The annual Royal Horticultural Society trial of dahlias held at Wisley is always spectacular. It includes plenty of traditional large-flowered exhibition types but increasingly features small plants with smaller flowers - more suited to containers and small mixed borders.
This year there’s quite a range of short, dark-leaved dahlias on trial and one in particular stood out – ‘Happy Single First Love’. This is one of a series of single-flowered, dark-leaved dahlias from Holland, all of which looked excellent. But the unique colour of the flowers of ‘Happy Single First Love’, set against the rich foliage, made a knockout combination.
Footnote. While bending over to photograph these dahlias my phone slipped out of my pocket. I didn’t notice till later. I went back… but what are the chances of finding a black phone amongst all that dark foliage? And I wasn’t exactly sure where I’d lost it. In fact I looked in vain for so long that I was locked in the garden after closing and had to exit through the restaurant delivery bay! Next day, I borrowed my mother’s phone and went back.
I dialled my phone up and down the delphinium trial… amongst the monardas… finally I heard my phone ringing amongst the dahlias. And there it was, caught in the bushy growth of a dark-leaved Happy dahlia. Thank goodness they hadn’t had the irrigation on.