My Dad and I are HUUUUUGE fans of Dahlias so when I saw in my Autumn National Trust newsletter about the Dahlia Festival at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire I knew we had to go for a little drive to our neighbouring county to see the rainbow of dahlias!
We left the girls at home to pack the bags *coughs they only had 100 kilos of luggage to pack!* and pottered over to Cambridgeshire; obtaining some tickets we went in search for the dahlias which were dotted around as flower crowns on certain folks…
…some were a little two faced over the Dahlia festival…obviously they prefer Peonies better…
…I thought the ombre Dahlias bring out the colours of his eyes personally!
^^This is what happens when you pull a face and the wind changes!
We stumbled across some autumn colour…
…and daddy stumbled into my photo or as it is known in the business…he’s a professional photo bomber.
Daddy and I had a wander around the grounds…
…taking in the grandeur of the house…
…a cute door…
…the house really does suit it’s surroundings.
On the day we visited, you could only snoop inside the house on a guided tour…
…Dad and I just wanted to whizz through however things happen for a reason and the tour was totally worth it as the history and stories of how the National Trust obtained Anglesey Abbey was quite impressive….
…she basically came with a large dowry thanks to Lord Fairhaven.
The rooms were decorated with dahlias in every corner…
…and even hanging from the chandeliers.
The house was totally remodelled in the 1920’s after Lord Fairhaven and his brother bought the property sight unseen via an auction. In his will they let their family use the property until their deaths and then it was to be passed over to the National Trust however his family weren’t allowed to make any changes to the property…this wish was ignored…
…unfortunately the family made some ghastly decorating choices and when the property was finally handed over to the National Trust they had to do a lot of restoration work. The house is now a time capsule to the 1920’s which is exactly how Lord Fairhaven wished Dad and I to see the property on the day of our visit.
But you know this is England and records are kept so the National Trust were able to buy the same curtains and materials in the pattern that Lord Fairhaven had used himself for the bedroom as they knew where he purchased the originals from…
…meticulous British record keeping!
Sometimes you need a loo shoefie…
…and a sneak peak inside a man’s shoe room!
Obviously you don’t need to tell me twice…
…I peeked of course!
^^Obviously prudes never lived in this house…it was willy and dahlia central…I’m a worry wart and I do worry that one day my hand will accidentally knock off a willy from a statue and I’ll have to superglue it back on and then my hand would get stuck to the statue…just like it happens in the movies…to date, this hasn’t happened YET!
The Library is pretty impressive…
…not just with books…
…have a guess who the artist is…famous for painting large naval scenes.
How Easy Is It To Grow Dahlias?
Pretty darn easy…basically you dig a hole in the ground and throw in a Dahlia Tuber, cover with soil, water occasionally and a few weeks later you should see your little baby growing taller by the day.
You can use pots as well but make sure they are quite heavy round pots as dahlias can get very top heavy when in flower and with a gust of wind…poof…they’re like a damsel in distress and just can’t get back up again.
Just water the dahlias occasionally, every day during really hot hot days but you can water them every 2-3 days and they will still flower. Apparently Dahlias are native to Mexico and store water in their tubers in case of drought so it takes a bit to kill them.
If you live in a cold climate then after the first frost you need to lift the tubers up and store them in a sheltered spot i.e. garden shed or garage over winter and then replant after the last frost in Spring so around April time. If you don’t have nipply cold winters then just keep them in the ground and they should survive the winter as long as it’s not to wet.
If you’re not a confident gardener then Dahlias are for you…they’re pretty easy, if I can grow them then so can you!
Where Do You Buy Dahlias From?
So you can find them everywhere…amazon has a good selection (eBay is also great for picking up seedlings during spring time!) or check out Sarah Raven (you can order now and delivery will be made in February) but remember you can only buy tubers at certain times of the year.
The Different Types of Dahlias
There are quite a few different styles of Dahlias to enjoy…these are a few of my favourites…let’s start with the Pom Pom Dahlias…
…they’re right little balls of joy and just so cute and flirty; you get numerous flowers from each plant, they’re dainty as hell and very photogenic.
Another photographic dahlia is the Cafe Au Lait which is a big bloom with a beautiful creamy blush colouring, a current favourite…
…beautiful in large displays of summer flowers or just in a beautiful jar by themselves.
Buy dahlias in the colours that you love and grow them close together for wonderful colourful displays…
…as there are just so many beautiful varieties from the large Dinner Plate Dahlias to Cactus Dahlias…just have a look online and find a variety you love.
Great Instagram Accounts to Follow & Books to Read Featuring Dahlias
Dahlias have become the new Instagram darling…move over Peonies, the Dahlias are in town and they pack a pretty good punch. Here are few great Instagram accounts to follow featuring Dahlias-
Looking for books about Dahlias then the following are really great options on how to grow, sell or just enjoy in your home.
- The Flower Farmer’s Year: How to Grow Cut Flowers for Pleasure and Profit
- The Cut Flower Patch: Grow Your Own Flowers All Year Round
- The Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms
- The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers
- Alan Titchmarsh How to Garden: Flowers and Foliage for Cutting
Can you tell that Dad and I love Dahlias!
Travel Tips for Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
- There is always something flowering in the gardens of Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire; whether its Snow Drops, Roses or Dahlias. You can find more information on the National Trust Property, Anglesey Abbey here.
- The property will be open all year round in 2018; a number of National Trust properties are closed during the winter months but starting next year more will be open which is fantastic for nosey parkers like myself!
- The address for Anglesey Abbey is Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge CB25 9EJ; it’s quite close to the exit off the Bypass if you are arriving by car and there is a large carpark on site.
- There is a cafe and shop on site…the plant shop offers some pretty good deals; I picked up some spring bulbs really cheaply. Remember all proceeds go back to helping maintain the National Trust Properties.
- If you fancy joining the National Trust then you can do so here…or if you’re confused over which British Heritage Pass to buy (it is confusing!) then I break it all down for you here.
If you liked this post on The Dahlia Festival at National Trust Property Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire then why not come and join me on Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!