We had our first hard frost this week here in Southwest Iowa. Hard enough to wipe out the majority of the dahlias that weren’t hit last week when the temps dipped too low. My plants have hung on, still blooming like crazy even though it’s now the end of October. Even now amidst the dead plants and leaves, I can still see blooms on my tallest and healthiest plants surrounded by their not so lucky neighbors.
Learning to grow dahlias this year has turned into an obsession. Last year I had only two plants but fell in love with their huge dinner plate blooms that lasted after all other flowers were finished. Over the winter, my initial two plants turned into seven, and with the purchase of more bulbs, I’m now at fifty-five. As I dig up my bulbs this weekend for their long winter slumber, I can’t help but guess at how many new plants those fifty-five bulbs will create.
After raising my brother and I, my mom joined the workforce again by working at a local greenhouse during the summers. Our back yard was pure magic growing up. As she learned more and more at the greenhouse, the more spectacular our yard would become. I’ve always enjoyed perennials and annuals and have been luck to take after my mom with her green thumb, but nothing compares to my new love of dahlias.
I think most people consider them to be too much work. It’s too much work to plant them each spring and dig up the roots each fall. I beg to differ.
I’ve never seen anything quite like them. With my passion for capturing beauty through photography, this partnership between dahlias and I is a perfect match. The sheer variety of different blooms is astounding. Between the poms, collaretts and dinner-plates along with the amazing choices of colors, it’s very easy to become addicted to the hunt. I’ve already placed one spring order that contains the infamous Cafe Au Lait. I’ll be counting down the days until those first few blooms next season. Sleep tight my beauties.