Mango For Breakfast; Fruit Tree for Greenhouse

Once I read about a nursery in Florida that grew and sold mango trees in the newspaper. Living the dream, I thought at the time. The nurseryman said they planted the seeds as soon as the fruit was eaten. Moved by the article, I put three slippery mango husks in three pots, set them outside…

Dahlia Plants Ph Soil Levels – Leaves Reveal Problems

Be your own dahlia expert and cure any problems promptly. But first you need to know what is the cause and the signs you might be experiencing on your plants. Leaves will tell you exactly what they are getting too much of or too little of, and what they would like you to do about…

Cafe au Lait Dahlia Breeder

The Beatles released their ninth album and the romantic Cafe au Lait Dahlia was introduced to the world the same year. 1968. Flower power was a term used then, too, but it was not about gardening. I enjoy reading about dahlia breeders and the different parts of the world dahlias come to us from. We…

Compost Delivers for Dahlias

If dahlia plants could call and have food delivered within an hour, it wouldn’t be for pizza. The call would be for black gold. Compost. Did you know that compost is practically the answer to every type of soil problem? If you have heavy clay, (we do) compost helps break it up and make it…

Myrtle’s Folly Dahlia Breeder

Behind every success is a story. Let me introduce you to the dahlia, Myrtle’s Folly. She is an remarkable shaped dahlia, fimbriated, fully double and colorful. The word, remarkable, used for it’s coloring of peach, pink, gold and it’s fringed masses of slightly-curled, flower petals. One dahlia grower raved about the Myrtle’s Folly dahlias she…

Dahlia Breeding Lesson

Some of the best dahlia breeders will generously share their process with anyone aching to learn. Learn how dahlia enthusiasts arrange their dahlia stock beds, and which dahlias are good breeding parents, or good-seed-producing parents. This is what every dahlia lover/grower wants to know as some dahlias are not good seed producers at all. Sit…

Dahlia’s First Name in Mexico

What were dahlias called in Mexico and Central America, their native habitat in the sixteen hundreds before their seeds were shipped to Spain? Surely the locals there had a name for them. It piqued my interest. Most everyone knows the early dahlias were later, named after Andreas Dahl. “Acocotli,” and “Chichipatli” is what the plants…

Garden Nursery Run

Standing in line to get rung up at a garden nursery is not a problem. I am in an oasis of healthy plants and it brings a calm. Like the calm just before it snows. Tranquility. No one minds waiting if the phone is continually ringing, if a cashier has to wait idly and apologize…

ADS, American Dahlia Society—A Little History Gathered

ADS, not to be confused with Attention Deficit Syndrome or Advanced Draining Systems. No. This is the wonderful, wild, world of dahlias where members get together to share information, dahlias and have shows to find the “best of the best.” There is history of show winners and the dahlia flowers who placed put together by…

Dahlia Plant Pet Names

The Little Dahlia That Could. I nicknamed a stem shoot that I clumsily lobbed off of a dahlia tuber. I thought I had a careful grip. It’s normal to give your plants pet names: Isn’t it? “Itsy Bitsy, Tiny Punch” and “Little Foot” are others. I never toss the bud-stem-shoot growth away even if it…

Books: Naomi Slade and Georgianna Lane Dahlias

It was on Instagram that I first found Georgianna’s Paris photography. It had such a romantic feel and when I looked into every photograph, I longed to step into each light-filled scene and spend a week or two there. Her style is “branded” and I could pick her photographs out of my feed lineup without…

Proof Dahlias Thrive in Heat

Hot weather. Hot topic. Dahlias can be grown in hot weather. If I read, “Dahlias do not like hot weather” again on a gardening site, I might shout. Just consider this a muffled shout. Normally numbers don’t interest me but we need some baseline numbers here to determine exactly what is considered “hot weather,” when…

Five Reasons to Grow Dahlias in Your Garden

My romance with the dahlia family has flourished for years. It began with the massive, bold-colored dahlias in the city. Since they could not cross the city street to me, I made the first move and crossed over to them. Then I made a commitment, to spread “dahlia love.” Let’s get right down to why…

How to Photograph Dahlias on 8+ IPhone Macro Lens

Find out how to make your friends envy your photography skills with your handy, ever present IPhone. In this sweltering, Summer heat no one wants camera straps pulling on their shoulders when working on a hot day weeding, staking and cutting flowers in the dahlia field. It’s a work day, different from a wedding party….

