Tag Archives: Ball Dahlia

Dahlia Inspiration – dreaming in colour

With the Dahlia growing season coming up, I am looking forward to getting out my old tubers which have been safety stored away in the shed all winter. I also have some new cuttings on order which should arrive soon. I will need to split my tubers before planting them, and will write an article soon on that. I did start splitting them in October, but ended up slicing through my finger and severing a nerve and was referred for an operation, so I had to quickly pack them away for the winter. This time I will be more careful when cutting them.

So in the meantime, before I pull my dahlia tubers out for the winter, here are some dahlia inspiration pictures from the internet (unfortunately not my garden), but an inspiration for the future 😀

New Dahlia cuttings ordered – Feb 2015

OK so I’m bored, away from home and I’ve run out of things to Google. I’m not a big TV fan and wishing winter would pass and spring would come. So what else is there to do other than be a complete and utter garden nerd/geek and Google pretty dahlias to buy. I promised myself (and possibly my husband) that I wouldn’t buy any more as our tiny garden yard doesn’t have the capacity for any additional plants. But then I was bored plus we might be moving house this year to a property with a big garden and thought why not, so chose another 7! My thinking was that lasts years cuttings grew really slowly so they shouldn’t take up much room and hopefully we will have moved into our dream home by summer 🙂

I also said I wouldn’t buy any more cuttings as I was so disappointed with them last year. However after searching the Internet for dahlia tubers I concluded no one stocked a good range here in the UK so I gave in and bought from The National  Dahlia Collection again as they have over 1500 varieties in stock. Fingers crossed they do better this year 😉


In April I ordered 3 dahlia tubers from garden4less. (http://www.garden4less.co.uk) and reviewed them:

  1. Natalie G (Ball)
  2. Linda’s baby (Ball)
  3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

See original post Part 1 here:


The tubers were poor quality, but once they started growing I thought the foilage looked healthy and assumed the dahlias would do well.

However 2/3 produced the wrong type and colour of Dahlia!
I wrote to Taylors and their customer service is non-existent. Even though Taylors have the Queens Warrant, their quality control is poor and they have done nothing to rectify the fact I have been sent the wrong type of dahlia – probably against trading standards.

  1. Natalie G (Ball)

This is the only tuber from the 3 that produced the correct dahlia.

Natalie G 0

2. Linda’s baby (Ball)

I was really looking forward to growing baby pink ball flowers, and was somewhat disappointed when some minuscule tiny purple flowers appeared for both tubers. I think it might be Dahlia Rocco?

Linda's Baby Wrong Tuber

3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

Only 1 out the 2 chocolate & Candy tubers grew, and the one that did grow produced only 1 flower in late September which was the wrong colour and variety. It produced a stunning flower, though I don’t know what variety it is? So if you know please leave a comment. Taylor’s bulb didn’t respond to my email about this.

Choc & Candy wrong tuber

Overall, I did eventually get some flowers from these Taylor’s dahlia tubers, however I think its shocking that 2/3 were labelled with the wrong colour and variety and Taylor’s QA/QC and customer service is non existent.

Dahlia’s Wrong Colour & Type?

I wonder how many of you have been sent Dahlia’s the wrong colour and type? Or how many people have experienced this with other types of flowers?

I was shocked this summer, out of 13 new dahlias purchased this summer (6 tubers & 7 cuttings), at least 4 of them were the wrong colour! That is a phenomenal error. Three varieties still haven’t produced a flower yet so the result could be much worse.

I think the Quality Control (QC) and Assurance (QA) process is crazily poor, imagine buying something from a shop, getting it home and it not matching the description or colour? Yet the suppliers think this is acceptable. Taylors bulbs even holds the Royal Warrant crest, yet its QC is poor and its customer service dissapointing. See previous post where I wrote to them regarding being sent the wrong tubers:


Here are pics of dahlias I should of been sent (picture on left) versus the actual flower produced (picture on right).

Amberley Joan cutting – should have produced a pink flower – but produced a white flower

Amberley Joan Colour

Bergers Record Cutting – shows Orange flower, but it is more red (minor difference)

Bergers Record colour

Linda’s Baby Tuber – should have produced baby pink flower, instead produced minuscule purple flowers. Linda's Baby Wrong Tuber

Chocolate & Candy Tuber – Should have produce peach flowers, instead produced purple cactus style dahlias.Choc & Candy wrong tuber

Has anyone else had this problem? Is this more common than we imagined?



