A dahlia show garden is a great way to discover new dahlia varieties. To promote dahlias, hundreds of different varieties are on show. Some are so new, they don’t even have a name yet. It’s an incredible sight, with so many beautiful varieties!
In September my friend Superdahlia and I visited what we call the Flower Bulb region. I am sure everybody knows about the tulips and the Keukenhof. But in summer, when there are no tulips, you can still get your fill of colourful fields of flowers. We visited Kasteel Keukenhof and 3 dahlia show gardens and it was amazing. So many dahlia varieties! Anyone can visit the show gardens while the dahlias are in flower, admission is free. In some gardens, you can also pick your own bouquet, but not all.
My friend and I love flowers, and we love to photograph them. We love to walk among the flowers and take lots of pictures. For us, it’s a great day out, better than shopping! And there is so much to see in the Dutch flower region.
Dahlia show garden
A dahlia show garden is a place where you can get an overview of the available dahlia varieties. To promote dahlias and of course, to encourage people to buy more dahlias. A show garden is not an ornamental garden. There is no room for foliage plants, shrubs or trees. Everything is pretty straightforward. All varieties are grown in beds, similar varieties are next to each other. That way, you can for example see the difference between all the Café au Lait varieties. It’s so much better to see plants and flowers in real life than to choose them from a picture.
New dahlia varieties
Besides enjoying the flowers and taking pictures, it was also a great opportunity to look for dahlias for next season. I had some bad luck this season. A number of dahlias did not come up. Maybe the tubers dried out in storage over winter, I don’t know. I am great at growing dahlias, but apparently not that great at overwintering them. I also lost a few plants to disease, I think it was mosaic virus. I dug up the plants and threw them in the bin. Don’t put them in the compost heap! The virus may survive. It’s a pity to have lost some beautiful plants, but it’s also a good reason to choose some new varieties!
We spotted many old favourites, like Totally Tangerine. I have grown Totally Tangerine from the beginning. But we also saw many new (to me) varieties. Some are so new, they don’t even have a name yet. And I did see some beauties I would like to grow next year, such as Break Out, Evanah and Sweet Suzanne. Do you see any dahlias you would like to grow?
I can’t wait for next year!
If you’d like to visit the dahlia show gardens, here is some practical information. We stopped at the following places:
IloveDahlia has a beautiful show garden with more than 700 dahlia varieties. Here you can pick your own bouquet, for which a charge is made. On their website, you can buy and choose from 500 different varieties!
At De Tulperij you can find the CNB show garden with more than 650 dahlia varieties. You can have a drink, pick your own bouquet and visit the shop of De Tulperij.
At The Tulip Barn, you can find the FBT dahlia show garden. Here you can admire more than 400 different dahlia varieties. Drinks are available during the weekends (Friday – Sunday).
Kasteel Keukenhof (Keukenhof Castle) was built in 1642. The gardens of the castle are open daily and freely accessible to the public. More than 1,000 visitors a day enjoy the carefully designed landscape. In spring, the gardens are filled with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. In summer you can enjoy beautiful dahlias planted across the park.
The best time to visit to see the dahlias is late August and September, so you will have to wait for next year. Before you plan your visit, be sure to check the website and/or socials of these companies for the latest updates.