1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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.


  4. 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…


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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


  9. 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?


  10. 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.


  11. 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. 😀


  12. 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!!


  13. 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!


  14. 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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