Episode 1: Down the rabbit hole we go
This year, we'll be growing 130+ cultivars of premium dahlias. The true count will be closer to 300 (yikes!) as we've started a small breeding program — more on that later.
Ever since Floret Flowers published the much beloved Discovering Dahlias* book, the world has gone absolutely bonkers for dahlias. A rare dahlia tuber went for $300 at auction in New Zealand! Most online dahlia tuber sales from reputable growers sell out within the hour; some within the first five minutes. It can be harder to buy elusive dahlias than to get Beyoncé tickets!
If you don’t want to set multiple alarms and rope your friends into purchasing tubers for you, there are other, more convenient ways. You can find dahlias at your local big box store, but this can be a hazardous path. These tubers, imported from Holland, frequently carry viruses, or are rotting from months of travel in a damp shipping container.
Dahlias are demanding during multiple stages of production. It can take three months from planting until seeing your first bloom, much longer than other varieties of specialty cut flowers. Dahlias need staking, amendments, and pest management during the blooming season to produce well. Once the blooming season is over, they need to be trimmed back, dug up, divided, cured, and stored between 5 to 7°C with controlled 90% humidity. BUT, if you’ve been bitten by the dahlia bug, you know they are incomparably gorgeous and worth the hassle. That’s how we ended up so many dahlias.
We hope you’ll support our dahlia obsession by purchasing a flower subscription when it launches later this spring. The proceeds will be invested back into the farm. We have some big capital expenditures such as T posts (please reach out if you have a source) and a cargo bike flower cart. As for the date, we will launch our subscription as soon as we've secured our land partners for the growing season. That’s when we'll know how many dahlias we can grow this year to share with you!
*Although we are not affiliated with Another Story Bookshop in Roncesvalles, we love them and want to continue supporting independent bookstores. We also order from Type Books in The Junction, Queen West, and Forest Hill. Send them some love too.