Albert says he's been growing roses for years, but Pat wanted dahlias. "When we returned," he said, "I serendipitously found Lynch Creek Farm and ordered the Premier Cutflower Collection."
The soil where the Davious live, in Dahlonega in the North Georgia mountains (and shouldn't everyone in a town called Dahlonega grow dahlias?) is primarily clay, so he had some work to do in preparing the ground for his dahlia tubers.
"I prepared the red clay beds by tilling and adding compost, seasoned wood-chip mulch, and perhaps some top soil," he recalls. "I waited until around April 20 or so when they arrived and planted the tubers per the instructions. I did put some cottonseed meal around them," he noted. "When it rained on the wheelbarrow it was in, it made the meal too hot and damaged two of the plants, but they are okay.
"The key to success, however," Daviou observes, "is in the eye." And while the eye of the dahlia tuber is essential, the eye of the grower is a significant part of the process. "Every day, several times a day, I would (and still do) walk through the beds looking for signs of beauty. Then—voila!—first the green, and then she appears."
Three of Albert Daviou's first tubers didn't appear, however. "When I wrote to Andy that three did not emerge, he, understanding sacramental surplus, replaced them with 15 more." (Editor's note: Episcopal clergy use phrases like "sacramental surplus" sometimes. Seeing the sacramental nature of things like dahlias is a gift they share like a bouquet.)
The resulting quantities of plants in his newly dahlia-filled garden "irritate some of my neighbors who believe in the world there can be too much beauty; this gives me added delight," he comments.
Growing dahlias, Daviou says, is "an exercise of patience and love. The flowers make their way to the altar of Saint Elizabeth's Church, and from there to the home of someone in need or the desk of the receptionist at Community Helping Place.
"We love them," Daviou concludes, "and are grateful to Lynch Creek Farms for providing a beautiful, high quality product, support, and the best customer service I have ever experienced." At Lynch Creek Farm, the staff is grateful that Daviou shared photos of his dahlias and garden, as well as sharing his dahlias with his congregation and the wider community in Dahlonega.