Dahlia garden: Dahlia Maarn ball - Cloverhome.nl

Dahlia garden update: my favourite cut flower dahlias

Hello there, welcome back to my blog! After my long break, I am happy to take up blogging again and share my love of flowers with you. Today, I am taking you to my dahlia garden and I think it’s about time! We have been back from our summer holiday for two weeks now. Those weeks rushed by unpacking and doing the laundry. I have been trying to catch up  in the garden and my boys have been getting ready for school.

This week is the first week of school for my boys. The two youngest are starting secondary school (or high school). It’s a big step, not only for them but for me too. Before the holidays, I said goodbye to the primary school where my eldest started 12 years ago.

Dahlia garden: Dahlia Classic Poeme - Cloverhome.nl

After three weeks in Italy, it felt good to be home again and to see what was flowering in my garden. I was especially anxious to see how my dahlia garden was doing. As you may have read in this post, I joined a Dahlia association close to our home where I have a small plot to grow my own dahlias.

Dahlia garden: Dahlia Cafe au Lait - Cloverhome.nl

Due to the sunny, dry and cold spring, nature was running almost a month behind. I planted my dahlias at the end of April. When we went on holiday, in mid-July, not even all my dahlias were flowering! When we came back from our holiday all my dahlias were in flower but also full of spent flowers. Some plants had fallen over due to a storm in July, so there was a lot of work to be done. I started by deadheading my dahlias, removing spent and fading flowers.

You may, or may not, know that dahlias can bloom all summer and autumn until the first frost. To keep them producing blooms, you need to remove the spent flowers and, like sweet peas, the more flowers you cut, the more flowers you will get. My sweet peas, by the way, aren’t flowering at all at the moment. I removed all faded flowers and seed pods when we came home, hoping to get them to bloom again, but maybe they are done for the year. It’s sad.

So I cut off all the spent flowers off my dahlias, staked the plants in need of support and also picked lots of flowers for friends and family.

Dahlias come in different shapes and sizes and all colours, except blue. There are many varieties divided into types called decorative dahlias, cactus dahlias, ball dahlias, pompon dahlias, peony flowering dahlias, collerette dahlias and anemone flowering dahlias.

When I was looking for dahlia tubers last spring, I really didn’t know which ones to buy and what to expect. I never grew dahlias before. I did, of course, visit the cutting garden that inspired me to start a dahlia garden in the first place a year ago. In spring there was not a dahlia in bloom, so I had to rely on the pictures and descriptions on the dahlia growers sites. I bought most of my dahlia tubers online, some at the market and my mother gave me her Bishop of Llandaff dahlias. I was looking for dahlias in pink, orange and everything in between: peach, salmon, coral. I did know I wanted the Café au Lait dahlia, a very popular dahlia I was drooling over on Instagram last year. And I must say: it is gorgeous! I will do a full review of my dahlia garden somewhere in September, but now I will just share my favourites with you.

Café au lait

Prize-winning dahlia of the decorative type. Because of the size of the flowers, this is also called a dinner plate dahlia. The blooms on my Café au Lait dahlia are more breakfast plate size. Colours vary from soft pink to subtle shades of creamy coffee. There are lots of flowers to pick and they are big and strong! I love the wavy petals, the colour, the size, I love everything about it!

Dahlia garden: Dahlia Café au Lait - Cloverhome.nl

Classic poeme

This is a peony flowering dahlia, meaning they have open centres and two or more rows of petals. The  petals are a beautiful pink-orange-salmon and contrast well against the dark brown stems and foliage. It flowers abundantly and has nice long and sturdy stems which makes it a great cut flower.

Dahlia garden: Dahlia Classic Poeme - Cloverhome.nl


This is a dahlia of the ball type and probably the best cut flower producer in my dahlia garden. The balls are very firm, the stems are long and sturdy and have a good vase life. Flowers are a light orange that goes well with most other colours. It’s a keeper!

Dahlia garden: Café au Lait, Maarn, Eveline - Cloverhome.nl
Café au Lait, Maarn and Eveline

Planning for next year’s dahlia garden

To me, dahlias are like hellebores, I can’t grow just one. Now I am growing dahlias, I want more. And like hellebores, there are endless varieties to keep me happy. Growing dahlias is easy and rewarding and I can’t wait until next year when I can try out new forms. I am not growing any anemone flowered or collerette dahlias right now, but I desperately want to! If you have a favourite variety you think I should be adding to my dahlia garden, I would love to hear!

