National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014 at RHS Wisley

It’s not often something knocks my socks off and genuinely makes me say “wow” out loud but then I have never before come face to face with a Dahlia flower larger than my own head.

National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014, RHS Wisley

On entering the National Dahlia Society‘s 2014 annual show at RHS Wisely yesterday (Friday 8 Sept), I actually had to laugh to myself at how audacious these flowers are. Look at the things! I hadn’t paid Dahlias much attention but Gardener’s World presenter Rachel De Thame has been bigging them up a lot recently and I’ve been interested in Autumn flowerers for next year.

As a result, I made sure I paid a visit to this tent and colour me sold, Dahlias are incredible show stoppers! I asked members of the society about the largest flowers which are ridiculous in their size and apparently, as long as bought from good stockists, are relatively easy to grow. Plant in good loam, feed, water, stake and be sure to only allow three or four stems to grow to make sure the plant puts everything into the big flowers.

National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014, RHS Wisley

National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014, RHS Wisley
This variety is very candy coloured and over-the-top but it’s the one that immediately drew my eye and I have to say, very beautiful. Everyone was drawn to it.
National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014, RHS Wisley
Compare the size of the flowers to the size of people’s heads behind, these Dahlias are gigantic!
National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014, RHS Wisley
Personally, I think the water lily varieties are most attractive
National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014
This variety is the likely candidate for our garden next year. It is large and very red, but the further away you stand, the deeper the red looks. Really stood out.

In 2015 I just have to give the super sized flowerers a go, so I’ll be buying some of those to plant in front of smaller, freer planting to balance out the giant fireballs of colour. If the flowers are that big I can’t wait to see what the bud is like and how it opens!

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2014 at RHS Wisley”

  1. Thanks for giving the show such a good review. Shame you didnt see them on the Tuesday when they were at there very best. So many people havent seen our flower to its real potential and when they do the reaction is always the same. WOW.
    Thanks again
    Vice Chairman NDS

    1. Thanks Dave – don’t worry I will be there on the Tuesday this September! 🙂 You had me hooked on Dahlia’s in a big way last year. They still looked incredible when I saw them.

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