I was sad to see this weekend end but my heart is full to the brim with happy memories and good times. Saturday was spent up the allotment pottering around the plot and then Sunday we headed off to a National Trust house and gardens called Kingston Lacey. However, before we headed off to Wimborne we made a little detor to a place I was most looking forward too… Gilberts Dahlia Fields!
This place has been on my bucket list to visit for the past 2 years and every single time I’ve missed it until now. Both me and my Dad buy our seed potatoes from the nursery every year in February, they sell them individually which we love! Gilberts is a beautiful independent nursery nestled in Sherfield English near Romsey and is about a 20 minute drive from us which is just perfect. However, they specialise in dahlias and sell rooted cuttings, tubers and potted plants in store and through mail order. Our Sunday grand day out was planned down to a tee so off we headed early that morning with notebooks and pens at the ready. I’m planning on expanding my love of dahlias next year and thought this would be the ideal way to pick new varieties to grow. Plus who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of hours walking round a dahlia field?!
First stop was a cup of tea in the cafe to settle my excitement, anyway you can’t visit a garden centre and not stop for a cup of tea can you? Afterwards we headed down towards the dahlia field and it didn’t disappoint… We were greeted with a notice board packed with information and picked up a catalogue so we could easily circle the varieties which took our fancy. The dahlias were planted out in alphabetical order in long beds so you could walk up and down each row to marvel at each and every flower in bloom. I’ve never seen so many dahlias in one place!
Off we walked up and down each row noting down our favourite dahlias, even my Mum was enjoying herself picking new varieties to plant in the front garden of the house. I was drawn to a certain colour scheme and fell in love with the natural and subtle tones of pale pink, orange and cream. Earlier this year I treated myself to Cafe au Lait which is a very pale pink/cream dinner plate bloom, it’s actually yet to flower on the plot! Then there’s Fairway Spur which has already won my heart and been my favourite flower to grow on the allotment, it’s a dinner plate size pale pink/orange bloom and already produced 4 cut flower heads. I’m not sure what entices me to the paler, softer shades but I can’t argue with it, they are just so beautiful and there were plenty of varieties to fall in love with at Gilberts. Here are a few of my favourites: Albert Schweitzer, Brakenridge Ballerina, Dusky Harmony, G.I Joe, Little Snowdrop, Natalie G, Willo’s Surprise, Diana’s Memory, Daisy Duke and Alloway Cottage.
I didn’t think I did too bad choosing favourites and I managed to control myself easier than I thought I would amongst all those beautiful dahlias. All I need to do now is sit down and narrow them down a little further, quite a few of them are very similar and I don’t want to grow a bed of dahlias that look the same. Maybe another trip to the field’s is in order to help with the decision? Anyway I definitely know that I’ll be putting an order in very soon and that makes me so excited for next years growing season, it’s going to be a good one!
All in all I had such a great day out and what’s even better is that I got to spend it with my parents. We don’t have many days like this anymore due to our crazy work schedule so I made sure to take every single bit of it in.