1. tammigirl
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:16 am

    Oh boy! The vassio reminds me of a jellyfish, so I can not have it, but the sheer heaven? I want THOUSANDS!

    How dare they not respond to your request for giveaway goodness? I wonder if they will once they get thousands of hits from your blog today? I think it’s gross when companies ignore people. On the other hand, I’ve had all variety off strange offers regarding my little blog with four readers and have ignored most of them. I’m a hypocrite, yes.

    I abhor gardening, or pretty much any activity I have to go outside to do. I’m blaming you in advance for the parts of my summer I do not like. I hope the kids feel like planting these dahlias!


  2. Siouxzie Q
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:17 am

    Very inspiring, but ok, can I confess that I haven’t yet cleaned up the garden from last fall?
    Your dahlia choices are gorgeous.


  3. Margaret Eaton
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    We how are now feeling guilty salute you! Everything you do yet you still find time to calculate staging for your plants so you have blooms all year. And plant, and weed (or is that Paul’s job?) and then write about it all. You must have a time machine to fit it all in. Please let me know where I can get one.


  4. Margaret Eaton
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:19 am

    *who* not how


  5. GlitterGrump
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    Those are insanely beautiful. I need to trick my husband into planting and maintaining a giant beautiful garden.

    Or perhaps have a dalliance with someone that will maintain my garden. (TWSS)


  6. judy
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:43 am

    Thanks for this update on flower gardening-I’m too tired to try planting the seeds I bought so I’m going to take my chances with just putting them into my giant container pots that are filled with the fertilizing potting soil and hope for the best. I live in Virginia so I might get lucky-We have shrink swell clay soil so no planting in the ground. Do you have a problem with your bulbs, tubers being devoured by various critters? How do you prevent this? Great post, who doesn’t love beautiful flowers?


  7. Melissa@TheChicDream
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    Your dahlias are going to be beautiful! I love dahlias. I actually just planted a couple of my own last weekend. They are a beautiful ruby red color. I can’t wait for them to get big and glorious!


  8. My Crappy House
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Is there really a Dahlia called “blah blah blah”? I don’t/can’t garden, but it would be worth trying if I could say, “Look! My blah blah blahs are blooming!” Or, more likely for me, “Damn. I killed the blah blah blahs.”


    • Eads
      April 9, 2014 @ 11:02 pm

      Yep, that caught my eye, too. I would totally grown those just for the name.


  9. Kristine Robinson
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Thanks! I just went to Swan Island and bought some Dahlia’s. I’ve admired them in a friend’s garden, and thought about planting some in my own beds. Second to tree peonies, they are so impressive! Thanks for sharing…BTW, I let them know you sent me at Swan Island!! They should know how awesome you are.


  10. Diana C.
    April 8, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    I was just wondering this morning where you have been! Now I know… playing in dirt. Love your dahlias and one of these days when I don’t have a dog to trample them, I may step out and actually plant some. Now isn’t a good time for me as I am currently in the process of killing what was once a beautiful Meyer Lemon Tree. It didn’t say on the little tag that they take the better part of nine months to ripen!

    After twenty years of digging, planting, pruning, weeding, cutting back, and cutting down, I confess to dreading the thought of cutting grass again, much less putting in flowers. I’m not married to a “Paul”; my husband caught on pretty early on that while I was content to work in the yard until the job was finished, which could mean after midnight, that meant he was expected to as well. Mutiny right off the bat. So I’d be out there digging and potting in the moonlight (and flood light) by myself into the wee hours of the morning, until I got tired of it. The work:beauty ratio wasn’t high enough. I don’t have the greenest of thumbs. Nope, I don’t have a garden either. Why feed the rabbits and squirrels?

    So please continue to post photos of your luscious flowers; I will love them from afar.


    • Tal
      April 9, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

      Why not feed the rabbits and squirrels? They are lovely and compassion toward living beings is a good thing. And maybe someone in turn will feed you one day if you need it.


  11. Mo
    April 8, 2014 @ 11:11 am

    Hi love what you have done with house. We also have a 1909 Victorian Thats being renovated room by room (I feel your pain ) right now we’re looking to paint the outside siding and we really like the blue color you have on your home. Is there any you can please take a picture of the color code from can and email it to me moe458@gmail.com Thank you so much.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 8, 2014 @ 11:48 am

      I added that to my “to do” list and FORGOT that you emailed me! SORRY!!! It’s Cool Sky, by Behr (home depot). If you still need a can-pic, let me know and I’ll see if I can find the container.


      • Mo
        April 8, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

        I’ll pick up a sample from HD. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to more pics for more great ideas 🙂


  12. Loretta DM
    April 8, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    I am new to your blog and I LOVE it! Those Dahlias are beautiful. You’ve almost made me want to grow some.

