My lovely chat with one of the Hillier’s staff trying to identify a rogue dahlia mentioned in my Sir Harold Hillier Garden revisited post, led to us leaving Hilliers to visit Gilberts Nursery, just the other side of Romsey. Gilberts have a ‘dahlia field’ open from August to October, where they grow 400 dahlias which they supply as tubers and cuttings. It was an amazing sight and a fabulous opportunity to see so many dahlias in one place.
Whilst catalogues and websites do a great job of showing the actual blooms, seeing them growing as plants – how tall, how bushy and how many blooms – was a completely different experience. It not only made me want to buy dozens of dahlias, but rather tempted me to open a dahlia field on the Isle of Wight!
Here are a random selection of the ones that appealed to me
So, whilst I didn’t identify the mystery dahlia (on the right), I did discover the similarly shaped Coccinea (left) as well many others to tempt me.
Thanks Gilberts, it was an education.