gaura to create a yin and yang contrast that relaxes the whole feel. Flowers: June – October. Height: 1.1m.
Dahlia ‘Purple Gem’
A regal dahlia, cactus in form and looking at home in many colour combinations in the border. Hints of deep lilac-blue at the centre of the flowers, becoming lighter along the petals, make this a very useful cultivar both in the border and in a vase. Flowers: July – September. Height: 1m.
© Jason Ingram
So restrained, so elegant – single flowers of palest mother-of -pearl pink with muted yellow centres. The flowers sit high atop the tall stems and nod gently, a very lovely punctuation in the border. Unlike most dahlias, it is fairly hardy in the UK. Flowers: July – September. Height: 1.5m.
Where to buy
Halls of Heddon
West Heddon Nursery,
Heddon on the Wall,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 0JS. Tel 01661 852445,
16 Hadfield Street, Stretford,
Manchester M16 9FG. Tel 0161 848 1100,
National Dahlia Collection
Varfell Lane, Longrock,
Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8AQ. Tel 07525 867976,
124 Flixton Road, Urmston,
Manchester M41 5BG. Tel 0161 747 4000,
1 Woodstock Court, Blenheim Road,
Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 4AN. Tel 0345 092 0283,