- A couple of weeks ago I invited you to tea on my patio. You met my fuchsias, my begonias and my Christmas cactuses. Today, in honor of fall and my sister’s birthday, (happy birthday, sis) we will tour my flower garden and see my dahlias. Won’t you join me?
I discovered dahlias when, early in our marriage, my husband took me to visit Shore Acres, a formal English garden along the southern Oregon coast. The garden there displays an assortment of flowers—from roses to pond lilies—but the dahlias caught my eye. The blooms on the giant flowers were magnificent, and the many varieties fascinated me. I determined that I would grow them in every color I could find, and I have, in increasing quantities, each season.
What is interesting about the dahlia is that while it produces a magnificent flower, it has no scent. Yet the massive flowers attract all manner of wildlife, from hummingbirds to dragonflies. Honeybees love them, too, and many an afternoon I’ve worked alongside a swarm of honeybees intent upon their business while I dead-headed the old flowers (snipping off the faded blossoms). Apparently I offer no threat because the bees hum busily beside me, floating from one flower to the next, ignoring me with my clippers while I drop the worn blooms into my plastic bucket.
Last summer the daughter of a friend of mine planned an August wedding at our church with the reception to follow in the church gym. To transform the area into a prettier setting, my friend decided that they would use fresh flowers for the reception tables. My friend, her mother, several other friends, neighbors, and I worked all summer growing flowers in the bride’s chosen colors—yellow, white and red. Though not all of the dahlias bloomed in time for the wedding, the reception area changed into a festive and colorful place for the bride and groom. This summer I enjoyed the new colors I’d gained from the experience, plus I watched the ones that didn’t make the wedding bloom in my garden.
As fall comes, and foul weather claims my garden, I am thankful for a great and loving God who has put so many colors into my world. What an awful place this earth would be if everything were in black and white. I’m thankful for God’s rainbow, a kaleidoscope of color to brighten my landscape even if only for a season. I am reminded of the scripture in Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”