Luke fancies himself a gardener and wants to expand the whole plot by double next year.
I think he just likes pumpkins and the idea of making money off them. He begged to have a milk-fed pumpkin like Almanzo (Farmer Boy) but we really didn’t even try any huge pumpkin varieties this year, just jack-o-lantern and jack be littles. And I ain’t about to let him dump milk out of a jug from the fridge. We had to talk about Almanzo and what is realistic in our situation. I.e., we folks who do not have dairy cows.

A pleasant, calm scene.
Meanwhile, around the corner…signs of summer. A not pleasant, not calm scene.

Summer is full of contradictions. Rest? Who? Me? Maybe I just like vegetables so much because they’re quiet and peaceable and don’t ask much of me.

But maybe it’s just a sign of the garden—where there used to be nothing, there is now something, and a lot of it. One day you don’t have kids and twelve years later you have kids, all their projects (solar ovens, clay figurines, wall mazes, board games, homemade gummy bear templates), snacks, personalities—you get the idea.

Back in winter when folks dream about summer I bought some dahlia tubers from both Walmart and an online dahlia producer. I thought I’d just compare what came up. I’m cheap, so I waited till the dahlia farm people were having a big sale and I ordered a box of six tubers that were on sale for forty bucks (I was going to say sixty, but that must’ve been with tax and shipping). These little withered sweet-potato-esque tubers showed up.
Meanwhile I bought two boxes of dahlias from Walmart for ten bucks a piece. The bags inside were filled with wood shavings and whole bunches of tubers—probably fifty in each bag, had I separated them. I was under the impression that dahlias need to be planted as whole bunches of weird tuber-root systems, so that’s what I did with my Walmart tubers.

Walmart variety.

I’ve had wonderful luck with all varieties. The single tubers I ordered online—Hee Haugh is the variety—are abundant and gorgeous, with buttery-orange petals that feather out along the edges. They just keep coming and coming. I’m a dahlia girl now—just need to remember to stake them up better next year.

Hee Haugh from the dahlia farm.

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