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Friday, 5 September 2014

Dazzled by Dahlias


About four or five summers ago I bought a dahlia plant from my local florist. Little did I know what I would be starting when planting it in front of the children's old playhouse! Since then my husband has developed a passion for dahlias.

Dahlias are at their peak in September in the U.K. This week we went to see the spectacular display at Baddesley Clinton, a moated manor house belonging to the National Trust, dating in parts from the twelfth century and nestling in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside.


I love Baddesley Clinton. I love walking across the moat with it's silky green water ruffled by the occasional diving duck and into the sun-filled courtyard.


Inside the house is mainly panelled but it is not at all gloomy. The rooms are cosy and of a comfortable size and on the day we visited, light flooded through the leaded windows.
During the Reformation, Baddesley Clinton as a 'safe house' for Catholic priests and there are three priest holes here, two of which are reputed to have been constructed by Nicholas Owen, who was the main builder of priest holes during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. He was eventually tortured to death in the Tower of London and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Despite the fascinating history of the place, we had really come to see the dahlias and here they are in all their glory...



I really wished I had a wide-angled lens so that I could take the whole border. The colours were stunning.

Each petal is so perfect...


The colours so energising...


Amidst all this showiness is the modesty of a lemony white. I love the shadows on this one.


To be honest it's a day when I should have been writing but soon the dahlias will be fading and I didn't want to miss them. More importantly, I didn't want my husband to miss them. In a couple of months the gardeners will dig up the corms and sell them off so we are already making plans to go back and treat ourselves to a little piece of Baddesley Clinton.


Thank-you so much for reading. Have a lovely week.

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos. My mother used to plant dahlias in our garden in Winnipeg. I remember them fondly. I have quite the garden myself but no dahlias. Must plant them for next year. Enjoyed this post.

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    1. Thank-you Diana. Dahlias are one of those flowers which went out of fashion in the U.K. but now they are back. Two of my favourites this year are Eveline, white with the palest mauve/pink edge to the petals and Arabian Nights, a lovely dark damson colour. I hope you find some you love to plant in your garden next year.

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  2. Oh these dahlias are lovely! They were my father's favourite flower too....
    And I reckon a visit to Baddelsely Clinton is well overdue!

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    1. There's plenty of time. Baddesley Clinton is open all year round and at Christmas the house is decorated. There is also a full festive menu in the restaurant and the food there is really good.

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  3. Beautiful flowers but I'll never forget my first attempt at growing dahlias. I cut some for the dining table but nobody had told me about the earwigs!

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  4. Ugh! I know that they're meant to have this reputation for harbouring earwigs but can honestly say that we've never found any in ours. Wonder what eats earwigs? Maybe we have lots of those in our garden!

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