I finally made it to Dahlia Haven, the local dahlia grower during their open hours! And boy am I glad I did. I got the gorgeous bouquet, above, for less than the retail cost of one stem in the US. Because they were picked fresh, the flowers lasted for a full 7 days, which is way longer than if I had bought them from a wholesaler. And I got to wander around the fields, ogling more varieties of dahlias (pronounced dale-yas here) than I knew existed. You can order tubers from Dahlia Haven (within NZ only), and pick up bouquets at the gate.
Below are some images taken by Linda, owner and grower at Dahlia Haven, of deadheading the plants, and a huge heart they made on the ground at Valentine's Day as a backdrop for photos. Hmm, seems like a perfect place for a wedding.