Wishing on a Star…
Amateur Gardening|October 02, 2021
What would you do for the right dahlia? Toby reveals how far he’ll go for one of his all-time floral favourites
Toby Buckland

THE 1986 Salmon Act states – as if you didn’t know – that anyone ‘handling salmon [or fish] in suspicious circumstances’ will be punished. That’s why you shouldn’t loiter outside a bank or betting shop to eat a salmon sandwich – just in case.

Some rules, though, are made to be broken, and this week I’ve been in flagrant disregard of the conventions of dahlia cultivation. After a summer of searching, I’ve finally tracked down one of my all-time favourite varieties, Dahlia ‘Magenta Star’.

With deep-pink petals suffused with silver, the flowers glow like Orion’s Belt in a clear and moonless sky, and being a single, they’re a magnet for bees that harvest pollen from the fluffy buttons of golden stamens.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM AMATEUR GARDENINGView All

Winter retreat

Toby decides which plants to ‘tuck up’ for winter so they are primed for growth in spring next year

2 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

Mists and mellow Fruitfulness

The late-November garden has so much to offer and can be made to reflect the gentle observations of the great poet John Keats, says Anne Swithinbank

6 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

Playing it cool

Peter considers the effect that cool rooms have on plants

1 min read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

Toad abodes

Val looks at how climate change may affect toad numbers

3 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

Border stars

Create impressive borders by using hard-working plants that flower over a long period, have striking foliage or perform in more than one season, says Hazel Sillver

5 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

A plantsman's choice

G.R. Kingsbourn reveals some of his favourite plants from the 1950s

5 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 27, 2021

Be careful what you wish for!

Val explains how her new cat is just a part-time visitor

3 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 06, 2021

My climber didn't flower

Q I have been waiting patiently for my cup and saucer vine to flower. The seeds were sown in April and plants grew well to about 3ft (90cm), but so far no buds. Should I give up now?

2 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 06, 2021

November fragrance

There’s a surprising number of fragrant flowering shrubs that you can plant now to cheer up your late-autumn gardens, says Graham Rice, as he reveals his favourites

5 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 06, 2021

Grow the best garlic

A culinary staple with health-giving and flavour-enhancing benefits, garlic is easy to grow if you plant the right varieties at the optimum time, says Camilla Phelps

4 mins read
Amateur Gardening
November 06, 2021
RELATED STORIES

The Omnific – Wizards of Oz

The Australian trio The Omnific make music like no other band—with two bassists, a drummer, and a whole lot of genius. We meet Matt Fack and Toby Peterson-Stewart

5 mins read
Bass Player
October 2021

MATT SHEAHAN

THE CLASSIC J CLASS AND THE LATEST SPIRIT 111MAY BE 90 YEARS APART, BUT THEY SHARE A COMMON THEME

3 mins read
Yachting World
October 2020

SECRETS OF BOAT THE TESTERS

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH YACHT IS RIGHT FOR YOU? WILL BRUTON GETS EXPERT ADVICE FROM SAILORS WHO TEST DRIVE BOATS FOR A LIVING…

10+ mins read
Yachting World
October 2020

Ever Thought About Breaking Free, Abandoning Your Responsabilities, Running Away From Your Life?

Toby Dorr's Great Escape

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
October 2020

A Change of Plans

I lay awake in bed, bleary-eyed from a night of drinking, exhausted yet unable to sleep. I hated living like this but felt powerless to stop.

5 mins read
Mysterious Ways
June/July 2020

The Puzzling Pendennis Club Cocktail

Investigative bartender Toby Cecchini on an exquisite pink gin drink and the club in Louisville, Kentucky, that forgot how to make it.

5 mins read
Saveur
November 2015

‘ Toby and I are taking each day as it comes'

Love Island runner-up Chloe Burrows tells new the spark is still very much there between her and boyfriend Toby Aromolaran

5 mins read
New UK
December 06, 2021

Anxious travellers scramble to fly out of southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG/THE HAGUE • Anxious travellers thronged Johannesburg international airport and stood in long queues on Friday, desperate to squeeze onto the last flights to countries that had just shut their doors to South Africa.

2 mins read
The Straits Times
November 28, 2021

Constant Companions

The challenges of the pandemic reminded Canadians how much joy we get from our pets and prompted a flurry of furry adoptions. We invited readers to tell us about their new family members. Here are some of our favourites.

6 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
December 2021

Design destinations

If you’re moving to the country and need interiors and antiques emporiums near you, these are the towns to head to

4 mins read
Homes & Gardens
November 2021