Ten months before her own marriage, Keryn Luke was clutching onto a bunch of peonies as a bridesmaid, which altered the trajectory of her life. “They were so stunning that, in that moment, all I wanted to do was grow peonies,” Luke recalls.
Acting on that strong instinct, she bought three tubers for the exorbitant price of $75 and looked forward to the resulting year-round flower show.
Unsurprisingly, the anticipated infinite floral show didn’t happen. However, Luke didn’t let that lesson get in the way of forging ahead with her dreams, and today her flower-growing abilities are on full display in her Taieri garden located just south of Mosgiel, where the summer show of dahlias are the star.
Luke describes them as her workhorse, dependable for their long-flowering season and wide color palette. While her go-to is the ball varieties that she describes as great for cutting and bouquets, other dahlias include decorative, waterlily, and dinner plate varieties.
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