Episode 6: Naomi Slade

Naomi Slade with Dahlias book, credit Karen Gimson.jpg


Naomi's Twitter. Naomi's Website

Naomi Slade is a freelance journalist with a degree in science and a background in publishing, events and managing rock bands. In this podcast she shares her love of and fascination for the subject of her latest book, Dahlias: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden.


Things we talk about in this episode:

Naomi’s background

Her Snowdrop book: Plant lovers guide to snowdrops (Timber Press)

Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery

Naomi’s snowdrop Galanthus 'Naomi Slade'

Her Orchard book: An Orchard Odyssey (Green Books)

Definition of an orchard: 5 Trees with crown edges not more than 20 metres apart

Perennial fruit and food

Dahlia as fashion victim

Divisive dahlias

Rich man’s plants

1851 Exhibition

Christopher Lloyd

Are they worth the effort?

Dahlia genetics

Humans are diploid - 2 sets of chromosomes 

dahlias are octoploid - 8 sets of chromosomes

Loads of transposons which spontaneously change what they look like

quick mutations = thousands of cultivars

Yellow and orange dahlias often have irridescence 

Dahlia History

Aztec rituals

Cactus dahlias

Dahlia requirements

How to start them off

Slugs and frost

Slugs hide underneath the tuber and come out at night

Pinching out

Planting out





Dahliaworld.co.uk has all 60k varieties - the perfect place to geek out

National collection in Penzance



Nobody likes a soggy bottom

Favourite dahlias


Restrained dahlias: ponpons and small balls




Varieties and cultivars we talk about in this episode:

D. Hamari Gold

D. Peresii

D. David Howard

D. Arabian Knight

D. Gentle star

D. Thomas Eddison

D. Hootenanny

D. Eveline

The gallery series - compact and pretty

Happy singles - simple daisy flowers