Dahlias mingle well with other colorful late-summer perennials, such as coneflowers and sedums, and add beauty to edible gardens, where they attract pollinators. Among the most spectacular are the dinner-plate dahlias, with flowers up to 16 inches wide. These top-heavy charmers hold their own beside sunflowers, amaranths, and other big bloomers. All dahlias die back during their off season, however, leaving bare spots. "In a border, it's best to sprinkle dahlias here and there, rather than planting them in patches," says flower farmer Diane Szukovathy, who is based in the state of Washington.
Shown: 'Show 'N' Tell' is a late-blooming dinner-plate variety with flowers 8 to 10 inches in diameter.