Sunday, 25 November 2012

storing dahlias

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'
In James Wong's new book 'Homegrown Revolution' he tells us that our beautiful garden dahlias were introduced from Latin America for their delicious tubers at the time as potatoes.

Flowering from May to November without stopping for breath, it was the dahlia's impact in the flower border that guided eighteenth century gardeners towards them not being used as a food crop.
Split stems to hold name tags
But this photo of dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' tubers (or 'yams' as James calls them) suggests that they could be good to eat. Watch this space!!

Our friend Pete gave us some tiny dahlia seedlings in the spring and they have been stars from late spring to early winter - the forms with simple flowers are especially attractive to insects.
But now the cold nights are with us and the dahlia tubers may perish if left unprotected in the soil. Today I lifted our thoroughbred Bishop of Llandaff and also Pete's dahlias, gave then a bit of a wash to clear away clods of soil and laid them on thick newspaper in a tray to rest until spring of 2013.

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