5 months ago I purchased the following 2 dahlia tubers:

  1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia from ebay.co.uk
  2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia from Wilkinsons online.

Both tubers have grown great!

For Part 1:

For Part 2: https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/part-2-progress-of-purple-gem-cactus-natal-red-pompom-3-months-on/


1. Purple gem (Cactus) Dahlia

I love Purple Gem, possibly my best growing Dahlia this year and in my top 3 for visual impact. This will definitely feature in my garden next year and I would buy again from the ebay farm-shop I purchased this from. The only negative is it isn’t purple like the packet, but more of a pinky purple.

Here is Purple Gem growing in my garden.

This is what Purple Gem should look like according to the packet.

Dahlia_Purple gem (cactus)


2. Natal Red (Pompom) Dahlia

Natal Red Grew really well and produced tonnes of flowers. This will definitely feature in my garden next year and I will definitely buy Dahlia tubers from Wilkinson’s again.

This Summers Dahlias (2014) – Tiny to Huge!

Here are some of the Dahlias growing in my garden this summer.

These include Strawberry Ice Dinner Plate Dahlia (the largest pink Dahlia), Firebrand Cactus (Orange), Natal pompom and Purple Gem.

I think the Dahlias, Stem Bud vases and glass shelf make the perfect combination for the summer.


At the end of April I ordered 3 dahlia tubers from garden4less. (http://www.garden4less.co.uk) and reviewed them:

  1. Natalie G (Ball)
  2. Linda’s baby (Ball)
  3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

See original post here:


I was dubious about the quality of 2 out of 3 of these tubers as they were either damaged or dryed out. However, all of them have grown, although the 2 damaged ones have grown slower than the healthy one.


  1. Natalie G (Ball)

The Natalie G tuber was damaged and when planted all the individual tubers did fall off. Despite this, the tuber has grown OK. It has produced quite a short plant as you can see from the photo, so hopefully it will produce a taller flower next year. It’s already got quite a few buds waiting to flower.

Natalie G 1Natalie G 4

IMG_5965-3 IMG_5966-4


2. Linda’s baby (Ball)

Linda’s Baby tuber was in great condition. This plant has grown at least twice as tall as the other 2 varieties of dahlias. After over 2 months in the ground, this has got quite a lot of buds on it and one looks close to flowering – though strangely it looks purple and not pink? So I’m hoping it does eventually open to produce a pink flower 🙂

Lindas Baby 1 Lindas Baby 5IMG_5967-5 IMG_5970-7


3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

Both Chocolate & Candy Tubers were in poor condition, but I planted them both anyway in the same pot to see what happened. Over 2 months later, they have both produced plants, although they are quite short. There are no signs of flower buds yet, but it shouldn’t be long before they do.

Chocolate & Candy 1 Chocolate & Candy 5IMG_5962-1 IMG_5963-2


Overall, I am very happy with these 3 tubers and I can’t wait for them all to flower. Despite the condition of the tubers when they arrived, they have produced far healthier plants then the dahlia cuttings I bought from the National Dahlia Collection. So in future I will definitely buy dahlia tubers again and not cuttings.


So in part-2, I updated you on the progress of the 7 dahlia cuttings which I ordered from the ‘National Dahlia Collection’ (http://www.national-dahlia-collection.co.uk/en/).

One month after arriving, 5 out of 7 of the dahlia cuttings were struggling, very slow growing, yellow leaves, spindly etc. Its now been 10 weeks since they arrived – so how are they doing?

OK. Not great, and quite disappointing really.
These 5 cuttings have been treated identically to the other 2 cuttings that did grow well, yet for some reason they have been plagued with problems. I’d read a lot about dahlia cuttings and many online websites and forums claim that dahlia cuttings grow better than dahlia tubers. This is simply not true! The tubers I planted at the same time are 3-4 times larger and much healthier than the cuttings.

All the cuttings seem to have Powdery Mildew which must have come from the National Dahlia Collection farm. None of my tubers have this, but Powdery Mildew spreads and the spores are already finding there way around the rest of my garden and infecting everything. I am very disappointed and would never buy dahlia cuttings again and therefore would probably not buy from the National Dahlia Collection again.

1. Alvas Doris (Small cactus)

As you can see from the leaves it has Powdery Mildrew (I keep trying to remove the affected leave to avoid the spores blowing around the garden). The plant is making slow progress, I just hope its producing tubers for next year.


Alvas Doris 05Jul14bAlvas Doris 05Jul14

2. Amberley Joan (Small Decorative)

Amberley Joan 05Jul 14b Amberley Joan 05Jul 14

3. Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus)

Amorangi Joy 05 Jul 14b Amorangi Joy 05 Jul 14

4. Bergers Record (Medium Semi-Cactus)

This is one of the 2 dahlia cuttings that has done well, and as you can see it has started to produce flower buds, even though its not very tall.

Bergers record 05 Jul 14 Bergers record 05 Jul 14b

5. Dahlia Clair Obscur (Small Cactus)

Clair Obscur 05 Jul 14 Clair Obscur 05 Jul 14b

6. Firebrand (Small Cactus)

Firebrand is 1 of 2 dahlia cuttings which has done well. It has already produced a gorgeous red/orange flower, which has now been deadheaded, and new buds have started to form 🙂

IMG_5903-7 IMG_5902-6 IMG_5904-8 IMG_5877-3

7. Mini Red (Miniature Cactus)

Mini red is like the other 5 weak dahlia cuttings, with yellow leaves and is slow growing.

Mini Red 05 Jul 14b Mini Red 05 Jul 14


Watch out for my next update and I’ll hopefully have some pictures of flowers to show you! 🙂

Product review – “garden4less” 3 dahlia tubers (Natalie G, Linda’s Baby, Chocolate & Candy)

I decided to buy another 3 dahlias, as I wanted some more Ball/decorative dahlias in Pink/Coral colours. So I ordered 3 dahlia tubers from garden4less. (http://www.garden4less.co.uk)

1. Natalie G (Ball)

Dahlia-Natalie G (Ball)

2. Linda’s baby (Ball)

Dahlia-lindas-baby (Ball)

3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

Dahlia-chocolate & candy (Decorative)

My order came very quickly, so I was impressed with the delivery/processing times.

However one item was out of stock (Natalie G) and one item looked in bad condition and had no signs of tuber eyes (Chocolate & Candy). So I emailed and explained I was disappointed to only have 1 viable tuber. That same day I received a phone call apologising and they said all 3 tubers were now in stock and they would send all 3 out to me again free of charge. I thought this was fantastic customer service and less than 48 hours later I received my replacement.

All tubers are supplied by ‘Taylors’ and I opened all 3 tubers with eager anticipation. The ‘Linda’s baby’ tuber from the 1st and 2nd lot are in great healthy condition with visible eyes. However the other 2 varieties are not great, especially the ‘Chocolate & Candy’ Tubers, neither have eyes, both have damaged tuber stems and the replacement is shriveled as if the tubers have dried out. This is the first time I have seen shriveled wrinkled tubers.

I decided to plant them all this morning:

2 x Linda’s Baby (both great condition)

Lindas Baby 1Lindas Baby 5 Lindas Baby 3

2 x chocolate & candy (both poor condition, with replacement tuber shrivelled)

Chocolate & Candy 1Chocolate & Candy 4 Chocolate & Candy 5

1 x Natalie G (broken tuber stems)

Natalie G 1 Natalie G 2 Natalie G 4

So we will wait and see what happens – see if they grow any eyes?

I’m not impressed with the quality of these tubers and I’m not sure if that is ‘Taylors’ fault or whether the fault lies with ‘Garden4less’ for not quality checking their products? Either way I probably wouldn’t order again, but we will wait and see if they grow before deciding.

Of note: damaged tuber stems can still grow as the tuber I reviewed from Wilkinsons also had damaged tuber stems, however it did have eyes, and these tuber eyes seem to be growing well.

I’m not as confident about these though as there are no visible eyes on the ‘Natalie G’ or ‘Chocolate & Candy’ dahlia tubers.

See progress update here: NOT GOOD RESULTS!