    Please do two things for your fans, OK for this new fan – put the dates of the blogs at the top under the title, and tell us where you live. I do not mean specifically where you live. I do not want people to come steal any of those Dahlias. I just want to know generally where you garden, i.e., North East West Virginia, or something.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 8, 2014 @ 11:50 am

      Outside Philadelphia (a better gardener would know my exact zone).
      Dates are at bottom of posts (a better tech-person could move them.)


  13. Just Bob
    April 8, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    So, where do we stand with the kitchen? Did I miss some posts?


  14. Laurie
    April 8, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

    I’m about to jump on the dahlia train. I got one as a gift last year and it did great as I neglected it. It’s coming back beautifully this year as I continue to neglect it so I’m on board!

    This is the strategy I tried with tulips when I just randomly bought bags of bulbs on sale, put them in the ground when everyone else’s was blooming (which is the wrong time to do it but that is when they inspire you) and this year they finally all started coming up and my yard may finally qualify as “riot” of color which sounds so romantic and awesome.

    Do dahlia multiply like tulips and daffodils? I really like when plants plant themselves.


  15. cindy
    April 8, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    love your picks. I have two varieties of dahlias in my garden. im in atlanta and due to our harsh winter (for dow here) im not sure if they made it. last year i didnt stake them and that was a big mistake. ill try this year, but as you said there are so many other garden tasks.


  16. Garden, Home and Party
    April 8, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    I think I say this every year when you share your dahlias…I want to grow these, note to self: must order tubers next spring.
    I love the Bluetiful and Midnight Moon. Is there really a dahlia called blah, blah, blah?!
    I have the copper stakes and they are great, but I kind of like the stainless one…can you send me the link?
    You grow the most amazing flowers.


  17. PJ
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

    Gorgeous. I wanted the wonderful VEB enthusiasts to know that there is a lovely dahlia garden in Rockport Maine. It is a small local family business, but they do have a website and ship all over. Perhaps their stock, nurtured on the northeast coast, will be a good source for your loyal New England readers, and perhaps a little heartier (although they do recommend digging them up for the winter). The link is: http://endlesssummerflowerfarm.com/ . Happy colorful hugeness!


  18. PJ
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Of course, *hardier* , but so lovely that you have to think they have heart, also.


    • PJ
      April 8, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

      Just so I can have as many corrections as possible related to one inconsequential comment; the Endless Summer Flower Farm is actually in Camden, Maine. I was a mere visitor last summer. I was directed there after admiring fabulous dahlias on display at a local winery and asking where they came from. I wasn’t disappointed when I followed the lead.


      • Chris
        April 9, 2014 @ 11:19 am

        Hi PJ,

        I am from New England and this would be a fun day trip for me come fall! Thanks for the temptation of a new place to order from 🙂


  19. LeslieS
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    Victoria – love you love your blog please stop planting Dahlias and finish your kitchen (and let us know how the bed turned out)

    Xxxooo you blog groupies


  20. judy
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    Gosh…… I don’t blame you at all for NOT tackling the kitchen anytime soon. Enormous disruption-no place to prepare food-Lots of loot needed for kitchens involving Lady’s who live in a Kingdom of mirrors and magic portals. Stick with the flowers and maybe a pretty luncheon spot outside the kitchen window that can be admired from the quite adequate kitchen. And lots of Dancing-anyone who possesses a Paul who can also Dance! should not be home ripping apart former owners creative kitchen attempt. Lots more fun and lots less dirt-also frustration-also endless decisions about tile and faucets………. yuck!!!!!-time for extensive procrastination!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 10, 2014 @ 8:48 am

      I love you.
      That is all.


      • judy
        April 10, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

        Beyond the all- I actually love you and Paul and Elvis-and I’ll wager that many of your fans feel the same. I can only equate this phenomenon to the pen pal exchanges back in the olden days. I imagine many of the writers asked themselves why? did I ever get involved in this activity- wasting my time- my patience, and requiring the necessity of feeble attempts @ a cheery exchange in few words or less-and then came the letter from one of your ancestors-bright,interesting,literate with an hilarious sense of humor and the reason for seeking out such a person/now blogger becomes abundantly clear. Priceless entertainment and for free. Where else can one take a few minutes/(reading all the great replies changes that to hours) and feel strangely happy for the remainder of the day. You are a modern day Dorothy Parker and much funnier than Erma Bombeck. Thanks


  21. Jennifer Gitts-Eubanks
    April 8, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    It has been brought to my attention that you have emailed us twice and I have not responded. I respond to each and every email I received, all day long. This is our family business and I am third generation dahlia grower here, this is a very important matter to me. We value each and every customer and absolutely make sure to respond to everyone. We want all of our customers to have gorgeous dahlias and have their questions answered. I am sorry but I have searched and searched and cannot locate a single email from you asking for free dahlias. I am so sorry that I never received this email from you and would love to visit regarding this matter. Please email me directly at info@dahlias.com or visit dahlias.com and send me an email through our “contact us” link. Thank you! Happy dahlias. Have a beautiful day.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 8, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

      I just checked that is the email I used, (it is) I’ll forward it to you… I didn’t use the contact form.


