Dahlias have been grown and admired in Britain since the early 1800s when Lady Holland sent some seeds from Spain, and by 1826 sixty varieties were available. Dahlias were easily hybridized, and Darwin used this flower as an example of his theory of evolution because so many different colors and varieties were descended from one single species.
Lord Holland even wrote a poem about his wife who got the dahlia seeds in Madrid. It went as follows: “The dahlias you brought to our isle, your praises forever shall speak; mid gardens as sweet as your smile, and color as bright as your cheek."
In England, the Victorians started the tubers in hot houses and then bedded them out in lavish garden displays. Thousands of red and yellow dahlia blossoms decorated triumphal arches in every Scottish village in 1842 when Queen Victoria was driven to Balmoral castle. By the Queen's death in 1901 Dahlia societies had sprung up everywhere and every
English cottage gardens grew this flower that was the official flower of Mexico. But, by the 20th Century in Europe and North America, dahlias were described as vulgar and old fashioned... Too big, blowsy, and showy for sophisticated gardeners. However, one variety in 2000 was named for Diana, Princess of Wales.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on Mexican transplants.