The connection between our property and Elawa Farm goes back 100 years, when they were both part of the same Armour family estate. The location of our studio and gardens were the coach and gate houses; Elawa was the estate farm. Though the property was divided long ago, we remain closely tethered by our shared sense of stewardship of a very special place. We serve on Elawa’s board, participate in their Garden Market several times a year, and dream big dreams together about what Elawa can become.
Last week, we simply got our hands dirty. Early on Monday morning, we brought over some seedlings and dug in to plant hundreds of plants for Elawa’s cutting garden. The farm will sell the dozens of dahlias, Queen Anne’s Lace, Lisianthus, and other varieties perfect for dazzling floral arrangements at their weekly Garden Market (Fridays and Saturdays from 8am – 1pm).
Jose, our ‘magician’ who nurtures our own garden with exquisite attention (and results!), patiently demonstrated a few tips for staking dahlias:
- Take a minute to examine your stake and put the thicker end of the bamboo stake into the ground. They’ll withstand decomposition longer and, of course, be less top-heavy and less likely to fall in the wind.
- A simple, loose twist-tie in a figure 8 pattern works best to secure the plant to the stake just below where it has branched. As the plant grows, it will rise along the stake easily if you’ve left the loop wide and open enough.
- If you’re planting many in a row, trim the tops off the stakes to make them even in height. It’s just an aesthetic touch that makes your neat rows look even neater!