Flower of the Month |David Howard Dahlia

We know, we know… we’ve featured dahlias as FOTW before but just take a look at that magnificent, bronze-tinged beauty up the page! How could we not shoehorn that into your weekly flower feed? More radiant than a cast member of The Only Way Is Essex asleep across a sunbed in Magaluf, this particular specimen is known as the David Howard Dahlia.

Okay, David Howard: not the most glamorous of names - less Apollo the Sun God, more Accountant at a Small Business - but you know, credit where credit’s due. We’re assuming that the same David Howard who was long-serving head gardener to HRH Prince of Wales is also the horticulturalist responsible for the variety, but our cursory googling is being surprisingly unforthcoming. Surprising especially given that the eponymous Dahlia has won over 27 major flower awards in its time, including the prestigious ‘Award of Garden Merit’ from the Royal Horticultural Society.

 It’s apparently a member of a group of dahlias known as ‘decorative dahlias’ – duh, look at it, but that group actually has some v. v. strict entry requirements. Decorative dahlias are double dahlias (was going to make a joke about Double Ds being the best but then I realized it wasn’t 1993 and this isn’t The Sun’s letters column), with wavy, flat petals appearing in either regular or irregular large flowers. Generally sitting atop 40inch-plus stems they’re absolute eye-catchers… But you didn’t need me to tell you that, just look at the picture up there!

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