Parker Fountain pen and Black Quink Ink sketch and watercolour in Moleskine note book
Dahlias are native to Mexico and member of the Asteraceae (or Compositae), dicotyledonous plants, related species include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, and zinnia. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants.
Dahlias are easy to grow but do need winter protection against frost. They are tolerant of a wide range of soil types and situations but best planted in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun when danger of frost is over.
For overwintering, cut plants to the ground after the first frosts have blackened the foliage. In mild regions and on well-drained soils, leave the tubers in the ground and cover with a 7.5-15cm (3-6in) deep layer of bark chips or garden compost to protect them from frost. In colder areas or on heavy soils, lift and store the tubers (see below) and replant the following spring.