But this little bastard - parentage unknown - wasn't going to be hurried. June crawled by, one wet day after another. July was worse, with gales as well as rain. By August, when I'd staked everything up to its neck, and when the stakes themselves were being blown over, still not a peep out of Baby. Nothing, nada, rien! Not a bloody petal!
But September brought the result I was gasping for. A nice plant had developed with good height - about a metre - excellently balanced shape with dark, lustrous foliage. And there, among the brooding leaves - the first bud. Hurrah!
The excitement of waiting for a new seedling to flower is excruciatingly delicious. Unlike a commercial breeder, who plants out thousands and selects one or two if he's lucky, I had all my eggs in this one basket. And it was an accident at that.
The first flower opened two weeks ago. And now it has produced second and third flowers. A lovely, dusky-but-bright, rosy, mauvy, purply pink. Possiby too girly for some and too tarty for others. But it's a single, which is a mega plus for a doubles disliker - and terrific for bees and butterflies - and I absolutely love it!
Has this dahlia commercial value? Probably not. Is it pretty - well I think so.
So, in the unlikely event that you've read this far, thanks for your attention, and for sharing the ineffable joy and delight of seeing my baby blossom. I'm going to call it 'Pewter Rose.' Yes. I quite like that Dahlia 'Pewter Rose.' As pretty from the back as the front!