Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My dahlias

Dahlias always have a place in my heart. I love the flowers as they look so "cheerful". I also love the flowers because they remind me of my childhood living with my father in our hometown.
I was about 8 or 9 years old then. I remembered we lived on a large property but we didn't have a flower garden 'cause father didn't have time for that. He was busy working on the farm as my mother was usually away from home running her trading business. So there were only my father and I most of the time.
I had a crave for plants even then. I remembered having gone around the neighborhood and begging for seeds and seedlings to plant at our home. Once I was given a clump of dahlia tubers!
I followed instructions from adults to give the dahlias chicken feathers as fertilizer. It was said that the feathers would make the dahlia blooms have the color like that of a rooster's tail. I had beautiful dahlia blooms but I don't remember now if they looked particularly shinny like the rooster's tail or not!
When I grew up and have our own home and garden, I tried many times to grow dahlias with no success. We didn't have the right climate for them down in our Saigon garden. So my desire to have dahlias in the garden keeps on growing!
When we have Tuysonvien, I decided that I must have dahlias in my garden!

So we went around looking for them. Dahlias are considered 'wild plant' locally and there's no way one can buy seedlings or tubers from the market. The only ways to obtain tubers are to beg for them from friends and neighbors or to "borrow" from roadside strays (hehehe, you know what I mean, don't you?)
One morning back in 2005, while we were taking our morning walk, hubby and I spotted a clump of dahlias growing by the fence of a house. I couldn't find the owner to ask if I could have a tuber, so... you know what happened. This is our gain that time.

Then another time, I got given another tuber. This is my second plant.

I didn't know before I started planting dahlias that they were perrienal and that they would die down and come back year after year, in spring. Of course, I do now thanks to GW!
This year, my plants have came up already. I've just done weeding and fertilizing them. I hope I will have many blooms this summer.

Even now I grow many kinds of plants, I always love dahlias. They're great in the garden and as cut flowers, too. When I have many blooms, I often cut them for the vase. They always remind me of my happy time with my father some fifty years ago, in the countryside.


lynn'sgarden said...

I would beg, borrow or steal for these blooms too, Hà Xuân! Dahlias are tender here (zone 6) so they need to be dug up and stored. I just planted a very tall variety (4ft) in white for the back border. Your childhood memory of them is what makes them special :)

Hà Xuân said...

4 ft tall dahlias? Mine is much shorter and they stay in the ground all year. I'm looking for more colors like white and yellow. I've seen them along the road but haven't got a chance to 'borrow' yet. Maybe one of the days... hehehe!
Thanks for visiting my blog, LH.