There are four groups of plants I especially enjoy as a gardener: conifers, roses, clematises and dahlias. Maybe it's the collector in me that responds so strongly to them; each group has so many species, sub-species and cultivars in every color and shape. Today I am including a photo of a spectacular dahlia which I ordered from Old House Gardens: Tskuki Yori No Shisha. The name translates as "Messenger from the Moon" and is the title of a famous Japanese novel. I've never heard of that one! The Old House catalog describes the petal shape as "lacinated." Also something I've never heard of, but I will bet the dahlia collectors out there know the word! I planted the tuber a couple of months ago in a pot, just to get it started and then transplanted it a month ago when the slug danger had passed. I have a number of dahlias brought from our old house 16 years ago and they continue to thrive. All I do is leave them in the ground every fall, cutting them back after the first heavy frost. Then in very early spring I beef up the soil with some compost and/or manure and I use Sluggo around them to keep the slugs from devouring the new greenery that emerges from the tubers. We are very lucky here in the Pacific Northwest to be able to grow them without lifting them. I did a watercolor of a big group of dahlias from my garden a couple of summers ago--it's on my Watercolor Flowers page, on the sidebar to the left. I may need to do another one this year!