A few weeks ago we potted up the dahlias and put them into the cold frames. We then waited for them to show some sign of life. And waited. Nothing seemed to happen and I was beginning to dread that the cold had got to them. They had been stored in a shed for the winter, unprotected, in trays and had gone through the worst cold which we had ever known here. The temperature dropped to minus ten for weeks on end and I had no way of knowing whether the frost had penetrated our unheated shed.
After keeping us in suspense for several weeks the first tubers began to show signs of growth and then, with the warm weather, they all sprang into life. The cold frames are double the normal depth to allow the dahlias and cannas to grow freely. At this rate they should be in flower by the time we plant them out at the end of May.