Sowing a Love for Gardening

Everyone loves the harvest. A gardener loves the whole process, from sowing seeds to the generous bounty that follows, to collecting seeds again. My parents were gardeners, though that was not their occupation, they were solid gardeners just the same. My grandparents were gardeners and I’m certain my great grandparents loved gardening too. There is…

Jowey Winnie Dahlia Breeder

Ball dahlias are well balanced and symmetrical like a kaleidoscope in three dimensions. Jowey Winnie Dahlia fits the description to the letter T. Who bred this ever so popular dahlia, I have often wondered and finally set out to find out who stood behind this dahlia. It was Jozef Weyts in Europe and he is…

What is a Flower Farmer?

Flower Farmer is a modern term for floriculture, for us smaller growers. It’s a lifestyle. It involves growing flowers, shrubs and plants (also called Specialty Cuts) for weddings, CSA customers, florists and possibly, farmers markets. It is also a lifestyle that involves a lot of physical labor. One learns about anterior and posterior muscles of…

Beneficial Praying Mantis For Your Dahlias

Organic Gardening. At one time that was how everyone gardened. Spraying poisons about is not something I want to do so I look to nature for solutions. The Praying Mantis family help eat the beetle population and leaf hoppers here on the dahlia farm. Their diet includes a variety of insects and caterpillars. Mostly the…

Dahlias and Japanese Beetles

Growing sustainable flowers can turn a flower farmer into an amateur entomologist. Studying bugs that come to your dahlia party without an invitation, can help you deal with the little devils. Study your enemy, I say. There are many more bugs than humans on this planet, but that doesn’t mean they get to rule my…

Read This Before Ordering Dahlias Online

During those bone-chilling Winter months the colorful, tropical dahlias are such a welcome paradise to view. Our wintry escape, only if momentarily, into a warm, sun-drenched Summer. Perfectly lit photographs and elegant words move us from mere dreaming to quickly ordering dahlia tubers that help soothe our Wintery blues. If you are a Dahlia Grower…

Dahlia Breeders…You Could Be One

Curiouser than the cat, I always want to know who the plant breeders are of my favorite dahlias. It is easier to look up who designs a clothing line than to find out the “designer” of a dahlia. There are lots of designer dahlias available during the end of Winter through Spring and new ones…

Pollinators Needed for Fruit, Nuts and Seeds

Start a seed bank and thank the pollinators. Eat an apple or some almonds and thank the pollinators. Our partners in plant and food production are pollinators and they deserve more credit than they get. A pollinator has a pollen route and it’s customers are flowers. The job description is to move pollen from the…

Tornado Warning and Severe Weather

Yesterday started out like any other day, with coffee and cream, then breakfast. Always coffee. It’s like swallowing roasted sunshine and chilled moonbeams that revs up the start of my daily schedule. Two polar opposites, hot and cold, blend to make a remarkable float and swish, on my tongue. Later during the day we ended…

Farming, Rainstorms and Dahlias

A lot of flower farmers talk about the weather to anyone willing to listen. Talk about rain to a sales clerk, they just listen politely, but bump into another farmer and you will talk over each other like two streams meeting and forming a mighty river. Each farmer’s words forming rapids that we have all…

Once Upon A … Dahlia

Why did you pick that name? Picking a domain name is the playful part of a business. Farming is the hard part. Working in the heat, rainstorms, wind, sleet, and snow—sometimes two or more combined together for a real punch—not always so fun. Boots are worn pretty much year ’round. Fingernails, we won’t go there,…

My First Blog Posts

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde. This is the first post on my new blog. Yup. I am more comfortable with a shovel, dahlias and compost. More comfortable with buckets of cut dahlia flowers than being a word peddler but… hey, sometimes you just have to leap! And keep going. Today…