Dahlias should be a crucial part of any seasonally landscaped garden. Really, no other summer-blooming plant approaches it for impressive accents – and these last from July through to the first frost. Its blossoms, ensconced on high stems, make for real eye-catchers even on a small scale. Since the plant has its origins in Mexico, it won’t tolerate cold, and can only be planted now, in springtime.

Dahlias come in such variety and scope, they can be incorporated into countless design plans. Whether planted together with perennials or decorative grasses, a bushy dahlia plant with intensely colorful flowers lends garden landscapes luminosity and volume. The only potential constraint is that its companion plants share the dahlia’s own preference for a location in full sun and rich soil. Many growers actively experiment with crosses, searching for particularly attractive blossoms with vibrant color.

Powerful Violet

The best example of this is the ‘Englehearts Matador’ variety. These delicate plants have purple-green foliage and dark purple, almost black stems supporting mid-sized flowers in a deeply luminous magenta violet. Attaining a height of over 4 feet, it’s an almost eye-level specimen presenting itself as a fully formed Spanish matador in the flowerbed, awaiting applause from an audience. ‘Englehearts Matador’ combines very well with green hues. High grasses like feather grass (Stipa) make a harmonious frame that presents dahlia in all its glory.


White dahlias represent elegance and perfection. With ‘Eveline,’ this precedent is lightly interrupted: a delicate streak of purple rings the tips of its flower petals, as though an artist had dipped them in a tub of color. Its shapely blossoms, together with its fine color, are evidence of its quality. They’re also great as cut flowers, so go ahead and take a few for a vase.

Pink and Apricot

Another dahlia that deserves attention for its color is ‘Jane.’ Its bright, light pink brings ‘oomph’ and liveliness to a garden. It’s a full-flowering dahlia with audaciously formed flower petals appearing like sunset-pink rays from the center of the blossom. The color of ‘Classic Poeme’ is difficult to portray in words. They might be described as salmon colored with a touch of apricot. The small, cheerful flowers stand in pretty contrast to the ‘Classic Poeme’s chestnut brown leaves, and the color play is intensified when placed next to white-flowering dahlias or perennials.


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