At Burgon & Ball, we work hard to keep our finger on the pulse of horticultural fashion. And the word is that dahlias are back in vogue - deservedly so, we believe. To celebrate these fabulous flowers, we've put together a gorgeous dahlia giveaway for our newsletter subscribers.
The lucky winner will receive some goodies from our beautiful new 'British Bloom' RHS Gifts for Gardeners collection, and the simply fabulous 'Dahlias' book by garden writer and broadcaster Naomi Slade and leading floral photographer Georgianna Lane.
‘Dahlias’ is a truly stunning book, profiling over 65 varieties of dahlia. From the billowing beauty of Café au Lait and luminously delicate Platinum Blonde to the swirled ruff of Jomanda and spiny Black Narcissus, you’ll discover a splendid selection of classics, as well as the best modern varieties. There is a flower for every taste, no matter how conservative or outlandish that taste may be, and there is no colour scheme for which a dahlia cannot be found to suit.
Georgianna Lane’s gorgeous photography captures the blooms in all their exuberance, and Naomi Slade presents fresh commentary on these favourites, together with no-fuss advice on how to grow these botanical beauties and fill your home with spectacular cut flowers. It really is a gorgeous book for lovers of dahlias – and if you’re not a fan yet, spend a short while with this book and we guarantee you’ll be a convert.
We caught up with Naomi to find out a bit more about her passion for these spectacular blooms.
Naomi, how did you fall in love with dahlias?
I first really became aware of dahlias as a flower to design with when I exhibited at the first RHS Tatton Park show. There was this great little garden using Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and I realised at that point how wonderful they could be. My interest and love for them just grew from there, really!Do you have a favourite dahlia? Why is it special to you?
That is a really tricky question! There are so many very good varieties that I fall in love with almost every one I see. But if I could just choose a few, I’d have a really good red like ‘Arabian Night’; ‘David Howard’ is striking, and I’d have to have some nice singles like ‘Roxy’ and ‘Mystic Dreamer’.Why do you think dahlias have become so very on-trend again in recent years?
In large part I think it is a taste and fashion thing, and the new varieties that are compact or very striking, with single flowers and dark foliage are both fashionable and work well in small gardens. I do think, however, that the fact they photograph so well, and look so great in lifestyle settings, and on Instagram has brought them to a whole new audience.Do you have any favourite tips for growing them? What planting combinations do you use with them?
Start with the ones you like, but bear in mind how much space you have and choose accordingly. Keep the plants well-fed and well-watered, but don’t let them get waterlogged – don’t put a pot of dahlias into a bucket of water and forget about it or you’ll come unstuck really quickly! The other thing, of course, is to guard against slugs until they are well-grown.
In terms of planting combinations they can look fabulous with grasses and airy plants such as Verbena bonariensis and salvias. And they look great all massed together, too!Georgianna’s photography is simply stunning; have you collaborated with her on any other work?
She does the most beautiful pictures. We have not yet collaborated on anything else, but conversations are underway so fingers crossed!
Conscious that dahlias and peonies are having a bit of a horticultural moment, we’ve been inspired to create a new design collection in our popular RHS Gifts for Gardeners series, showcasing these best-loved and most on-trend garden favourites. The new design, ‘British Bloom’, features dazzling dahlias and peonies in sumptuous shades on a dramatic dark background. The colours simply sing, and we’ve fallen in love all over again with these fabulous flowers.
The ‘British Bloom’ design features early nineteenth century illustrations and watercolours dating back to the 1630s. The designs are taken from the RHS Lindley Library, a wonderful archive of historic botanical artwork. As an RHS licensee, we enormously lucky to enjoy unique access to this fabulous collection, and we have combed through it to find some of the most gorgeous images of dazzling dahlias, most definitely the flower of the moment.
From our ‘British Bloom’ collection we have a Kneelo® garden kneeler to give away. It’s the most comfortable kneeler you’ll ever use, with twin layers of memory foam around a light but firm EVA foam core. The Kneelo® showcases the beautiful British Bloom design to perfection, with plenty of space to display the detail of the illustrations. We also have some ‘British Bloom’ ladies’ gardening gloves up for grabs, which are soft to wear but very practical, with a hardwearing palm and fingers for protection – and beautifully printed, of course, with the darkly dramatic British Bloom’ design.
How to enter
To win this pack of dahlia goodies, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog. Scroll to the bottom of this page to comment (your email address won't be published). You’ll also need to be a subscriber to our monthly email newsletter to be a winner, so if you're not already signed up, fill in your email address in the grey band right at the bottom of this page. You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t enjoy our monthly updates.
This giveaway has now closed.
Here’s the small print:
Dahlias Giveaway, 2018