Hello and Happy (almost) Fall!!
After a few years of not going I decided I really wanted to see the acres of flowers at the Swan Island Dahlia Festival and since my flower loving friend was out of town I worked up the courage and drove myself out to face the crowds.
In hindsight going on Labor Day might not have been my best choice because there were about 530,678 other people (or it felt like that many) who decided they wanted to be there, too. Not too surprising since this event has grown in popularity and the owners of the farm have continued to increase the number of food trucks to keep up, I guess, with demand.
I’m not great with huge crowds. I just want to enjoy the event, have enough personal space, not have to wait in long lines and not have to scream to make myself heard.
I also have a hard time (read: panic, frustration, fear, anger, repeat) with the craziness of getting out of a parking lot when basically everyone is trying to exit at the same time. Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem with this festival since everyone was leaving at different times.
Enough of my whining. Seeing all those gorgeous flowers was definitely a wonderful way to sort of wrap up the summer. Even though there were plenty more sunny days through September the farmers’ markets are coming to the end of their season and events in general are sparse as the focus is on ‘back to school’.
The flower above is one of my all time favorites, though it is as hard to choose a favorite as it is to come up with enough adjectives to describe each new flower you see, and ‘Pooh’ never fails to make me smile.
Though I continually had to jockey for position to get photos and get frustrated when people refuse to obey the rules (Stay on the path, don’t walk in the rows of flowers) taking photos of all these beauties couldn’t help but make me smile.
It was just too warm for me so once I finished taking pictures I was quite happy to get out of the sun, and the dust, and back into the car to turn on the AC to cool off and start the drive home.
Once I downloaded the photos from the sim cards to the computer I forgot all about the sweat that was running down my back and my shoes caked with dust (just a vision of loveliness, eh?) and soaked in all the gorgeousness of these amazing flowers.
I do truly love flowers, in the garden, in a vase, or at a huge farm – flowers just make me happy. The variety of shapes and colors and sizes never fail to impress. I love flowers that smell amazing and I like flowers that I’d rather not smell. I love tiny, delicate flowers and big, loud flowers.
Yes, there are probably flowers that I don’t particularly like but they are probably someone else’s favorites.
There is a picture of me and my brother picking dandelions in a field, I was probably 4 and he was probably 6. Even though I have no idea where that picture is today, it remains on of my all time favorites. In my child’s mind I was surrounded by flowers and no one was telling me to ‘just look but don’t touch’.
I often buy flowers for myself. Just whatever appeals to me at the grocery store and I’m happy to be able to find something in the rack of marked down flowers because that means I can buy twice as many!
When I go for a walk and I see some gorgeous flowers in a neighbors yard and wonder why that person hasn’t cut some of those long stem red roses to take into the house. I don’t understand why that amazing white panicle hydrangea doesn’t have a single stock missing, day after day after day.
Just look at all those gorgeous daisies I wonder if they’ll take any inside before they have to be cut back.
I’ll admit that my big yellow dahlias faded before I could get around to cutting them to bring a couple inside. I was going to grab the two that are currently in bloom but torrential downpours have completely spoiled them. Fortunately, it looks like there are at least a couple more buds to open in the next few weeks.
Perhaps they are like me, they really enjoy walking up to their front doors and enjoying all the blooms. Or like me, they just want to share the beauty with everyone who walks by… and maybe show-off a bit, too.
Before my first trip to the festival I had no idea that dahlias came in so many shapes and sizes and colors and variety of blooms.
I also didn’t know that once they get started they will continue to bloom until the first frost providing weeks and weeks of wonderful blooms.
Dahlia foliage is quite interesting as well, it shows up in multiple shades of green from light to nearly black and many variations along the way.
For flower lovers I think there is something for just about everyone in the dahlia family.
Yes, they are a wonderful cut flower as well.
In many climates and with soil that doesn’t stay muddy they will over-winter. Though the pros at the festival will tell you it’s best to dig them up. I never do and they keep coming back.
This daisy-like dahlia is another one of my favorites and will probably be the next one I purchase for the little piece of dirt I call my garden. It makes me smile.
I’m done rambling on about these dahlias and flowers in general. For now.😉
I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos and will come back to visit them in the grey days of winter.
On another topic…
Here are a couple menu ideas for your September tea. Mix, match and adjust to suit your time, taste buds and guests.
The first is for a Back to School tea for children;
- Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup
- Star shaped grilled cheese sandwiches
- Three layer peanut butter and banana sandwiches on toast circles
- Egg Salad triangles
- Individual sized ramekins of Mac & Cheese
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Snicker Doodle Scones
- Apple Hand Pies
Now a little something for the adults; perhaps a post summer reunion of your friends or a little something for a group of teachers.
- Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup
- Sweet Potato chips w/herbed ricotta dip
- Waldorf Chicken Salad tea sandwiches
- Veggie Tartlets
- Pulled Pork sliders w/slaw
- Apple Cheddar Scones
- Fall Raspberry Scones
- Caramel Apple Cookies
- Eclairs w/caramel drizzle
First link – Ginger Snap Crafts – Wow Me Wednesday, next Embracing Change Wow Us Wednesdays, and A Stroll Through Life.