Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’
Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’ commemorates the gardener at Glenveagh Castle in Co. Donegal who grew it from seed in the 1930s when the estate was owned by Henry McIlhenny. Now run by the OPW, it was registered by the present Head Gardener, Seán O’Gaoithín in 1996. A single-flowered red, it makes a stunning display planted en masse in the sloping jardin potager behind the Castle.
When the Society held its AGM at Glenveagh in 2015, Sean very generously propagated 60 plants to give to members and ensure its more widespread distribution. D. ‘Matt Armour’ gives a very long season of flower blooming (in Belfast at least) from mid to late June until the first frosts in November. It was featured in our recent (2016) joint publication with the Irish Society of Botanical Artists Irish Heritage Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta and may be found from time to time at our plant sales.
(As appeared in Newsletter 146, Autumn 2019. Text courtesy of Maeve Bell, photos by Paddy Tobin)