Dahlias brighten a summer park
Parks serve an important recreational function in cities, towns and villages. Their visual appeal provided by varied plant material not only has a beneficial effect on visitors but also increases the amenity value of a park. With this in mind, it would be a good idea to plant parks with material that supplies visual interest throughout the seasons. And for summer, what could be better than dahlias with their bright colours and warm sunny look? What’s more, the impressive flowers produced by these summer-flowering tubers appeal to fluttering butterflies: an extra attraction for human visitors.
The diversity of dahlias
Once the flowers produced by spring bulbs have faded away by around mid-May, space for dahlias becomes available for creating a real summer park. Often used for this purpose are pot dahlias produced in nurseries and made available as bedding material. Sometimes, however, dahlia tubers are planted among perennials. The range of dahlia varieties is huge and so is the variation in their flower colours, leaf colours and heights. And new cultivars are always being added. The ones with compact habits are perfect for planting in parks. Take the single-flowered Mignon Single Dahlia, for example, or the semi-double Anemone Dahlia.
A long flowering period
Dahlias supply the beautiful look of summer month after month: after all, they bloom from July until the first ground frost. They are available in solid colours of white, yellow, orange, red, and purple and there are also bicoloured varieties. The large quantities of pollen and nectar produced by the single and semi-double flowers make them attractive for bees, bumblebees and butterflies. After flowering, they can again be replaced by spring-flowering bulbs. Meanwhile, small trees, shrubs or ornamental grasses add visual interest to the winter park - and then spring comes around again.
- Planting groups of dahlias provides the prettiest effect. There are many different combinations on the market, but a bed filled with the same variety also makes a delightful sight.
- Removing dried-out flowers encourages the production of more flowers with more intense colours.
- The unique look of dark-leaf dahlias is currently making them a popular choice.
- Dahlias are real sun-worshippers: sun all day long is no problem. They also thrive in flower containers.
- Mexico is the original habitat for dahlias, so, not surprisingly, they are treated as annuals since they won’t survive the winter.