I’ve mentioned before that I’m not very good at taking tests. I did well in school but I lacked the patience to really hunker down and study, to go over and over the subject until it was ingrained and embedded into my pool of knowledge.

Now that I’m a bit older and hopefully a bit wiser I’ve learned the value of study. Not particularly the studying of school subjects, but studying something to see the beauty and intricacies in the most simplest of details.

That brings me to my favourite flower: the Dahlia.

I’m not sure exactly why I love it so much, but perhaps because dahlias are always a riot of colour and shape and texture. They can be living contradictions, both delicate and bizarre, simple and complex.

They are bold, strong, and wild yet fun, pretty, and sweet.

Did you know, there are over 42 different species of dahlias, and they can range from blooms as small as 5 cm (2 inches) up to 30 cm (1foot) across!!

If you looked at a garden full of dahlias from afar you’d see a beautifulrainbow of shades from hot pink to pale yellow to scarlet and violet.

Then stop, get closer and study each flower and you’d be surprised to find that just one blossom is made up of hundreds of tiny, perfect, repeating petals that fan, or curl, or spike out into an amazing creations.

I love visiting a local hot tourist spot, Butchart Gardens. My parents and I always get annual passes so we can go walk the pretty pathways anytime throughout the year. I can even bring my little sidekick, Willow the Westie!

August and September are my favourite months in the Gardens because that’s when the six-foot-plus tall dahlia flowers are in full glorious bloom!

I somehow manage to take photo after photo of each amazing flower, even if I’ve already seen them the week before. I really cannot get enough of them.

I’ve grown dahlias myself many times, but my simple container gardens are sweet but pitiful  compared to the giant plants at Butchart!

They are not only pretty to look at but so wonderfully and intricately made.

Here’s a few of my favourites from this season.
Notice all the different types of petals and shapes and colours.






I’m amazed every time I study one a little bit more closely.

If a simple flower can be so marvelously made it gives me great hope that no matter what we feel about ourselves and the scrutiny we put ourselves under, we, too, are so magnificently intricate and beautiful and unique just the way we are.


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