In the midst of our huge gut and renovation process, I found a bit of pretty in dahlias. I was constantly trying to find little ways to make our house feel like a home. Little things such as hanging a wreath on the door of the undone porch with no ceiling and placing potted mums at the corner of the house, where porch steps might be. I had recently discovered dahlias and decided I wanted to grow café au laits along the length of our 100 ft barn. I remember doing the math on spacing and what would look best versus what I wanted to spend on them. At the time, spending $8-10 per tuber felt like a huge investment just for flowers along the barn of the house we have yet to move into. I decided on sixteen. Little did I know, those sixteen dahlias would change my life. 

bunch of dahlias, cafe au lait against the barn at Fleur Flower

I had never grown anything in my life. I had one snake plant named Fred that I managed to keep alive over the years despite neglect. I planted my café au laits a month late, did no research and almost [definitely] weeded a few as they emerged out of the ground. We left for beautiful Zion National Park the last week of August to get married and I still only had buds forming. I don’t think I even asked anyone to water them while we were gone. When we returned late evening September 2, 2019, I made my husband run out to the barn with me, flashlight in hand, to see if I had any blooms. And I did. The most gorgeous, perfect dahlias I’d ever seen. 

I’ve been asked so many times what started my flower farming journey, and dahlias were it. On top of growing a few of my own, I fell in love with my bridal bouquet that had a combination of flowers and stems I’d never seen before. When I then started researching cut flower farms and came across fields of dahlias, I looked out at our six acres and thought- imagine if this was full of dahlias. A dahlia wonderland of my very own. I dove into every book I could find and created a list of seeds, tubers, and supplies to order. I was working full time as an RN and distracted by the thought of flowers. 

Marlee, owner of Fleur Flower Farm at night picking dahlias


What started as dahlia dahlia dahlia turned into all the flowers. I was discovering varieties of flowers I had never seen in our local markets, florists and grocery stores. I bought a white board and planned my beds. There would be nine beds behind our three majestic maple trees. I wanted an archway in the center to add a bit of beautiful to the straight beds. I imagined a secret garden with little seating areas in hidden places. Twinkle lights draped overhead. Friends and a bottle of rosé amongst the flowers. A respite from a hard days work. I was looking through flower-colored glasses and I never wanted to take them off. 


signature, Marlee, Owner of Fleur Flower Farm

Comments (2)

What animals do you have there that eat/destroy your flowers? I’m in MA and have a friend in Ballston Spa. In MA we have: deer, rabbits, WOODCHUCK, chipmunks, and squirrels. An occasional bear in recent years and I’m in a Suburb!! Have some small woods behind our yard and the neighbors but not a forest :) I want to do some flowers this summer after catching the Dahlia bug last summer, but the critters would eat everything in sight.


Beautiful website! Such Beautiful flowers grown by a beautiful (inside and out) gardener! I loved reading about your first dahlias, and how you’re finding your love of flower farming! 💗