Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dahlias! Dahlias!

{A Late-Summer Garden Celebrity, Plus A Few Paintings Whot Match}








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!

26 comments:

  1. Shoot girl, we could make some beautiful music together. YOU ARE SO EFFING HIRED.

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  2. Beautiful music, coming right up. If this painting thing doesn't work out can I apply for the position of Principal Hunter-Gatherer at A. Merrick, Flower-Monger?

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  3. [sigh]
    Why have I never heard much about dahlias? Time to go do some research...
    And thanks for your kind comment on my blog!

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  4. Dahlias are one of my favorite flowers. That's a ridiculously gorgeous arrangement you put together.

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  5. I love little old ladies that answer questions. I believe that they just earned my business. xoxo

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  6. Prolly the prettiest flower in the forest. Diggin' the new art too sister. Colors are awesome!

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  7. Fabulous pop in your paintings. I really like them. Lovely dahlias too. Nice job w/ the avocado and pita. Today was made by the sticky deliciousness of big fat ripe Brown Turkey Figs with crumbles of blue cheese. Couldn't stop eating them...

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  8. Now I'm homesick times one million. All three sisters, sans parental units, flower arranging, drinking southsides and reading Rick Moody poolside sans MOI?

    Btw- genius incorporation of the grape leaves with the daaaaahlias.

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  9. Lily those paintings are gorgeous. I am seriously going to have to buy one of your pieces. And as fro Dahlias well they are pretty much my favorite flower!!!! BISOUS!

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  10. Just look at those divine blooms! And your paintings alongside? Well, it's all marvelous. Been awhile since I've bopped over here. Miss you, Lily!

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  11. Speaking as one who DID buy one of her pieces, I can guarantee I'll be turned upside down, in a good way, every time I look at it.

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  12. HAD to drop in for dahlias and catch up! So nice to see the scamp again!

    Gorgeous flowers and pics and did I ever say ... magazine article!

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  13. the dalias are gorgeous - and so are those grapes! beautiful, natural unfussy arrangement. lovely lovely.

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  14. thanks for the lovely comments, dahlings!

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  15. Enjoying getting lost in your blog tonight...it's new-to-me but is quickly going to the top of my list. Lots of similar interests...

    p.s. so curious to see how your parents trip turns out...they sound like my husband and I...he - camping and me - 4 seasons. However, because of budget restraints he usually wins :)

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  16. these flowers--and those paintings--are gorgeous!!
    love these images.


    ps: the lacuna is on my shelf--just waiting to be read. i think i'll take on the challenge as my next read! looking forward to it!

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  17. That is such a sweet tradition you have with your mom - it's inspired me to call D. Landreth Seed Co. and order some dahlias for my mom.

    P.S. I've been on a recent Edith Wharton binge - currently reading Age of Innocence.

    xo
    Cortnie

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  18. these pictures are flawless

    http://xoxo-carolinalove.blogspot.com

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  19. DAMN. One of my second favorites is left. But two would just be greedy, right?

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  20. Beautiful shades of colours. so full of life
    Have a lovely day
    Sara C.

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  21. I'm always breathtaken by your photos! Your flowering tips are much appreciated

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  22. Stephanie- welcome! Thank you!

    Caroline- ditto!

    Alfie-kins- ok, it's amazing. but be patient in the beginning. it took me a WHILE to get into it, but then i gave myself over to it and it was GOOD to me. one of my favorites in this past year of reading fo sho.

    Tiny Particles- yesssss. my sister wrote her thesis on Edith Wharton, or Edie Warthog as we call her in my family (lovingly, of course). If you really actually called up Landreth I'll faint with happiness.

    Dania- thanks, lady!

    Meg- sista, let's TALK. steep discounts for repeat buyers, you know;)

    Sara C.- why thank you. You, too!

    WR- aw shucks, and thank you. Hope you have some mahvelous dahlias on your horizon. xo.

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  23. Did you know that D.Landreth's is in trouble? This interview is both informative and sad:

    http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=11-P13-00038&segmentID=8

    Everybody buy a catalog!

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