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Flower lover, aspiring gardener, blogger, amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “Dahlia garden update: my favourite cut flower dahlias”

  1. Wekcome back, Pauline! What a great result for your dahlias! I was also smitten with all the cafe au lait dahlias on IG last year. Yours are stunning.
    It is sad the sweet peas may be over. I hope they give you one last crop. I’ve planted some dwarf sweet peas this year and they are coming along slowly. No more slug attacks so far!

    1. Thank you so much, Bex! There is so much inspiration on Instagram, isn’t there? And I love to be able to grow the flowers I see on IG. They look even better in real life! I hope you have better luck on the sweet peas than I did!

  2. Ben blij voor je dat je dahlia’s een succes zijn. Wat een grote bloemen zijn er en prachtig van kleur.
    Ook bij mij is de lathyrus mislukt, door het warme vochtige weer kregen ze meeldauw, de blaadjes en stengels verdroogden. Jammer,volgend jaar beter. Maar mijn Japanse anemonen, in drie kleuren, doen het geweldig. Ook de witte phlox staat te stralen in de tuin.
    Groet mam.

    1. Volgend jaar beter inderdaad! Ik heb ook Japanse anemonen in de tuin, roze en witte. Welke kleur heb jij nog meer?

  3. Welcome back Pauline!
    Oh, how I love your dahlias! Such rich colors, beautiful shapes and such a nice abundance.
    About how many tubers did you plant do you think? And can you recommend an online store to order from? I am looking to expand on my dahlia garden as well and would love another source.

    1. Hi June,
      Thanks, I’m glad to be back! I am totally in love with my dahlias too ;-). I don’t love all of them, and not all of them are performing as a dahlia should. My largest dahlia (White Perfection) has only given me one bloom so far. I’ll show it in another post.
      My patch is about 20 m2 and I have planted about 40 tubers. Some tubers did not sprout so there are open spots. I would like to expand my collection as well 😉 I bought some tubers at Flora Bloembollen (florabloembollen.nl), the other companies I bought from don’t seem to send to the USA. Do you know Floret Flowers? Of course you do, they sell tubers too, you might want to check them out.

  4. Oh My!! I love Dahlia’s. Ive just planted a heap in the garden ready for the coming season. I have a few varieties but definitely need to learn their names. I see we have very similar tastes; Hellebores are up there for me on the list as well. How good are flowers? What a beautiful space you have here. Im inspired already and I’ve only skimmed a few posts. x Looking fwd to learning more about your blog and flowers.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Elisha. Flowers are the best! Looking forward to seeing your dahlias in bloom, it’s great you live on the other side of the world so I don’t have to wait a whole year to see them 🙂

  5. This is my second year of having Dahlias in the garden, and this year I had better luck that last year. I now too a convert not only for their beauty but the length of flowering time you get ( about 4 months if I remember correctly).
    I am definitely getting more next year and hope they will be as nice as this years.
    I would like to ask your advice with how and what I need to do with the current ones.
    I have heard once you get the first frost you need to dig them up, but I was wondering what is the actual procedure.
    I would love not to damage them.
    We have just had the first frost.

    1. Hi Michelle! I’m so happy to meet another dahlia lover. Which varieties did you grow this year?
      Did you label your dahlias yet? I have attached name labels to the stems because I want to keep track of the varieties I grow. Once they are lifted you will have no idea, the tubers all look alike.
      To dig them up, use a pitchfork and carefully loosen the soil around the clump and gently lift the tubers from the soil. Begin digging far enough from the plant so as not to damage the tubers, they may be two or three times the size they were when you planted them! Cut off the stems, remove the dirt (no need to wash off the dirt) and let them dry for a few days. Store them in crates, cardboard boxes or paper bags, do not store in plastic bags. Store them in a cool location, I will be putting the tubers in the cellar. I think this site is very informational: http://www.wikihow.com/Store-Dahlia-Bulbs.
      I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions!

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