Dazzling Dahlias

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“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”
– Georgia O’Keeffe

Are you ready for some serious eye candy?  If you didn’t already love dahlias,  I am sure you will become smitten after reading this post.  Before we get to the gorgeous flowers, a bit of background information on these outstanding plants.

Dahlias are native to Mexico and were discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors.   They are members of the same family as daisies, asters and sunflowers and are the national flower of Mexico. With more than 20,000 species in 12 categories which include the pompom, cactus, single anemone or peony forms, there are dahlias for every taste.  Dahlias come in a multitude of colors: from white and pale yellows to oranges, reds and deep magentas and burgundies.  They are exhuberant flowers from a few inches in size  to the famous dinner-plate sized beauties. Dahlias are popular for flower arranging and for wedding bouquets. Some varieites have streaks, spots, stripes, variegation or frosted tips on the flower form keeping the flowers interesting with equally amusing names such as Wildman.  In fact dahlias are the most popular flower for competitive growers.  For the best growing success, The American Dahlia Society recommends buying tubers that have been tested and grown for your climate and soil type.

This summer I had the pleasure of returning to the Endless Summer Flower Farm in Camden Maine.

image Owners Karen and Phil Clark graciously gave my husband and me a tour of the farm and shared their infectious enthusiasm for these flowers.  In spite of the rain and the delayed growing season, the dahlias were dazzling. Continue reading