The Beatles released their ninth album and the romantic Cafe au Lait Dahlia was introduced to the world the same year. 1968. Flower power was a term used then, too, but it was not about gardening.
I enjoy reading about dahlia breeders and the different parts of the world dahlias come to us from. We benefit by the years of patience, breeding, building up stock and the breeders finding buyers to resell. The internet has made all the difference in locating new dahlia varieties to grow these days. You can order dahlia tubers from your bed or out in the field on a tractor with a smart phone.
Cafe Au Lait,”The world’s most famous dahlia,” heralds from Holland bred by Fa. D. Bruidegom of Baarn, Holland.
Photo courtesy American Dahlia Society
In a book titled, Developments in Crop Science, about gene mutations and irradiating dahlia tubers to get variables of the original dahlia, it mentions different nurserymen and seedsmen. Listed after Bruidegom in Holland it states out of business. Hopefully the Cafe’s were as well received then as they are now, tubers sell out promptly each Spring.
Cafe au Lait Royal came from Cafe au Lait’s gene family. It’s definitely more intense pink with the same recognizable flower form.
Noses sniff a bit when dahlia judges are asked about Cafe’s. Too irregular,” and “What’s all the fuss about?” But florists, gardeners and brides love this ruffled, creamy confection called a dahlia.
Buff, peach, creamy pink, and strawberry milk, are colors used to describe, Cafe au Lait. Some buds open buff to start the season late July with only a hint of pink and others are light pink until the fall nights bring cooler evening temps and then the color is tempered, lessened until we are madly in love with every one of them. Curled flower petals around the center are common as well, on a few blossoms, which ironically makes them all the more endearing.
More reading here about the charming Cafe Au Laits in the Irish News.
Until tomorrow…Take as many dahlia photos as you can.