Sunday, 14 September 2014

Withypitts Dahlias: The flower field

After admiring gorgeous flowers on Twitter for the best part of a year, I went to the open day at Richard and Hazel Ramsey's dahlia field. And what a sight it is! I can't imagine there being a more diverse range of dahlias on display somewhere than the ones I saw at Withypitts Dahlias.

I went with my dad, who was not that fussed about dahlias before (probably because he's seen my cackhanded attempts to grow them), but now he's converted and wants to grow them himself. Such is the power of a flower field like this.

I spent ages walking up and down each row, photographing the dahlias, thinking, "This one's my, this, this one...", and chasing butterflies that seemed to love the colourful blooms.

Richard showed me the famous Flower Monger, aka Fashion Monger - a striking dahlia that attracted bees.

I saw huge Cafe au Lait blooms, which are very popular with florists. (Although personally, I can't see why they are so universally adored...they're beautiful enough, but, I don't know. I prefer others.)

Like these...

Or these. The first is Wizard of Oz, the second I am not sure, the third is Orange Garden, the fourth is Orfeo, the fifth is Hapet Belladonna, and the sixth is Black Wizard.

It was lovely to get a tour of the field with Richard afterwards, as he cut stems for me to take, and to hear about his work and about the different flowers. He is so knowledgeable and a delight to chat to - I recommend a visit to his flower field for anyone who likes dahlias. And for Sussex florists, this is kid in a sweet shop territory - do go and visit. This is my bucket of sixteen different dahlias. Beautiful!