Dahlias not looking like they did in the advertising pictures?
I bought my first dahlia tubers at a Lowes in 2006, in a box, on the spur of the moment. I had started a landscaping Co 2 years earlier, and most customers, and their neighbors had the same typical flowers and flowering shrubs, and there wasnt anyone growing anything more uncommon, so there wasnt much variety per se.
So I decided that the best way to learn about new plants was to grow them on my own property, so I bought that box of 3 dahlia tuber clusters, a box of Calla Lillies, seeds for Sweet Peas, etc.
I planted the dahlias and within 35 days they were already growing the first flower. They grew to about 40-48" tall and had 4-5" diameter flowers which were bi colored lilac and white. But they did look exactly like the picture on the box said they would.
Then, I began looking on the internet at other dahlia varieties, and discovered that there were thousands! I liked a lot of them, but one really caught my eye. It was Alfred Grille. The picture I saw of that flower on a dahlia farm's website was gorgeous. But it was too late in the year to order, so I waited til 2007. Then in 2007, I looked it up again, and found another garden forum site which included lots of pictures uploaded by people who had grown these different flowers, so i looked at the different "Alfred Grille" pictures, and literally none of them looked even close to what the original picture from the dahlia farm looked like! It was obvious that they were the same variety, but the colors were dull and fairly ugly, not at all as pretty and bright as the original picture.
So I didnt buy it. Instead, I ordered 7 dahlias from "Dan's Dahlias", and was disappointed when I got the order in and found that they had been out of stock of 3 or 4 of the dahlias I'd ordered, but they still allowed me to order them, and didnt contact me to let me pick out some other dahlias to substitute. Instead they sent me 3 or 4 undesirable, cheaper dahlias. Then to add insult to injury, only 3 of the 7 actually grew! Then, one of them died! The 2 left over that lived were not what I'd ordered!
So this year, I ordered 7 dahlias from Swan Island Dahlias, and bought 3 more from a local store. 2 of the varieties I ordered were "Crazy Legs" and "Fuzzy Wuzzy". Granted the names are stupid, but the pictures looked really cool, so I ordered them. Then I looked up other pictures of these 2 varieties, and they didnt look as good as the advertisement pics, so I'm hoping when they flower they will look good, but who knows.........
Has anyone had the same experience with dahlias not looking as good as advertised?