New British dahlia grower to supply Alagar

Written by Alastair Owen
August 19, 2011

Alagar of New Covent Garden Flower Market are delighted to announce that they can now offer exquisite British-grown cut dahlias from Withypitts Dahlias.

"It’s the quality that really impressed me," says Dennis Edwards of Alagar. "The samples Richard brought to show us just earlier this week were fantastic, and they got a lot of attention from customers on our stand.

Hardly a person walked by without saying how great they were, and asking how soon and how often we would be stocking them. In fact, somebody placed an order for a September wedding there and then!"

"We are always looking for something special, that bit unusual for our customers," explains Dennis.

"Withypitts' dahlias come in beautifully fresh, in strong, clear colours and in different forms from pompons to waterlily blooms – "fireworks in a bucket" was how one passing florist described them! A completely different product to the Dutch dahlias."

Grower Richard Ramsey of Withypitts Dahlias is a dahlia man through and through. He grew up on a specialist dahlia nursery, The Grove Nursery, owned by his godfather Stuart Ogg, and where two generations of his family worked.

Although a career in telecoms beckoned, growing dahlias remained his passion. A glut of newly raised plans about 5 years ago prompted Richard to place an ad in the local admag, as a result of which he was asked to grow hundreds of plants for a dahlia enthusiast.

He has since scaled up production and now has 1.5 acres of dedicated dahlia fields.

Talking to Richard, you can’t help but be carried along by his enthusiasm for dahlias and his focus on creating the perfect blooms.

During the dahlia season, which lasts from the end of July to the end of October, depending on the weather and the arrival of the first frosts, Alagar will have freshly cut stock on Monday and Thursday mornings every week, presented in single colours and mixed bunches.

Ranging from deep burgundy to white and brilliant red to pinks and lilacs and purples, the dahlias will last up to 7-10 days if you use flower food, recut the stems and fresh water regularly, or 4-5 days if your customers are rather more slapdash!

So what can you expect from dahlias at Alagar? Amongst the 600-800 stems a week, you will see varieties in rich burgundy ('Karma Naomi', 'Black Wizard' and the old favourite 'Arabian Night'), the brilliant red 'Taratahi Ruby', the pure white water-lily blooms of 'Anna Lindh' (15-18cm diameter) and the soft apricot of 'Marissa' and the much brighter 'Apricot Delight'.

For lilacs and purples try 'Karma Lagoon' or 'Blue Boy' and for pinks look for 'Gay Princess' or the tiny 50mm blooms of 'Scaur Glen'. But above all, look out for the giant flowerheads of 'Wanda’s Capella', which has just come into season.

A colossal 30cm across and 23cm deep in a glorious intense yellow, 'Wanda's Capella' is set to be a real show-stopper.

For more information, contact Dennis Edwards, Bobby Armitt or Andy Noble at Alagar Flowers in New Covent Garden Flower Market.


: 020 7498 0170     




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