Dahlias keep the sesaon colourful

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I welcome any subject you would like me to write about. Recently and a group of ladies who arrange flowers for a church have asked me what plants are easy to grow and flower all through summer.

Kerry, Chris, Felicity and Anne, you are in The News this week!



Dahlias are the answer, the tubers are available at your garden centre, they are in colourful packs with lovely pictures on the front of the packs.

Take your glasses to be sure the dahlia you like best is the right height, the heights are in centimetres.

It’s too early to plant dahlias outdoors.

Buy some tubers, check the height, plant them in pots of potting compost in the greenhouse or window shelf.

In a couple of weeks shoots will appear, it is easy to take cuttings from the shoots.

The plants can be planted into the garden after May 21.

This date is very important – if you live in Portsmouth there may not be a frost but if you live ‘over the hill’, there could be frosts right up until May 21.

There is an old saying: If you count the number of fogs in March, this will give you number of frosts in May.

Another old saying is: When the hawthorn where you live has finished blooming, there won’t be another frost there.

If you are wondering what hawthorn looks like, it is also called the ‘bread-and-cheese plant’.

It is very thorny and grows all over Portsdown Hill.

I am mentioning this because Richard who lives at Cowplain and Liz who lives on top of Portsdown Hill have asked me about 
frost dates.

Have a look at dahlias in packs at garden centres.

There are decorative, cactus types, giant blooms and pom-poms are very popular for arranging. But my favorites are the water-lily types.

Look for the water lily bloom flower pictured on the front of the packets.

There are reds, yellows and pinks and they look wonderful.

Dahlias flower from the end of June until the frosts arrive in November.

They are lovely flowers to decorate a church for weddings and baptisms and the plants flower their socks off.

They are the cheapest and best of cut flowers.

The last little tip: choose yellows and whites in areas of the church which are dark but add orange for a wonderful contrast.

In the brightest areas in church use reds, oranges and yellows.

A glint of sunshine will brighten the arrangement and oddly enough the same applies out there in the garden.

In long, thin gardens plant the yellows and whites right at the bottom end of the garden with the reds and oranges nearest the house.

Have a go and you will see what I mean.

They are just brilliant.


Please be careful if you want to cut your hedges.

Before you go ahead and chop, look carefully to make sure there haven’t been any birds around building a nest. If they have, let the hedge trimming wait.

What could be more joyful than having birds nesting in your garden?