In the garden
Because their blooms are not too large – and because of their elegant, even shape – waterlily dahlias fit well into a variety of garden situations.
Red ‘Taratahi Ruby’ looks superb in front of a purple-leaved elder, for example. Or for a brighter contrast, try yellow ‘Glorie van Heemstede’ or orange ‘Charlie Dimmock’.
In pastel shades, pink ‘Gerrie Hoek’ may no longer have an AGM (more recent varieties have proved better), but its soft colouring – like that of ‘Jean Fairs’ – is good with white or pink buddleia arching over it, and pale-blue perennial salvias in front.
The trick is not to be blinkered by outdated ideas. Treat these dahlias as elegant summer blooms that work with – not against – other flowers.
Try ‘Glorie van Heemstede’ with a blue/purple palette of salvia and verbena