I am not the type of person to say something is great when it’s not, but when it comes to dahlias, I find it easy to rave about their amazing colors and variety of forms. Few plants flower so generously, and dahlia cultivars have been bred into a wide range of growth habits suiting any garden condition—as long as there is plenty of sun. Though most dahlias make superlative border plants—flowering from mid-June until the frosts knock them down—if you have space for only a few pots, you still can enjoy them. If cut flowers are your passion, numerous dahlias have been bred to produce the quintessential cut flower. Dahlias are beautiful, versatile, and able to deliver plentiful flowers to any garden scheme.
The selections that follow represent merely the tip of the iceberg as far as dahlias are concerned. Among the thousands of cultivars available, there is a wealth of variety in form and color. As all gardeners know, nothing worth doing is completely effortless, but with a small amount of well-timed labor, dahlias will always deliver. My favorite varieties are based upon abundance of bloom, quality of color, and reliable performance year after year.