  22. Toni
    April 8, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

    Wow! I must have drank the kool-aid because I bought dahlias at Costco a few weeks ago.
    I don’t know why but I felt like trying the lottery and shooting for big flowers and hoping deer and turkeys or whatever don’t eat them. A little research confirmed that the deer shouldn’t like them, but here in CT, they eat bee balm and they’re not supposed to like that! Wish me luck!


  23. Chris
    April 8, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

    HI! Love this post. I think I originally found your blog based on a previous post of yours about dahlias.

    I am a huge fan of dahlias. We grew over 80 plants last year. Most of yours look familiar to me. I am ordering vassio meggos for the first time this year! We lost about half of our tubers this winter (just peeked at them on Sunday) , so I will have to do much more ordering than planned. If you are ever interested in a tuber exchange, let me know! I have quite a few Kelvin Floodlight tubers (huge, yellow, super hardy, great for cuttings).

    Have you ever grown Bliss? It is my favorite waterlily. My tuber didn’t survive and they are all sold out now 🙁 My all time favorite is Blown Dry. You can only get it through Coralitos and they aren’t shipping this year. OK, now I feel like a Dahlia nerd talking like this.

    Anyway, my point of commenting is to BEG for more dahlia posts. I love your other posts as well, but I hardly ever come across anyone with a passion for Dahlias like I have.


  24. laurie magpie ethel
    April 9, 2014 @ 12:00 am

    Ditto on the dahlia love. They are a truly amazing flower and I grow them as well (and don’t bother digging them up either..I hope for the best). I am lucky to live near Swan Island dahlias and there is nothing prettier than wandering through their dahlia fields when they are in bloom when they have their dahlia festival. We also have a farm stand nearby that sells dahlias by the stem. They are a quarter each and I come home with giant bouquets of them..GIANT. Then I don’t have to cut them from my garden. Adding more this year once more…


  25. Pattie C
    April 9, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    I planted 2 multicolor, burgundy and white dahlias last year and they were fantastic, as the bloom ages it’s colors change so every bloom is a little different, they were so beautiful. I can’t wait to get about a dozen more this year to fill up a raised bed on the east side of my house. I do deadhead just to keep things looking special, and since they are right by the drive staring me in the face when I get out of the car they kind of make me do it.


  26. Alex
    April 9, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    Now I have to go get some. And try not to kill them in my garden. Flowers over here I try to aim for planting in the front yard and that doesn’t say much given that it’s a north facing one and any attempts at growing anything remotely pretty over there, are killed by the lack of sunlight instantly. But this year lucky me, we get to move the garden bed and plant another tree. So it’s high time I get some flowers back there. Pray for me b/c moving like 6 wheel barrel’s full of soil should test my marriage.


  27. maria scaler
    April 9, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    Thanks for posting. For the dahlias when are you planting them outside? Also, for starting your zinnias inside (from your post last spring), how many hours were they under light per day? I keep getting different opinions, some say six others say 12 a day. Can’t wait to see how your dahlias turn out! Thanks again for your inspiration.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 10, 2014 @ 8:43 am

      Dahlias are out… I still have a few to plant, but hopefully will finish tonight.

      I plug the lights in when I get up, and unplug when I go to bed. Any other attempted schedule gets forgotten.


  28. Tammy Hebert
    April 10, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Victoria- Hope I can call you by your first name, as if we are truly real life friends. I feel as if we are by now. I have spent the last week reading your blog from beginning to now. I am caught up and have loved the journey. How in the world I found your blog I have no idea..but the bigger questions is How in the world did I not know about it from the beginning?

    I like all your “junkin” posts – a girl after my own heart. Our design is different – as you are way more fancy than my cottagey aesthetic but we both embrace broken, chippy, old, forlorn, abandoned items. I am a hoarder of that also. You love mirrors- I have a sick weakness for orphan chairs. No to reiterate what I tell my husband all the time – you can not have too many chairs. Jeesh.

    I just wanted to say I love your wit and sense of sarcasm. I share the same way and don’t understand why everyone doesn’t get it. I feel we are almost sisters from another mother- we love old homes, other peoples discarded trash, bossing our hubbys, being the supervisor on all home related projects where we ultimately are the superior knowledge on how things must be done – and if they’d just do it as we state we’d save a lot of time. And above all else we both agree that nothing is impossible if you want it badly enough.

