It all started with her. The sirene call... my siren, my mermaid flower. The dahlia. And not just any dahlia-- the Cafe au Lait. It was last year two years ago when I moved to Minnesota and, after a life of moving around the globe courtesy of the U.S. Army, I married my handsome farmer and started my garden. I use the word garden but it was more of an experiment. A few veggies here, a few flowers there... and lots of weeding because I did not prepare the soil. I refused to let my husband give me advise because while he was a farmer, I loved the flowers. Oh, what afool I was! But I learned my lessons and improved upon them. But even that was not enough to fuel a dream. You see, I did not know I had this dream-- to have a flower farm until I did some introspection. I actually thought I wanted a flower shop owner but after meeting with a few florists who were selling their business or simply giving advise I realized what I loved was the growing process-- taking a see, tuber or bulb, and seeing grow until it blooms.
As I went through the process of growing a little garden, I was still wondering if this was for me. After all it is hard work and my husband called me "black thumb" jokingly because a few tropical plants in the home died (hello, this is Minnesota and I was not used to this weather!). But the moment that filled with the fire of growing... my aha moment, came when I decided to grow Cafe au Lait dahlias. If you have seen bridal magazines, you have seen one of these delicate dahlias at one point.
And so I took the plunge and in the tubers went. And I waited patiently they started growing. For some reason I planted two tubers on pots and they grew beautifully. Then disaster. One of the adjacent dahlias (a different kind) started getting a pest. It looked like tiny grasshoppers. I tried everything, and they destroyed my dahlias especially the Cafe. Whee the flowers finally opened, all the petals were eaten. I was heartbroken. But then took matters into my own hands and moved the two potted dahlias. I cleaned them well, got all the buggers off, an into my garage they went. And there I patiently waited for them to open, hoping the petals would be intact. And after a long wait, it bloomed and it was perfection! They were smaller than a dinnerplate size but I think it is because it did not have enough light. Still it was saved.
And this determination to grow and save it from the pest, felt like a true labor of love. I cared for them like babies, and the reward once they bloomed was such that it is indescribable. Even the feeling surprised me. After the season was over, I started planning for next year and I knew that the Cafe au Lait will have a special place in my heart. In the winter, while I was going winter crazy I spoke with my husband about sectioning a small area of the farm to grow flowers and told him about my dream. And he did not laugh-- which I thought he would do. I explained my plan, concept and timeline. And his answer was: let's do this. And I love him for that.
And thus, here we are... starting a diary of this mermaid's dream to be earthbound and grow flowers. So I hope you will follow along here on the blog and on Instagram (@sireneflowerfarm).