The Dahlia Bishops

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11

A highlight of late summer, the Dahlia Bishops are a joy to behold, whether pottering in the garden, or strolling through a public park. 

The first Dahlia Bishop was bred in 1924 by a Cardiff nurseryman, Fred Treseder, and named in honour of the then Bishop of Llandaff, Joshua Pritchard Hughes, who had selected it.  Interestingly, he had been educated at Shrewsbury School before going on to Balliol College, Oxford.

Thus, Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff came into being.  Its dark bronzed red foliage can appear black and is the perfect foil for the semi-double flowers of striking vermilion, which open out, basking in the warmth of the sun!  Its centre is clearly visible and perfect for pollinators.  In 1928, Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Since then, we have been graced with the presence of the Bishop of Oxford (coppery orange petals), the Bishop of Leicester (pale lilac petals), the Bishop of York (bright golden yellow petals), the Bishop of Dover (snowy-white petals caressed by a hint of lilac), the Bishop of Canterbury (rich plum magenta petals), and the Bishop of Auckland (velvety crimson coloured petals).   All share the same foliage attributes as the Bishop of Llandaff and provide a veritable feast for our pollinating friends!

As they don’t like the cold and wet, they should be lifted and stored in a frost-free place before winter sets in!


All the images in this post were obtained from Wikicommons (P.D.)

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