Meet the woman who coaxes dahlias to grow in Hawaii

Think of Hawaiian flowers. Probably orchids, frangipani, jasmine, bird of paradise, anthurium, and maybe heliconia or lobster claws. Then wonder at Christian Ingalls, who grows dahlias, snapdragons, cosmos, and zinnias, better suited to the continental United States. Plus, there is the name of her flower farm, not Aloha Growers or Polynesian Paradise, but Daisy Dukes.

“I often wear short jean shorts or even bikinis when I am farming because it is so hot here,” she says. “I am also a very high-energy, positive person, so I wanted our farm name to be fun!”

And fun it is. The Daisy Dukes Flower Farm has a $25 U-pick event on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, with stiff rules. You must use their container (a 32-ounce stadium cup) and their clippers (so you don’t bring any fungus or pests into the farm). You have two hours. There is a limit of five dahlias a cup. But there are also those other flowers, including lilies, as well as filler flowers. One rule: snapdragons should be cut close to the ground, not snipped off up near the top, so the next snapdragon will come up tall.

Customers are urged to strip leaves off the bottom of stems. There is also a $50 option that nets a two-gallon bucket of flowers. For those who want to learn what to do with such bounty, Daisy Dukes Flower Farm offers workshops. And the farm is available for events, including weddings.


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