Friday, September 13, 2013

Dancing through the Dahlia's for the Garden Bloggers Bloom day

Let me introduce you to Hamiltons Dahlia farm. A farm of long history being past down from Grandfather, father and then daughter. From Dahlia's to Marigolds and finally back to Dahlias. I have driven by and stopped to enjoy the colourful carpet of blooms as they danced and flirted for my eyes attention. I recently was invited to come and work there for the day harvesting the flowers for market. Boy was that ever an education and I will from hence forth have a far greater appreciation for the flowers at the market and what it takes to get them pristine  and pass very high standards they have of what makes a bloom worth its price!
 We were given instruction on what to look for.. what length of stem etc and at first it horrify s you having to sacrifice further buds to get the length of stem needed. We also dead headed blooms that weren't big enough on that morning but would be too far gone in three days. 
A riot of colour every where you look. A family operation with the owners husband, daughter and sister and her daughter all giving a hand on the day. 
For an on line look at the Hamilton Dahlia farm click HERE
I would be hard pushed to pick a favorite. Now that I have had a days training I would look at them for far more then just their colour, size and texture of bloom.
 On the day there were four separate wedding groups harvesting their own flowers. One of the brides was from Detroit. Seemed like a lot of time to spend the day before a big wedding travelling 2.5 hours to get to the farm and 2 hours harvesting then traveling back again. But, it apparently is the "latest" thing for brides to do. I will tell you that they picked a lot of flowers that would never made it to market if we were picking with our very strict list of qualities.
 I love the Cactus blooms.
Do you see all the dead

More of the dead heading and grooming of the rows. The ladies will be back in on Tuesday to harvest for the Wednesday markets. I will be back in on Friday September 13th to help harvest again for the Saturday markets and will get to see for myself just how fast the blooms regenerate.
Anomalies like this one are sought out for bouquets. In a row of all red this one stood out like a beacon. 
The darker centers of a dusting of chocolate make this dahlia very attractive... 
I heard a lot of names on the day but I believe this one is called  Papa  Benji... It was "Papa's dog Benji" that it was named for... One of my favorites but not of the growers... It has "issues" getting it long stemed enough.. strong enough stem and in perfect condition for market.. It would look perfect in my garden however and I wouldn't mind a few tubers! They will be offering some tubers for sale in the spring although their primary business is actually the cut flowers.
What a happy day spent out in such beauty... I did have one goal for the day however......
It wasn't to finish the day without nicking my finger.... Can you guess what it might of been?

Here's a shot of the full tubs being transported back to the cooler... It was over 85 degrees that day and going into the cooler felt good to all of us!
This was one of two coolers...

So the day past and I was granted my wish..... I got out of there without a single bee sting! The rows of blooms were steadily covered with bees as the temperature rose. Some rows more then others! 
I will be back out in the fields again today as you are reading this.. I've put in a quiet word to the big guy asking to not get stung today either... because I know that I will scream probably unlady like language...Last year I got stung three times on the hand. It was the first time I had been stung in years and it felt like an electrical shock or burning. My hand swelled up twice its size and I instantly had pain right up into my elbow and couldn't bend my wrist or fingers. The skin felt so stretched I thought it was going to split!  I use to not even flinch... now Im a complete wimp. 
Have a great weekend everyone. I will be tackling the first of many fall chores. I will be dividing my Peonys. Yes! it is time... Fall is the best time to split and divide or even just to move them to a new location in the garden. They will still have time to grow their roots a bit and get settled in for the winter a head.

PS.... it has not escaped my attention though that it is indeed Friday the 13th..... so my chances of getting stung just went up!... Although if the temperatures are the forecasted  upper 60's.... they may not be out in the numbers they were last Friday!... 
Kate.


OOOOOps!.... I was so late out in the Dahlia fields today I almost forgot to link up over at Tootsie Time!....
Its Also Garden Bloggers Bloom day over at 
http://www.maydreamsgardens.com  Its also now Sunday so a big cup of tea and catching up with all the post on both of these link ups is the order of the day.... along with all the fall chores that have now started and getting ready for a dinner party tomorrow night...
Have a fantastic slow Sunday...
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