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Bliss Ranch Dahlia Garden

There are flower farmers, and then there are FLOWER FARMERS. 

There are people who plant flowers, and there are people who plant, grow, and tend flowers.

There are people who take their passion for growing flowers very seriously, or make an income from it, and some who grow tons of blooms for the pure enjoyment of the whole process from start to finish.

And there are also people like me.

Dahlia Flowers,

I enjoy the part where you cut and display, but I admit I also like the feeling of accomplishment if everything goes how it should and there are actually blooms to cut at the end.

I don't consider myself a green thumb, so in the past I have planted things that pretty much take care of themselves.  In the cold North to me that means.... no bulbs that have to be removed in the fall and reinstalled in dirt in the spring.  No plant, flower, or shrub that needs endless fussing over.

I had peonies envy, but never considered planting any till a cousin divided some of her mothers plants and we ended up with two peonies bushes that are also sentimental since they originated so many years ago from an aunt.  Very pretty in late spring.

I planted hydrangeas that just don't produce like they should, and recently had a discussion on Instagram as to what the problem could be, leaving me hope that next year will be different for my hydrangeas.

Healthy but barren hydrangea bush
I'm fortunate that I know people who have hydrangea success and I can clip a few to dry.


But the prize flowers in my minds-eye are dahlias.

I told myself that if I could grow some of those dahlia beauties I would forget about that never fussing over plants thing.

I would conquer and divide the tubers each spring.

I would prepare the soil and carefully plant when the dirt is warm enough so as not to rot them where they lay.

Dahlia Flowers,

I wouldn't do unto the dahlias as the many veggie gardens that came before were done unto..... which was ignore them.

Dahlia Flowers,
Dahlia Tubers
I would read information from knowledgeable sources as well as practice what the gardener of the tubers preached.  You can read about the original home to my tubers at the Family Dahlia Garden Here.

And come the first frost I promised that the tubers would be dug back up and properly stored.

With no intention of becoming an expert, I told myself to implement just enough of the dahlia growing tips to plant and cut my little slice of dahlia heaven.

So I did.

Dahlia Flowers,

Well... we did... my husband was most of the muscle, and even he was reading and following the dahlia growing rules for success.

We chose a spot with the right amount of sun, in a location where they wouldn't be forgotten, out of the way and still in sight to enjoy when the bloom was going on.

I predict a white picket fence and a dedicated dahlia garden spot next year.

Dahlia Flowers,

All the freshly in the ground tubers were marked with their official dahlia names, covered with landscape poly and black mulch, and we talked about naming them our own easy to remember names as they bloom and the colors come to life.

In the end there were about 15 varieties with 20 plants in the ground.  I typed up a map in case something happened to the little wooden stakes we used to mark the bare earth.

Dahlia Flowers,

The mantra to repeat as per Jerry our personal dahlia guru, "a staked dahlia is a happy dahlia". 

Jerry keeps a big pile of wooden stakes for his thousands of dahlia bushes, but we used what we had on hand for our 20 stakes, iron re-rod.  Our dahlias were happy, and they grew hearty, even though this first year was really a trial to see if we were even capable of growing such beauty.

Dahlia Flowers,

Around our parts we had a wet spring, and I worried the location we chose might be bad, as it tends to hold moisture longer in wet years, but it must have been the perfect amount as all but 2 of the tubers grew.

Dahlia Flowers,

And whatever limited care we gave them must have been enough. 

Our first flowers blossomed 64 days later, two purple kinds.  I will keep vases handy because the more you cut the more they bloom.

Dahlia Flowers,
My first official Bliss Ranch Dahlia
I was warned that growing dahlias can be addicting. 

I believe it. 

Joe and Vera the original tuber planters found that out, and their son Jerry found that out.

And now thanks to them, their flowers are growing a few miles away in my yard.

Dahlia Flowers,

Their field of flowers is really a sight to see.  I don't yet know what colors all of ours will be till each plant blooms. So far there are several deep red or purple ones.

Sadly last Fall we said goodbye to my mother in law.  But thanks to that farm of flowers I was able to make her the most beautiful arrangement of dahlias. There was one flower for every year she was part of my life.

Dahlia Flowers,

Tucked in the back of a cabinet I have a vase that came from the original homestead of the flower family, and it was gifted to me one year full of dahlias.  It belonged to the flower matriarch.  This year I will get out that vase and fill it full right from my own yard.  How wonderful to have their memory live on and to be remembered with a dahlia legacy.

After I arrange the flowers in the vase I'll whisper out loud some words of gratitude for all the people that made my little dahlia flower garden possible. 

Next week I have a post using some of the recent blooms, so stop back in to see how I was able to display my dahlias.

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  1. Bliss the end of this was so touching it brought a tear to my eye. I'm a truth girl and about your MIL was beautiful .

    I remember the original story of the dahlias and they are gorgeous and you have kept a tradition going.

    I so love dahlias but I would have to grow them in pots due to my health. I would want them to be happy and pots may not be their place.


  2. Bliss, I think you’ve found your happy place—in the middle of your dahlias! I haven’t tried them, but we lost a big nandina that was a specimen, and I’m thinking about using that space as a cutting garden—maybe try one or two there. That’ll be in fall 2020 before I plant anything there—I’m building up the soil first.

  3. Your dahlias are gorgeous. I'm wondering if I want to try them now. I don't know where you live but I'm in northern Indiana - should I give them a try here?

    1. Yes! If I can grow these anyone can. We are in Minnesota.

  4. It's beautiful flowers..and they may remind us about memories. Thanks for nice share about your garden.

    Alice at HOMEiA


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