My addiction began by stealth, when I dared to grow a few while so many of my gardening chums considered them to be in poor taste. Someone from Kent once said, with a shudder, 'aren't they a bit Northern?'
This year's star variety is 'Fascination.' Not everyone's choice, the shocking cerise flowers of this variety make a startling contrast with the gloomy foliage. Not a colour that sits comfortably in a border with muted colours, but who cares?
The few sunny days promised for much of England should work wonders for dahlias, bringing out more flowers and stimulating growth for a final autumn flourish.
My plants are all about half as tall as normal, after such a wet summer, but that has given them a magnificent framework for carrying lots of flower.