I've never grown dahlias until this year. Friends would share blossoms with me, and I enjoyed them, but growing them myself seemed like too much trouble. They are fussy flowers, needing to be planted just so when the soil is the right temperature, coddled along, staked, and tied. And then at the end, the tubers need to be dug up, divided with an eye in each piece, sorted, stored in the right kind of material at the right temperature all winter, in order to be planted again. I have been much more a daffodil person -- plant it and forget it! But last summer, my dahlia-growing friend took me to a dahlia farm. It was amazing! I was caught up in the moment and ordered a few tubers for myself. They arrived in the February or March, I dutifully planted them when the weather was warm, and now they are blooming! They are beautiful, incredible in their variation. One of my favorites (so far) is called "Wowie," and it is the perfect name!
Some years ago, I reflected on the Westminster DogShow. The dahlias are like that, too. They are the same genus, but the diversity is stunning. Like human beings -- all the same, all different, all beautiful in their own way.
Pictures from last summer's visit to the dahlia farm: