Big Future Garden Energy
I GOT A LAMINATOR
If you follow me on Instagram you know what I’ve been doing instead of writing new editions of Garden Study: plotting a micro-dahlia operation! I’m starting it with my best friend here on the island, and the plan is pretty simple: plant a bunch of dahlias on our properties, sell some of the stems at the very casual farmer’s market, sell some of the tubers, and have the opportunity to fall even more deeply in love with these weird, complicated, lovely plants that just happen to flourish in our climate.
When and if it stops being overarchingly fun, we can go back to hobby dahlia growing…..but I mostly just think of this as hobby dahlia growing on a slightly larger scale (and an opportunity to put some of my organizational energy into something that brings me outside and makes me really happy). I’ll keep updating here, of course, but you can also follow along at Lummi Island Dahlias.
Right now, we’re finishing up sheet mulching various grass spots that will be dahlia rows, scouring the dahlia sales that open every day, doing close reads of Kristine Albrecht’s dahlia book, planning our staking strategy, and most importantly……making a whole lot of dahlia cards.
I learn by reading but I organize by physically moving things around (to-do lists are only useful for me when I write them out, for example, and am able to manually cross things off of them). If we’re planting somewhere between 400 and 500 dahlia tubers, we need to organize them (practically, they need to be organized by height so you don’t have a towering one shading out a shorter one….but we’re also both really into a sort of ombre style organizational scheme).
So we’re making these cards for each tuber — and then we’re going to move the cards around on big science-fair-style boards with the beds outlined on them. If this sounds like an arguably over-elaborate crafting project….IT IS.
But I also find it very soothing, the way any repetitive crafting project is soothing, the way weeding and dead-heading is soothing. My tools: my big Dahlia spreadsheet, index cards, a variety Sharpie pack from Target, a $6 mini paper cutter, a “nice” glue stick (as in nicer than what we had when we were kids), and a magic $30 laminator that makes me feel like I could run the world. (The cards aren’t going to go outside, I just want them to last).
While I’m doing this project indoors, it’s been fun watching my garden go into hibernation. I love watching the swelling buds on the hydrangeas, the decaying yellow leaves of the hostas, the little mushrooms peaking out of damp, cold soil.
Today, I want to hear about what you love in your winter garden…..OR what elaborate or not-so-elaborate planning projects you’re working on for the Spring. Are you planning on starting seed? Have you organized your seed orders? I want to know everything, and I’m here to answer any questions you might have about this wild dahlia endeavor we’re planning.