It’s officially the heart of Dahlia season. You’ve probably been seeing a plethora of instagram photos of stunning Dahlias in an array of colors, sizes and textures. But have you ever wondered about the different varieties? Every year I’ve always wondered if each variety had a name. One afternoon, Natalie asked me to go on a walk to the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park (if you’ve never gone I highly recommend it!). As we walked around the garden I was in awe of the name each of them had – not to mention how different some can look from one another. That’s when we had our ah-ha moment of what we should focus on for this month’s feature. We wanted to bring you fifteen different dahlias, which doesn’t even make a dent in the varieties. Since there are so many out there some Dahlias don’t even have names, but we found as many as we could.
Read on to learn about this flower that brings so much joy to peoples homes and gardens.
Dahlia varieties from left to right.(Growers were not able to tell me the name of all of them.)
Cafe Aux Lait
What inspired you to only use Dahlias this month?
Dahlias are in the height of their season and I’ve been seeing so many beautiful varieties at the SF Flower Mart and it just reminds me that these flowers are so special because they are only available for certain months out of the year. They are not a flower that can be grown in other countries and imported so we only get them when they are locally in season.
I love seeing the Cafe Aux Lait dahlias. Are they a new variety?
Everyone loves this variety! They are so beautiful and range from soft pink to soft peach and everything in between. They were first available about six years ago. We buy ours from a local grower in Half Moon Bay.
What growing environments do dahlias like?
I spoke to a local farmer named Louie Figone and he was telling me how the draught has positively affected his dahlias. He said that the water is low but the humidity has been high in the Bay Area this year, which has resulted in the best crop he has had since he started growing dahlias in 1994.
Do you have any tips for making cut dahlias last?
Dahlias do not like a lot of water. Give them only a few inches of water and keep your eye on the water level to make sure that they don’t dry out. The other tip I’ll give you, which will lead you to think I am a crazy person, is make sure the water you give them is the hottest you can get out of your tap. I don’t know why this helps, but it does.
So next time your out picking up a dahlia bunch look out from one of these fifteen varieties!
Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Caitlin Flemming