The order from Swan Island Dahlias arrived, filling me with heady anticipation. I’ve been thinking about them for months. I could already see those gorgeous photos from their glossy catalog transferred into my gardens; bouquets of beautiful blooms were in my future! Even though they were expensive…way more than any dahlias I’ve ordered before, they would be worth it.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the bag of peat moss to remove the tubers!
They were TINY! Shown above with a couple of quarters for visual reference, it is obvious that most are smaller than an egg. And each one was a single tuber. Normally when I’ve ordered dahlias before from other companies, they were a cluster of two or three bulbs around a single stem. These two were $7.95 and $9.95 respectively, pretty pricey for the itsy-bitsy size. I planted them in 3″ pots rather than the gallon pots the earlier ones went into! I’ve totally had to change my garden plans, because these teeny-tiny wee things will have to remain in pots all summer rather than going into any gardens. Maybe if I baby them, there will be enough growth that they can be planted in the gardens next year, but I’m not holding my breath.
Guess I’ll go seed some more zinnias…the Cutting Garden plan suddenly looks very empty. Thank goodness the dahlias purchased last year from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs were substantial, grew very well, bloomed great, and most tripled in quantity. They were dug last fall, divided, planted in gallon pots earlier this month and will return to the potager’s interior border next month, so at least there will be some dahlias this year!
Live and learn. I wish now I’d place a very small order, just to see what the quality of the product shipped was like before placing a larger order. I won’t make that mistake again…it’s too sad to be disappointed, and to use a large part of the plant budget so ineffectively. If you’ve had a different/better experience I’d be interested in hearing about it!