RIP Dahlias

I know it’s only 15 sleeps until Christmas, but I have dahlias on my mind because I did this really cool thing and I never wrote about it! So, take a break from your regularly scheduled holiday garbage online and let’s rewind to the time to when it was only Halloween…..

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Dahlias are awesome. If you’ve never grown them before, I highly suggest it! I plant mine in very early summer when I pull my tulip bulbs. They take a while to come in and bloom, but when they do, I get flowers well past Halloween! I’ve never saved my dahlia bulbs, but I was inspired to do so this year in the spirit of conservation, nurturing what I have and out of a genuine sense of curiosity…..yeah, I wanted to see if I could do it. In past years I’ve tried and failed miserably so I really had nothing to lose! So I put the Halloween decorations away and got my garden shears and shovel out to dig up some dahlias. I found a new method and hopefully it will work!

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This is Gallery Bellini. I love this dahlia. I love the depth of colors and I love that she’s named after a cocktail you drink with brunch. I love this dahlia so much I want to grow her again next year! So I’m going to store my Bellini tubers using this really simple method.

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  1. Trim stem down to about there (I’m pointing to photo on the left).
  2. Dig around and lift the tuber, careful not to damage the bulb (I’m pointing to the photo on the right).
  3. Place tuber with whatever dirt comes out around it in a plastic garbage bag and store in a cool place (I’m pointing to the bottom photo). You don’t have to clean the dirt off the tuber. Close the garbage back and store in a cool place that’s not too warm and not freezing cold (now I sound like the garden version of Goldilocks). I’m storing mine in my attached garage.

Pretty simple, right?!

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I’m going to check on them occasionally to make sure they aren’t getting too moist or freezing (who am I am kidding….I don’t have time to babysit tubers). Next June one of two things will happen….. 1) RIP Dahlias for real, or 2) the dahlias will go back in the ground and bloom beautifully for me. I’m hoping for the latter.

Before I go into planting tulip bulbs, here’s your complimentary cute dog photo. He’s glad Halloween is over because the whole holiday scared the shit out of him (as if he could possibly shit anymore than he already does). I caught him trying to kill Halloween before it killed him. I think he won.

miles

Bloom on!

Winter Wander-land

As a work at home mom, I’m used to getting my shorties up in the morning, off to school and home from school. These 4 hours of my day, to quote Charles Dickens, are “the best of times and…the worst of times….” Last week (thankfully before Juno hit the east coast) I was in New Jersey for work. I feel VERY blessed that I have the best job in the world. I feel even more blessed that my kiddos miss me when I am away!

As a work at home mom, I’m used to getting my shorties up in the morning, off to school and home from school. These 4 hours of my day, to quote Charles Dickens, are “the best of times and…the worst of times….” Last week (thankfully before Juno hit the east coast) I was in New Jersey for work. I feel VERY blessed that I have the best job in the world. I feel even more blessed that my kiddos miss me when I am away!

Upon arriving at the airport, I texted my 8 year old (she texts from my iPad) to let her know that I landed safely. Kids are so honest in a raw and super cool way:

Aylas Text

Despite my suitcase arriving slightly later than I did, I did not die….and to an 8 year old girl, that is grounds for true gratitude. I can appreciate the simplicity of that. The week consisted of texts flying at me from 3 different directions between the hours of 7-9pm all about how daddy isn’t doing things correctly. These just made me laugh from the comforts of my quiet hotel room.

I had a great trip because 1) I love to travel for too many reasons to list here in this particular blog, 2) the meetings were very productive and 3) it’s important to be there. Travel also makes me miss my kids; and let’s be honest….absence really DOES make the heart grow fonder. However, I think re-entry into a busy family of 5 is harder than total submersion 100% of the time.

At my fabulous job we just wrapped up the winter indoor selling season and moving into photography for next year as well as gearing up for the spring-planting season. I feel compelled to tell you if you’ve never grown paperweights or amaryllis, I suggest you put it on your 2015 top 10 things to do list. If you don’t have a list, make one RIGHT NOW and put this as #1. I promise you won’t regret it!

Look for some winter blooms from me as I intend to plant some amaryllis soon! Bloom on, friends.

indoor blooms

Hometalk Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners

I had fun taking part in the Holiday Gifts for Gardeners on Hometalk last week. It’s Amaryllis/Paperwhites season and I LOVE Amaryllis.

A Living Fence In The Fishbowl

My back yard is HOT. I mean, really, really, hot. All plants are classified as shade, part shade and/or full sun. They need to come up with a new category for outdoors spaces like my back yard….bloody hot. It also gets pretty moist back there because  I think the developer of the neighborhood hired 14 year old kids to plan and grade the land before they built these balsa wood houses, so water tends to pool in my backyard. I may be exaggerating….I’m confident any 14 year old could do a better job. I’m totally off topic but I’m sure you can tell that I think the developers were morons (and so did the 3 landscape professionals we consulted before I had 3 additional water tiles installed).

I also have a bit of a privacy issue. The ASSociation will not allow fences, so I live in a fishbowl where everyone has full view into everyone’s lives…er, I mean houses. I am on a quest to create privacy that the higher powers will ‘allow.’ I am going to keep adding to my garden until I grow some privacy. My kids LOVE this neighborhood and at the time, I thought it would be a good idea. I love to see my kids happy, so I wear sunglasses and talk to the dog a lot when I’m outside. When you talk to a dog, people assume you’re crazy or busy and I’m ok with either.

Fortunately, I’m an optimist and I have a good sense of humor (and a lot of wine). For every challenge there is always a silver lining!!! Hibiscus, tall grasses, peonies, callas and elephant ear grow so beautifully in my back yard. My raspberry bushes LOVE it back there and my raised vegetable beds get plentiful sun! I like my house both inside and out….somedays I just wish it was positioned on 10 acres of nothingness.

I took this picture at Disney in ‘France’ last May and thought it would work great in my back yard!  I know succulents would grow and thrive in the heat in my back yard, as long as they aren’t planted IN the ground, so I have decided to grow them in a vertical garden around the patio.

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This is the perfect way to define the space to create a little more privacy. Do you think the ASSociation would have a problem with this vertical garden if it was 7ft tall?