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There are several discussion groups cf dahlias in yahoogroups. I am a dahlia nut, so I joined all, incl the latest cf breeding. Dark foliage on plants has become very popular. In dahlias, I recall seeing the Bishop of Llandaaf years ago - scarlet with dark foliage. I favour the fully double kinds for exhibition, typically 4-5 ft tall. Border dahlias are, by definition, about 2 ft tall, but do not offer many varieties. In hot areas, shade cloth/parasols are used... even if it seems ridiculous in my area (very windy). In shrubbery, the Ninebark 'Diablo' has that dark foliage... There are various mail order sites/houses for dahlias, as well as chapters of the American Dahlia Society all over North America. The mass market packages of dahlias need checking for 'eyes' - trim off broken/rotted bits - all you need is a viable eye for a plant; also, the plant is not always what was in the picture. For more general dahlia info, D mail me.
Bill in Newfoundland, Canada zone 5a
Thanks for the info Bill. I've also got my sights set on 'Mom's Special,' and 'Lady Darlene.' I go here http://www.dahlia.org/ sometimes and read up on the latest dahlia news. I plan on ordering from van Bourgondien's Dutch Bulbs and Perennials.
I've got the name of this beautiful yellow one somewhere...
I have been growing dahlias since I was 12. I am now... a lot older... and definitely picky. I favour fully double exhibition quality dahlias. I like the Balls/Miniature Balls, many Semi-cactus, many formal decorative, only a few informal decorative... and some splashy giants as long as they ALL have depth. Historically, many decoratives were flat, hence the (insulting) name dinnerplate. I realize that most gardeners do not demand much of their dahlias but I do. I prefer a quality bloom to quantity. Occasionally one gets both. I do like the dark foliage, but haven't had any in some time. I plan on ordering 'something'... probably from Ferncliff Gardens (B.C.) as well as from friends in Nova Scotia. Keep your eyes open for an opportunity to see the garden of someone who fancies dahlias. For colours, when arranging, I prefer the pink/white/purple combos... and use the other red/yellow/orange together. I have done yellow/white/purple... but not much lately. Excellent link you provided. I am a member of ADS and NovaScotiaDS. Attached arrangement had 2 companions in red/yellow/orange (baskets) - this one is 5 ft wide. Friend took pic which I reduced for web jazz.
Bill in SE Newfoundland Canada