I have a lot of dahlias but I am still oddly ambivalent about them. Every fall I think, “bah, I’ll just let them die of cold this winter” but then I can’t stand it and end up digging them. They are lovely, except the ones that get eaten up by earwigs. But they bloom so late–half of the ones I planted last Spring got buds the days before the frost (they’re all completely frozen now) and never even bloomed. However, the Bishop of Llandaff dahlias that I got this Spring from the catalog did well, and is my favorite. I planted the three of them in the new “telephone pole garden” in the back yard, and two of them sprouted. I planted them together with blue heliotrope that I grew from seed and it made a terrific display.
Here is the last of the dahlias, picked the day before the frost zapped all of them.
Here are some close ups of the dahlias: