Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum: Your favorite large and giant dahlias?

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ImageDillyDahlia
Oct 1, 2017 9:06 PM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
I would appreciate suggestions and feedback on large and giant dahlias that you love and why you love them. Any color and form, as long as you think it’s great. I have Ottos Thrill and am enthralled with it. I’d like to add more big dahlias alongside Otto.

Anyone familiar with Grande Finale from Swan Island?
Thumb of 2017-10-02/DillyDahlia/86ce90

*Edited to add...I’m looking to create a bed of large flowers that my special needs family members can easily see from their living room window. A little dose of beauty when they look outside, brings a peaceful feeling. The bigger flowers are easier for my “ladies” to see and enjoy. Any larger flower that pops out and catches the eye would be great.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
[Last edited Oct 2, 2017 7:35 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1263258 (1)
Imagemelissamaeday
Oct 1, 2017 9:32 PM CST
Name: Melissa
Omaha,NE
Thumb of 2017-10-02/melissamaeday/d6cdfe

I am a fan of the smaller blooms, but this is my "Grand Finale"
[Last edited Oct 2, 2017 11:40 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1263262 (2)
ImageDillyDahlia
Oct 2, 2017 7:43 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
Thank you for the photo! I’ll put that variety on my list.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
Imageteddahlia
Oct 2, 2017 8:41 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Giant Dahlias:
For show people AC Ben has been the "go to" giant dahlia for a year or two now. Next year AC Jeri is undoubtedly going to be the hottest new dahlia of the year. I have heard it will be sold for about $40.00. It has good color and is an orange with a yellow center in the first part of the season and in the shade. At the end of the season it was bleached to a nearly a solid yellow. It's biggest and I do mean biggest sales point is that it is a huge dahlia. Poor gardeners can get a 13 inch flower. 14 inch flowers will be very common and who knows how big the biggest will be.
Thumb of 2017-10-02/teddahlia/7c90cc
end of season
Thumb of 2017-10-02/teddahlia/5d53dc
Mid August

OMG from Swan Island is a very large new one too. 14 inch flowers are very possible and I have seen at least one that big. It is being sold for $34.95.

In older giant dahlias the traditional largest giant is Emory Paul, that was actually measured to be 18 inches in diameter. Good stock is hard to find but it is out there. Emory Paul sported to a variegated flower called Maki and it has won largest dahlia of the year at about 15 inches.

If you want the prettiest giant dahlias I am partial to Hollyhill Moonsong but it has trouble getting to 12 inches in diameter.

Nick Sr. Is a favorite of many and with good stock and good growing practices it is like growing a Giant Sequoia Redwood dahlia in your yard. The main stalk is nearly 4 inches in diameter and the plant grows over 6 feet to about 7 feet and has flowers with "broomstick" stalks. They are big too and 14 inches is possible.

The discussion on giant dahlias can go on and on. Wyn's Farmer John, Ivory Palaces, Bryn Terfel, Winki Colonel, Bonaventure, Sir Alf Ramsay, Creve Cour, Clydes Choice, Alfred C,, Walter Hardisty, Wyns Neon Dream, HH Big Pink, Zorro, Ayers White Knight, Kenora Clyde(one of my all time favorites, Inland Dynasty, Levonne Splinter and many more. All of these can be shown successfully and grown very large. Of course, the challenge is to find healthy stock of many of them.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
[Last edited Oct 2, 2017 11:25 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1263301 (4)
ImageDillyDahlia
Oct 2, 2017 9:42 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
oh i definitely lean toward the prettiest dahlias! i’ve already started googling from your list, Ted, but i can’t find a photo or a source for HHMoonsong....bummer!
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
[Last edited Oct 3, 2017 2:38 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1263309 (5)
Imageteddahlia
Oct 2, 2017 11:17 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
HH Moonsong will probably be sold as cuttings from Cowlitz River Dahlias. We still have it but do not sell it. I am planning to grow more than usual next year. It would be more available if it made more tubers. They store ok but there are not a lot of them. I really like Moonsong but am really biased for two reasons: yes it is a Hollyhill variety but the other reason is that it is the only HH introduction that was grown from hand crossed seed done by myself. I used Ivory Palaces pollen and fertilized a "B" sized seedling that has lots of HH Electra behind it. I never did much hand pollinating and was really frustrated by the time it takes to do it properly. I wanted to get some giant ball dahlias and none of my crosses made any seeds. The cross that did not work was using Hilltop Ivan(the largest ball dahlia) with Formby Kaitlyn. Hand crossing gives you the best results in dahlia breeding but the investment in time is monumental.

