This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Monday, August 07, 2006

National Trust Dahlia Displays

'Bishop of Llandaff'

The National Trust for England and Wales is undertaking a revival in the cultivation of the Dahlia in a number of the gardens that it manages. According to the National Trust, thanks to recent television features and an increase in the cultivars available, the delights of dahlia growing have been re-discovered and they are firmly back on top in the gardening fashion stakes.

The following are gardens where the National Trust maintain important collections, together with their notes of what to look out for at each garden.

Llanerchaeron, Ceredigion, Tel: +44 (0)1545 570200
This rare example of a self-sufficient eighteenth-century Welsh estate has survived virtually unaltered, including the walled kitchen gardens where the dahlias can be found. They are grown to provide cut flowers for the house, and cultivars include the ‘Bishop of Llandaff’, an old-fashioned type producing fiery intense blooms above dramatic bronze/purple foliage.

Cragside Gardens, Northumberland, Tel: +44 (0)1669 620333
This famous Victorian estate was the wonder of its age and gardeners continue the tradition of planting over 30 different types of Dahlia (800 individual tubers), to form the spectacular Dahlia Walk. The design changes every year, but always with a single coloured edge to draw the eye along the bed (this year, ‘Autumn Fairy’ – a peachy pink). New for this year is ‘Big Wow’ which has a large deep red flower, but old favourites on show include ‘Hayley Jane’, a gorgeous creamy white cultivar with quilled petals and raspberry tips, and ‘Natal, a deep maroon pom-pom cultivar.

For further details of gardens with dahlia collections and other gardening news on the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening



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