Jack Gott, the Dahlia guru, who so generously named his stunning new “petite” Dahlia after his colleague’s baby daughter (see yesterday’s posting) has developed another stunner, pictured here. We have named it “Yewbarrow Black”. Black is the Holy Grail for plant breeders, because a true black is difficult to achieve. Most “blacks” are in fact deep purples or reds. This Dahlia is exceptionally dark. The most popular dark-leafed Dahlia is the Bishop of Llandaff, which we grow here, together with other dark-leafed varieties. These plants are hybrids, which don’t come true from seed, the corollary of which is that the seed will often produce a completely new plant. Here at Yewbarrow House we have dozens of different varieties of Dahlias growing side by side, which bees and insects spend the summer busily cross-pollinating. Jack Gott has patiently collected the seed, watched it germinate and brought on the new plants in the trial beds behind the potting shed. This has produced some stunners, including the darkly exotic “Yewbarrow Black”.