Kept frost-free over winter, plant out early and the tubers will reward with colour all summer long
Last spring, I did something I consider utterly indulgent – I ordered rooted dahlia cuttings. On the whole, I am a seed person, but I deviated for these dahlias. ‘Honka’ is a star dahlia, each petal a slim, slightly incurved ray of palest lemon yellow around a darker butter-yellow centre. It looks like a child’s drawing of a flower, charming in its simplicity.
I had a vision that they would sit so prettily next to ‘Golden’ chard (from realseeds.co.uk), which has amber midribs and glossy green leaf tops. So I ordered seven robust, healthy dahlia cuttings from Halls of Heddon (hallsofheddon.com), one of the most reputable dahlia growers, sowed my chard and waited for complementary perfection. And, you know, it worked. The whole thing looks resplendent backlit by the late autumn light and, on duller days, resembles a pool of sunshine on the ground.