Friday, April 19, 2019

country dahlias two












It's a magical feeling to find yourself back in a place you visited exactly a year before and notice how much you've grown. Last year we visited Country Dahlias near the end of our first season as flower farmers. Jenny's two acre garden has Australia's largest collection of dahlias with 2,250 different types and over 20,000 bushes.

Last year we'd planted two rows of tubers; we'd staked them, irrigated them, made peace with their pests, picked their flowers, dead-headed them, sold them and given them away, and absolutely fallen head over heels in love with each and every plant. All in all it was a great first season and when we arrived at Country Dahlias all we knew is that we wanted more. We were completely overwhelmed. We loved the colours, we loved the shapes, we loved the pom-poms, we loved the huge ones and the mini ones, and we wrote a wish-list so long that it went over the page. This is the blog post I wrote back then.

A couple of weeks after we visited Country Dahlias last year we experienced our first frost and the end of the season. We let the plants die down, the weather closed in and we dug up their tubers in weather so cold and wet it hurt. We tried to keep the varieties named and separated but by that time the main thing was to get them out of the mud so they wouldn't rot. We brought them in and buried them deep inside boxes of saw-dust from Bren's lathe. We only had two rows but it felt like quite a big job and had us looking over lovingly at the rows of perennial flowers that were independently and quietly taking care of themselves.

By early spring we were itching to get our tubers out of the saw-dust and into the ground. We watched some YouTube and learnt how to divide them and then in November we planted them all. Five rows this time. And again they bloomed like crazy and we adored them.

This year on what feels like it'll become our annual pilgrimage to Jenny's I still had that same heart full of love feeling and I still felt so full of joy I could burst, but we also felt like more seasoned dahlia growers. We recognised so many of the varieties - some even by name, we thought a lot about practicalities - like stem length and strength, we tried to find gaps in our collection, and as always Bren was on the hunt for the perfect white. And this time we only ordered 10 tubers - I still can't believe we were so restrained.

I still can't believe we're so close to the end of this season. I'd really love to have each plant labeled with its name and colour and description before we lose them, but I've had the tags cut out stacked in a neat pile for weeks now and it still hasn't happened. There's always something more pressing to do. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends. Whether it's filled with matza or chocolate or something completely different, I hope it's delicious.

Lots of love to you wherever this finds you. Where is that by the way? And what will you be eating?


See you next week!

Love, Kate

xx





24 comments:

  1. All the family will be here, so homemade bread, rolls, hot cross buns ( including chocolate ones). Homemade blackberry ice cream. Ploughmans lunch with lots of homemade relishes and pickles. It will be noisy with much mirth and hilarity. 😁

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  2. Thanks Kate......i so so love dahlias and i am starting to dedicate some of the annual beds to their colour and vibrancy. This weekend we will be in Yandoit, eating local seasonal fare - tomato soup, basil pesto, sourdough bread, figs, quince pie, apple crumble and elderberry kombucha. Wishing you a family a joyous weekend xx

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    1. I'm so happy you're going to be growing dahlias Lisa, you're going to wonder how you ever lived without them. xx

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  3. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos, I do love Dahlias, my mum used to grow them in the garden of the house where I grew up

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    1. I love that you have those memories Rachel, makes me so happy that my girls will too. xx

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  4. I can see why you would be so inspired visiting the flower farm..so beautiful. Happy Easter and enjoy your family time. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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    1. I hope you had such a wonderful Easter Kathy xx

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  5. beautiful!! :)
    (and I have developed an unhealthy addiction to wunderbars...hahaha)

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  6. Dahlias are one of my favorites. Yours always look so stunning. I would not have come away with only 10 tubers! lol

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    1. I know!! I still can hardly believe I was so restrained. xx

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  7. Beautiful, uplifting photos Kate but goodness, your baby girl is growing up so fast! A family Easter for us here in Yorkshire, England..... a buffet lunch, a bouncy castle and a chocolate egg hunt in the garden for the little ones.

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    1. Oh I know she really does seem to be growing up quickly at the moment. I'll miss this little girls but I'm also so looking forward to seeing the person she becomes. xx

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  8. I love dahlias! Last year we experimented with growing a few tubers in two different areas of our garden to see if they would get enough sunlight. We had some gorgeous blooms, so I am looking forward to adding more tubers.
    Easter here in Washington State will be a sunrise worship service in the morning and family over for dinner. My boys and I will make baklava for the Easter dessert today. Somehow that has become our Easter dessert.

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    1. That's so exciting Bekah! Where will you source your tubers from? x

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    2. There are a few farms in my county that grow Dahlias and sell the tubers in the spring. So I should be able to find them here locally! With spring here now, I will be on the lookout for them :)

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  9. Hi Kate! As a new dahlia grower I would love to see how you stake your plants. For some reason I just can't picture how to make it happen. Thank you for sharing your lovely farm and beautiful family with us, I always look forward to seeing your pictures and reading your stories!

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    1. When we plant the tubers we bang in a stake close to the tuber but far enough away that we don't hit the tuber. As the plants grow up we tie them to their stakes. I can't find any photos of when we planted them but I just did a quick google search and there are so many how to photos and videos out there.

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  10. Hi Kate
    Wow...these colours....so beautiful!!
    Spring are now in Germany and i planted potatoes
    and other vegetables...so happy!!!!

    best wishes from Germany
    B.Andrea R.

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  11. Hi Kate, I recognized the dahlia farm at first sight of your photos. Last April I went there with my sister who lives near there, to buy buckets of flowers for her daughter's (my niece) wedding at their home. I was completely stunned by the beauty of all of those plants and magnificent flowers. We met Jenny, who is such an easy going and lovely lady. I've come over here from one of my readers who mentioned you had built an outdoor space. Your blog will now become a regular read for me and I look forward to catching up on many past posts, and finding that outdoor space that Abbeysmum mentioned. A few late nights coming up. X

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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