We should continue the thread with Large dahlias and there are many, many good ones and I will let someone else start with their list.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imageblown_dry
Oct 2, 2017 11:27 AM CST
Name: Amanda
CA Redwood Coast - Zone 9b
DahliaAddict.com
Taum Sauk, AC Big Johnson, AC Zed and Wyn's Delta Frank are big/giant dahlias that are really generous with their flowers. Show N' Tell and Nick Sr. can be quite prolific, too. There are others whose flowers I like very much, like Penhill Dark Monarch, but only give a few flowers a season.
Imageteddahlia
Oct 2, 2017 11:36 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Show N Tell is an all time favorite and although listed as "Large" it can easily be grown to giant. For the first time 10 years, we have some healthy plants of it and Margaret was able to use some flowers in her designs. Jack Almand of the San Francisco area originated it many years ago. I liked his huge flower Almand Supreme and we grew one to 14 inches. It succumbed to virus and I have not seen healthy stock anywhere.

Healthy Taum Sauk is an amazing garden flower as it is so vigorous and prolific. The plant has several huge blooms on it the whole season. I suppose we ought to grow it again.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDahliaGardener
Oct 2, 2017 2:46 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Grand Finale did not like it here. Single row of petals, open centers. Not a pretty look!

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imagesylviap
Oct 2, 2017 3:15 PM CST
Name: Sylvia
West Sacramento, CA Zone 9b
I like Show n Tell, but I don't get many blooms from it.
ImageIslander
Oct 2, 2017 5:10 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
My favorite large flower is KA's Cloud. I don't want it huge..on fact I would like to shrink it a bit, but I love the colors in it and it does well as a cut. The shading of palest pink and yellow on it have stayed steady through the heat of summer. 3 plants of it are more then enough. Off 3 plants I could have provided 27 Clouds one week a few weeks ago! At its smallest it is about 9" across and I have no idea how big I could push it to by special care...I don't want it any bigger then that!

The tubers don't want to take off...I only got into production code by removing the first sprout and rooting it separately, after which it started making more of them that were easier to grow.Thumb of 2017-10-02/Islander/593e5b
Thumb of 2017-10-02/Islander/526017
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
Oct 2, 2017 7:13 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I am still growing the seed parent of KA's Cloud which is Ed Redd's Elma Elizabeth. When I traded with the originator of KAs Cloud, Kristine Albrecht, I got the seed parent instead. I cannot remember the other parent but maybe it was a Kenora dahlia.
Thumb of 2017-10-03/teddahlia/50e2da
Elma Elizabeth by David Brown. Elma E.
Makes very nice tubers but it is a late bloomer and difficult to get seeds here in the PNW.
In California it is much easier to harvest seeds.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDillyDahlia
Oct 3, 2017 2:40 PM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
Thank you, everyone, for your help🌼
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
Imageteddahlia
Oct 3, 2017 7:51 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
More large dahlias:
Oldies but goodies include Elsie Huston
Thumb of 2017-10-04/teddahlia/be913c
2009 national show by Satrina
and Kidds Climax the old timer from the 1940s that is genetic basis for many modern dahlias. Most Mingis large dahlias were seedlings of Kidds Climax.

Thumb of 2017-10-04/teddahlia/dc9fbb
Ferncliff Illusion

Thumb of 2017-10-04/teddahlia/aef25d
photo by Mark Twyning
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
[Last edited Oct 3, 2017 7:55 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1263525 (14)
ImageIslander
Oct 3, 2017 8:06 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
AH, Elsie Huston and Ferncliff Illusion, my 2 "have to have" larger dahlias along with KA's Cloud. I figure I plant those for myself and then if anyone wants to buy them they can...I may have to add AC Twist and Wyn's Farmer John to these. I grew them for pollen/seed along side Evening GLow this summer...(We will see if they produced any of either) and I really liked them.

I might grow AC Big Mary again just for fun because it was so spectacular. I would grow it at the end of a row where it has plenty of room all to itself and gets good sunshine.I am hoping it made some tubers.

Even though I don't want to show any of them I do love wowing people who come into my garden and there have been quite a few this summer who stop for flowers. I imagine there will be even more next year,
Salish Dahlias
ImageDillyDahlia
Oct 4, 2017 8:25 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
My daughter and I are having fun researching the varieties you have suggested. Your photos and input are much appreciated. You should hear all the oohs and aahs as we look at the photos together.😊

Here is a nice blurb on the breeding history of KAs Cloud with pics:
http://www.santacruzdahlias.com/kas.cloud.html
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
ImageIslander
Oct 4, 2017 8:54 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I guess I should add Penhill's Dark Monarch to my other Giants. I didn't realize I had so many I actually do like! This one doesn't make a good cut for me but it has the most delicious fall colors of salmons,pinks corals and purples touched with gold.
Salish Dahlias
ImageIslander
Oct 4, 2017 8:56 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I guess I should add Penhill's Dark Monarch to my other Giants. I didn't realize I had so many I actually do like! This one doesn't make a good cut for me but it has the most delicious fall colors of salmons,raspberry, corals and purples touched with gold.
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
Oct 6, 2017 1:20 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Thumb of 2017-10-06/teddahlia/07b272
This is the best stock of Show n Tell that we have had in 20 years.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
Oct 6, 2017 1:56 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Beautiful! Mine from Les and Viv seem pretty good too this year.

Salish Dahlias

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