What with rain, wind, slugs, snails and now ground frost – I must have been stark staring mad! From the moment the plants arrived, I knew I had made a mistake. The show dahlias were at least five feet tall. The ones left on my doorstep one morning in May were two inches tall and housed in three-inch pots! I had no idea I was expected to do the work myself – I naively assumed they would arrive fully grown and ready for planting.
Still nothing ventured; nothing gained. It can’t be that hard! Right? Wrong again. Back in May we were all being told to conserve water; hose pipe bans were all the rage and I though keeping the plants watered would be my biggest problem. Not so, a couple of weeks later the heavens opened and much of
At this point, I had no idea how big they might grow or even what colour they would be. They all had labels with odd names like Grandfather’s favourite and Me and my Old Dutch – I kid you not! I spent hours online trying to research them, but that, like so much else about dahlias was to remain a mystery. Why do slugs and snails like them so much? I don’t have a problem with any living creature (except spiders), but suddenly I was in a constant battle against these pesky eating machines. I can’t kill them – it’s beyond me, so I started a daily round of carefully removing each one and taking it for a nice walk to the other side of the street only to find it back the next day. Don’t try to tell me they were different slugs and snails because I know darn well they were the same ones.
Fast-forward to the beginning of September, the dahlia’s and I are getting on just fine. They are now healthy, almost slug-free plants with a rainbow of flower heads, so what does the weather man forecast – ground frost. I ask you ground frost on the 5th September. It’s a conspiracy. The whole world is out to get me and my dahlias! So without further ado – dahlia plants cared for by yours truly – not bad huh?
Go on Jack Frost do your worst, I’m ready for you and there is always next year.
What do you do in your spare time? Take a tip from me, don't take up gardening!