I always been a fan of dahlias since seeing my paternal Grandfather grow them for my Grandmother every summer. He would carefully pick off all the Japanese Beetles that were trying to devour the leaves and cut the blooms off to float them in water or place them in vases for my Grandmother to admire.
Recently, I joined a Dahlia Facebook Group where there are lovers of this stunning flower from all over the globe. I started chatting with another lady that hails from England. The birthplace of my maternal Grandmother. Sarah grows acres upon acres of gorgeous Dahlias and I asked her where her love of Dahlias came from:
“When I was a child my uncle grew dahlias in oblong beds in a formal lawn, loud yellow, white and red ones they were awful but I loved the form of the flowers. When I was lucky enough to finally have a garden after 25 years of living in a property with only a backyard I decided to give them a second chance. The revival had already happened here in the UK growers like Sarah Raven had got the public’s interest with soft blousy dahlias offering a flower lover something exciting to work with and a gardener the chance to fill their garden with beautiful blooms, choosing my top ten blooms is nigh on impossible as every seasons has something new to offer but I will try and share. Here are some favourites.”
#1 – Le Baron
Considered a favorite by many because of its 6-8″ deep purple-reddish blooms.
U.S. Source: Dutch Bulbs
#2 – American Dawn
A modern dahlia that’s been bred for amazing color, sturdy stems and abundant flower production. The luscious, 4-5″ blossoms are a tropical blend of peach, mango and papaya with plum-purple highlights. Long, dark purple stems make American Dawn an outstanding cut flower. Guaranteed to be a star in your late summer garden.
Source: Longfield Gardens
#3 – Cafe Au Lait
‘Cafe Au Lait’ Dinner Plate Dahlia produces large, buttermilk-colored blooms up to 10” across that blush with pink and hints of barely-there latte brown. As the season progresses and the flowers mature, expect more delicious color variations to appear. Excellent as a cut flower, ‘Cafe Au Lait’ is hugely popular in wedding bouquets and arrangements. Prefers full sun.
Source: American Meadows
#4 – Otto’s Thrill
This giant rosy-pink treasure is a huge hit with everyone who visits our garden, especially wedding florists. If you’re looking for a winning addition to your dinnerplate dahlia collection, then look no further. With long, strong stems and huge 8-12 inch shimmering pink blossoms, ‘Otto’s Thrill’ deserves a spot in every cutting garden.
Source: Floret Flower Shop
#5 – Jowey Winnie
If ‘Bracken Rose’ had a big sister, this beauty would be her. Their coloring is so similar, but ‘Jowey Winnie’ has a warm peach undertone whereas ‘Bracken Rose’ is more of a cool rosy pink. The vigorous, healthy plants churn out armloads of large, ball-shaped, dusty-rose flowers all season long. Their long, strong stems make them ideal for cutting. A must have for flower arrangers and wedding florists.
Source: Floret Flower Shop
#6 – Gerrie Hoek
Introduced in 1942. This old time favorite is still popular. The 5″ shell pink waterlily is an outstanding cutflower, keeps very well. Bush height 4′. Recommended as a cut flower. Should do well in exhibition.
Source: Swan Island Dahlias
#7 – Sam Hopkins
In bud, Dahlia ‘Sam Hopkins’ petals could be cut from black velvet and even fully open, it hardly fades. Marvelous.
UK Source: Sarah Raven (Not currently available in US)
#8 – Mrs. Eileen
This dahlia is sure to be show-stopper! The vibrant orange color of the Mrs. Eileen Dinnerplate is almost tangerine in color, lighting up your garden against the lush, green foliage. Pair these with brilliant yellows and reds for a fiery display! Dinnerplate dahlias are also know for their huge size and great cutting abilities.
US Source: Holland Bulb Farms
#9 – Eveline
‘Eveline’ – a ball type; although its flower’s buds are pink, it matures to an antique white with tips of each petal brushed with a pale pinkish lavender; 2′-3′.
US Source: Brent & Becky’s Bulbs
#10 – Miss Sophie
Sarah loves this variety for no better reason that it is has the same name as her granddaughter.
A beautiful blend of white and fondant pink, this variety also sports strongly furled petals, making it quite distinctive. Very pretty.
UK Source: Rose Cottage Plants (Not currently available in the US)
Thank you Sarah so much for sharing your favorite dahlias with me and your gorgeous photography. I can’t wait to order several of these varieties in grow them in my garden next year!