Dahlias, Clematis, Calla Lilies

The weather has warmed up dramatically, so it’s time to get cracking in the garden. I’ve been sowing hundreds of flower seeds, as well as a few plants and tubers.

Dahlia tubers can be planted now for summer and autumn flowering. Plant them so their necks are 5-6cm below the soil. If they’ve already sprouted, position them so the base of the shoot is just below soil level. For detailed information on planting dahlias, click here.

My two clematis are in full bloom. Clematis montana ‘Tetra Pink’ and ‘Elizabeth’. The latter has a gorgeous chocolate scent (truly!) and both can climb to a whopping 7-10m high if you let them.

Clematis come in all shapes and sizes, from dainty diminutive blooms to giant dinner-plate show-offs. They can be compact growing or high climbers. They also flower at various times of the year, so if you plant several different varieties you can have at least one plant in flower almost year-round.

Believe it or not, clematis are superb cut flowers. Pick when the flowers have just opened and remove all foliage. Check your local garden centre for plants, or try a specialist nursery like Mr Clematis.

Calla lilyCalla lilies
Calla lily (Zantedeschia) tubers can be planted for midsummer blooming, although bear in mind that tubers under 3cm won’t produce flowers until their second year. Buy tubers from garden centres or from specialist mailorder nurseries, like NZ Bulbs.


  1. Desperately looking for a replacement tetra-pink clematis…can you help? Rgds Paul

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