    Thanks for all the laughs and I can’t wait to keep reading the posts of your journey.
    Tammy Hebert


  29. Anne
    April 11, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

    Victoria, I generally really like your blog and appreciate your sense of humor, but this …

    “I know you’re going to ask where I get mine, (Swan Island) and I’m aggravated to have to link to them because I emailed them twice, asking if they would give away some dahlia tubers, and I could not even get them to email me back.

    I was all – hello? I am a blogger. You must acknowledge my internet-presence and give me free things. (Or, at least just answer my email in case I tell thousands of people about your company and include this part.)

    Technically, I had ALREADY bought and paid for my own tubers so I was actually asking for free things on your behalf, but still – the principle is the same: I blog, thus I should get free stuff…WHERE IS MY SWAG?”

    I know you’re trying to be funny, but you’re always trying to be funny and so some attempts will fall flat. You sound insufferable in this last paragraph!


    • judy
      April 11, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

      um ………… I thought it was funny and there is a distinct difference between those who are trying to be funny and true wit and humor informed by a high degree of intelligence and education. Honestly I have never read a VEB post that wasn’t both informative and extremely humorous.


    • Margaret Eaton
      April 11, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

      Sorry Anne, but I think that Victoria has definitely given something to the nursery – a recommendation seen and trusted by her loyal followers. That sort of advertising is priceless. If the management at Swan Hill were to ask an agency to tailor something to their specific market niche they could not have done better. A few tubers would be a gesture of appreciation and would hardly bankrupt them. It isn’t as though she refused to recommend them without compensation – that would have been insufferable.


    • Penny
      April 11, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

      I agree with Anne. I thought that it wasn’t funny and came across as pretty ungrateful. It really rubbed me the wrong way. I expect better from VEB.


      • judy
        April 15, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

        I know the first rule of blogging is-don’t respond to negative comments-cause they are followed by an avalanche of more negative comments, taking something that was fun and an interesting diversion into something that is neither. But since I am older than dirt and have nothing more interesting to do but disintegrate and die and hopefully fertilize some Benary Dalia’s-I missed something here-what was the thing that required Veb to be grateful? She had purchased from this source and was recommending them to her readers. She made a joke about their failure to recognize her as a “Blogger” deserving of “Swag” for her readers not for herself. VEB seems very self deprecating and loathing of self importance so the joke was on her and not Swan Island. Just a thought and not meant to do more than clarify how I believe some of us interpreted her comment. And you gotta admit this blog is a lot of entertainment for free. Hey-Sorta like Word Swag?


  30. Margaret
    April 11, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    I will just say this. I have used Swan Island for 3 years now (and my mom for many more), and they have been absolutely fantastic to me. I grow 30 dahlias last year. Whenever a tuber didn’t come up, they sent me a new one, no questions asked. I swear by their tubers and wholeheartedly recommend their company to anyone. I think it’s pretty uncool to give them grief for not giving you swag, and if that’s supposed to be a joke, it misses the mark.


  31. Karen Rainwater
    April 14, 2014 @ 9:56 am

    I have realized that I am mildly addicted to your blog. Being addicted has presented a problem for me. You do not blog enough. By enough I mean I need you to blog daily. Maybe twice daily. Given that you are not beholden to me in that regard I have worked out a solution. I don’t read your blogs until I have at least three collected up in my email. Then I read them all at once. I gorge. Somehow that holds me almost until you post your next three or so.

    Thank you, my blog “dealer” for sharing your insights and life with all of us. 😀


  32. Landis
    April 15, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

    oh, how i love reading your blog! having rescued many homes myself in my 27 year marriage, i understand the compulsion to “fix” the neediest house of all. my current home is “done” and so of course, i’m thinking it’s time to sell and find another project! oh my!!


  33. Christi {Jealous Hands}
    April 19, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

    So, you’ve totally inspired me to grow dahlias this year. I’ve always wanted to bur never pulledit off. Thanks!


  34. Sienna
    August 1, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

    Hi Victoria! It’s summer, therefore I am planning next spring’s garden. of dahlias. This post cracked me up. Yes including the last line looking for swag. Clearly a very serious joke. Anyway I was wondering how many tubers you order of each type of dahlia? Btw, I am also ordering Benary zinnias. And Cup Plant.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 7, 2014 @ 9:38 am

      first – sorry for my delayed response! We were on vacation, then giant pile of work, email overflowing…

      It really depends how much I like the flower. (Or the photo, if I haven’t grown it before). Some tubers I order just for variety/color variation, but am not super excited about so I will just order one of those. If it is something I know I love (Randi Dawn, Vassio etc.) I will order several depending on what layout I have planned in my head.

      I hope to do a garden update soon… Especially with the new-to-me tubers.


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