This year's warm dry summer has been fantastic for the dahlias - they are planted in mixed rows with lots of horse manure and no support. (Last year I carefully staked each plant as you are told to by the gardening books, but found that stems broke off in the wind anyway.)
That all changed last week with wet weather. I grow a lot of deep dark colours to mix with bright blue salvia and lime green fennel - Chat Noir, Sam Hopkins, Rip City and Tam Tam - which now have bleached pockmarks on them from the rain. Completely unsaleable, though they still look lovely in the garden. The Karma Dahlias which I trialled this year seem to have much better weather resistance, Karma Naomi in particular, though they don't have the same saturated colour.
I left some of my dahlias in the ground last year to see whether they would overwinter - about 70% were fine - but they were much slower to get going, than the ones potted up in the polytunnel. They were also the only dahlias to have earwig damage.
Though I closed the flower van this week I put out a couple of buckets of undamaged dahlias for anyone who happened to pass by - money going to a local charity,the Tullochan Trust http://www.tullochan.org . They all went and by mid afternoonthere was more money in the tin than I would have charged.