With last week’s hard frost, our dahlia season has come to an end. But what a season. After a slow start, they really started rolling in late August, and picked up steam as autumn progressed. As you can see in this picture taken just a couple of weeks ago, the flowers kept getting bigger and brighter as the days grew colder and grayer.
I’m going to miss seeing the dahlias brightening the farm and our kitchen, not to mention sharing them with friends and customers. But I’m already looking forward to their return next summer.
Last year, Stacy dug up, or “lifted,” the entire dahlia field up at the farm. Then she spent hours dividing, cleaning and packing the tubers for storage. In the spring, we tore apart the watering system, tilled the soil, rebuilt the irrigation and replanted the best tubers from previous years along with some new ones. Even though Stacy did most of the work, I admit, I wondered if it was worth the effort. When the plants were slow to grow up and flower–normal, we learned for lifting years–I wondered even more.
But now, as the flowers grow bigger and more vibrant each day, I find it hard to even walk by without stopping to marvel at their incredible patterns and colors. They light up even the gloomiest autumn weather and brighten the house whenever Stacy brings home a handful for the kitchen table. As U-Pick flowers, the dahlias also help supplement our farm income, and hopefully brighten other people’s homes as much as ours. Was it worth all the work? Absolutely. But I’m happy we don’t have to do it again this year.