I'm home on the farm for two days to take care of the animals while my parents go on a belated 30th wedding anniversary motorcycle trip across Utah/Idaho/Montana/Wyoming. (My dad hopes they'll be camping in the wilderness. My mom hopes they'll be staying at the Four Seasons. We four daughters are ve-ry curious to see how this all pans out.)
And so I did what every responsible oldest child does while house-sitting and raided the overgrown garden for my favorite late-summer treasures: dahlias. Every year for Christmas I give my mom a new dahlia tuber from the D. Landreth Seed Company, and I'm not sure who gets more joy out the arrangement, me or mom. This time last summer, when I was freshly transplanted to India and a world away from her garden, my mom sent me pictures from her iPhone each time a new dahlia bloomed. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get little mother-daughter-flower tears of homesick-garden-love when I opened up those precious emails. Needless to say, for romantics with a propensity for period dramas and a soft-spot for Edith Wharton, dahlias, with their dinner-plate-sized petticoats and lavish ruffles, are pretty much the cat's pajamas. And a word about Landreth Seeds: their website could use an overhaul, but don't be fooled; they are the BEST. The. Best. The oldest heirloom seed company in America, they've been selling the most luxurious seeds, bulbs, tubers and corms since 1784. And if you actually call them, a little old lady will answer all your dahlia questions and then some. You will hang up the phone elated, and then you will promptly forget about the whole thing until a marvelous little box of humble dahlia tubers arrives in early spring. Then you plant them and wait patiently, maybe forget about them entirely (this is an ongoing theme in our house, the forgetting of dahlias), until late August rolls around and BOOM! Suddenly you have filigreed color-bombs exploding all over the place like a garden game of holi. Ours, above, fell victim to a host of voracious slugs before I rescued them, but still. They make my heart swell just looking at them. Some favorites: Kogana Fubuki, Firepot and Clara Huston.
P.S. Those paintings pictured above are the last pieces available from my Indian grain silo series. If you're interested, email me for details! Some recent happy customers: Lisa from Privilege, here, and Meg from A Practical Wedding, here. A humbled, delighted thanks, ladies!