Favourite dahlias of 2023

This year I grew a number of dahlias as cutting flowers in the veg patch, as well as some in patio pots, and others in the garden. These are my favourite dahlias this year for cutting, flowering performance and/or because they are attractive! Most were grown from tubers saved from last year or bought-in this year.

Dahlia ‘American Dawn’

‘American Dawn’ Komen 2007, produced the most flowers over a long period on long, strong stems. I love the inner glow effect at the petal base, but this doesn’t last well, the colour fading quickly when cut, which is a pity.

Dahlia ‘Cornel Brons’

‘Cornel Brons’ Smits 2005, is a neat little mini ball dahlia producing a good number of flowers on long, strong stems. Very neat and tidy! It worked well tonally with ‘American Dawn’ and ‘Daisy Mae’.

Dahlia ‘Dark Spirit’

‘Dark Spirit’ Lindhout 2002, is a beautiful rich colour which made people go ‘ooooh!’ when they saw it. The shortish, weak flower stems made it less suitable for arranging and the main stems flopped quite early on.

Dahlia ‘Stolze von Berlin’

‘Stolze von Berlin’ (Pride of Berlin) Schwiglowski 1914, (some sources suggest it is earlier). An old historical mini ball cultivar. I grew this in a pot on the patio alongside old miniature decorative dahlia ‘White Aster’. They both flowered well for a long time.

Honourable mentions must also go to small decorative dahlia David Howard, also in a large patio pot, for producing a long succession of fruit pastel orange flowers amongst contrasting dark foliage, I believe it was a seedling from ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ discovered by nurseryman David Howard and launched in 1960.

And very different, ‘Mexican Black‘ (below), a single with a looser and wilder feel. It attracted many bees over the summer. And also, unusually for a dahlia flower, it is lightly scented.