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Connie”s Dahlias

Well it is October 27th, 2015 and I am almost finished splitting and labelling just short of 800 clumps of dahlia tubers….there are still two rows left to dig, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Some of you might follow me on Connie’s Dahlias Facebook Page….easy to find and you don’t have to belong to Facebook to follow this. There are tons of photos and instructions on how to take care of your wonderful dahlias posted throughout the year. As soon as the splitting is done, I will be loading up the Connie’s Dahlia Tubers for Sale page and have a link on my timeline to get to it. We sell Dahlia tubers in Canada only for those of you who have just found this page.

We live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia on a small farm where as seniors we enjoy the lifestyle of farming flowers and keeping busy and fit. Since I last posted, we have another dog, my late mother’s dog who will be 18 in February and is still going strong. Taffy is a happy little dog and enjoys the freedom of space after most of her life being an indoor dog.

This past year has been a challenging one is so very many ways, the weather was most unusual, too warm too soon…the weather in June was like August already and August’s weather turned into October….all jumbled up and a difficult one with water shortage, too hot and the plants and people who grew them grumpy. Thankfully September arrived with cooler weather, happier flowers with better color and we once again could enjoy our bountiful garden. In July I had been diagnosed with breast cancer….there were 12 weddings booked over the summer to supply flowers for and was told that they all needed to be cancelled. My life was put on hold to accommodate tests, Doctor’s appointments, surgery and recovery. By August 14th I was told that there had been no spread, the tumor was very small and that treatment would be radiation and Tamoxifen for five years.

Recovery was spent in the garden disbudding dahlias, deadheading spent blooms and generally enjoying the extra time that I now had to work the garden. September brought me two visits to the Cancer Clinic in Victoria where I was able to negotiate treatments to commence early November too give me time to get the plants out of the ground and dealt with. Also was asked if I would like to participate in a research program which I agreed to….it meant no radiation and they would follow me for 10 years. I was excited by this prospect and carried on with the garden, always planning for the future. September 29th we started to cut the dahlias down as always and here we are 4 weeks later and almost done. At least with no radiation treatment ahead of me did not have to work quite so fast.

Now planning the garden for 2016…getting ready to put up our ‘new to us’ greenhouse below the tuber shed and visions of more flowers for next year. A bigger garden, new dahlia varieties to enjoy and I am sure more weddings to be able to work with the brides. I am invigorated and excited by all of this …planning the garden on paper is half the fun on dreary days.

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Here we are in stormy British Columbia!

Hope your all doing well out there –  I grow dahlias and belong to the local dahlia society and hopefully the crazy weather sorts itself out before too long.   
I would be interested in chatting with other gardeners.  Also have a cute dog named Emma – she is hardly the size of a decent cat, but cute and cuddly, and two cats, Puss-caqt who is about 5 and a 9 month old kitten who was born ferral behind our sheep shed, we live trapped her, and now she is a house-cat until Spring when it should be safe to introduce her to the great outdoors.
It is dahlia digging and spliting season and I am just about to go to the greenhouse and label more tubers to put away for the winter months.  Before you know it, it will be early spring and time to take them out for the new season…endless work, but very rewarding.
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