A guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms
Reviewed by Carol Gardner
Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias is a book that informs, excites and, for the beginner dahlia grower, frightens. Written by Erin Benzakein, with Jill Jorgensen and Julie Chai, the book begins with an enticing listing (with pictures) of dahlias by size, form and colour. The photos by Chris Benzakien are luscious.
The author owns a large dahlia farm. As you get past the tempting pictures into the ‘Growing and Care’ section, and move through the book to ‘Advanced Techniques’, you slowly realize (if you’re a newbie to dahlias) that you should have read a more basic book first. This is not an instructional manual for a neophyte, but rather a book for experienced dahlia aficionados who want to advance their knowledge and learn from a pro. The final chapters – Designing with Dahlias and Variety Finder, are tempting and beautiful; the author’s experience as a florist is evident.
The book is visually stunning, and would be a great gift for someone who already knows the basics and wants to expand their repertoire. Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias, Chronicle Books
Carol Gardner is a freelance garden writer. She is chair of the TBG Trellis magazine and Through the Garden Gate Tour Committees