Digging Dahlias

This week I have been digging up my dahlias, cutting the stems off, washing the tubers and tying tags on them so I know what kind it is, what colour, how tall it will grow. It’s a big job. I have discovered (through trial and error) that a lot of plants I am used to growing in my garden won’t thrive here. Roses for instance – they die within a couple of years. I used to grow a lot of roses but not anymore.

When I first began growing dahlias I was told that I would have to dig them up in the fall, store them over the winter and plant them again in the spring. Being of a somewhat stubborn nature, I decided not to do that. No plant was worth that much work.

Then they all died, one by one. It is too wet and cold in my garden for them to last more than a year or two. Resignedly I realized I would have to do the work. The result? A beautiful garden that blooms from mid July to the end of October.

Don’t you think it’s a bit like writing? If you think you can get by with the shortcuts – such as no plot, quick edits, ignoring the learning curve ­ you can end up with a book that doesn’t flourish. But if you pay attention to the detail, provide what is needed, do the work, you’ll end up with a good piece of writing. I think it’s worth the effort