MagnoliaWe have had the most extraordinary stretch of spring weather… Deep blue skies, warm  sunshine, cold nights, and absolutely no rain to fortify all the tender plants expending so much energy to push out their new leaves and flowers.


Is there anything prettier than the green of ferns barely a week old?


I have been hauling around dastardly hoses for weeks, doubling back to untangle, tripling back to dekink. My arms will look like a wrestler’s before spring turns to summer.

A magnolia offeringBut it has been a lovely long Spring, hasn’t it! Look at this Magnolia blossom opening like an offering…..

PetalsThere is just so much to drink in,  and give thanks for. Yet, all this opulence and transcendent beauty is fleeting. Here it looks like a persian carpet on the ground. Tomorrow it will be swept away by the wind.


Today, I’m planning for late summer and fall opulence. Dahlias are like the Betsy Johnson’s of the flower world – wild, crazy, bold scene stealers, mean’t to be cut and shared with your friends, those in need of cheer, and your faithful UPS man.

I dedicate a flower bed just to them, putting in a 6′ stake every three feet to mark where each tuber will grow.

Soil in tray

I begin by taking a flat, lining it with newspaper, and filling it 1/2 way with potting soil.  Locate the ‘eye’ emerging from the ‘neck’ portion of the tuber, and lay the tuber on its side with the eye facing up. (see the tiny white sprout in the potted tuber?) You can clearly see the neck of the tuber in my hand.

Neck of Tuber This dahlia is called Red Pigmy and I’m growing it for a competition in the Fall so it is planted in a pot where I can watch its growth more closely. These dahlias came from Swan Island Dahlias. It arrived in perfect condition with its name stamped on the tuber so I won’t forget it – handy when you are growing a lot of different varieties.2 week old Tubers

This tray was started 10 days ago and the sprouts are beginning to emerge. Beneath the soil, they are pushing out their first roots.

Growing in PackageI purchased this package of  dahlias from my local nursery. They have been shipped from the Netherlands and are eagerly growing while still sealed in a plastic bag. At the top right corner of the bag, you can see the white sprout has pierced the packaging.

Tuber Packages

There are a multitude of vivacious dahlias to choose from. Just add water and lots of summer sunshine, and you will have dazzling bouquets of flowers for sharing.





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