Jen's Introduction

Hi!! My name is Jen and I am mum to Milly, Gracie-Mae and Lexi, aka The Dahlia kIds! What a journey we are on and how excited I am to have you all along for the ride! This blog is an opportunity for us to share our story and a way to not only encourage the girls to form a love of writing and storytelling, but to also gain inspiration and joy from those around us!


This fabulous journey all started with Gracie-Mae peering over my shoulder one night while I was, somewhat embarrassing to admit, scrolling Facebook. Gracie let out a big, loud “ooooohhhhh mum! Those are pretty!” behind me. The 10 dahlia cuttings we drove to Kerikeri for Gracie-Mae to buy that next day have now multiplied to over 3,000 plants, we have a pick your own dahlia farm open to the public at the weekends, sell subscription bouquets, fancy high teas and  have a whole heap of fun showing people around our small garden. I think we are officially addicted to dahlias.

How Did That Happen?

Good question! And the simple answer is, I don’t know! But what I do know, is that flower people are the BEST people ever! The original plan on the way to buy Gracie’s 10 potted cuttings was for her to learn a bit about starting a business. I had thought she might sell some bunches down the end of the driveway. Or maybe learn to take some cuttings and sell some to family and friends. But after winning all three of her Kaikohe A&P Show entries,  jealousy got a hold of Gracie’s sisters and they wanted in on the ride. Dennis Rodgers, an experienced NZ Dahlia Society member then took on a  mentor role and introduced the girls to growing seeds and hybridising new seedlings. And before I could really think straight, the horse paddock had been mounded up and people were arriving to see the flowers. Things have a habit of growing fast up here in Northland; it must have something to do with the weather!

No Time for Hesitation

The first year we opened the horse paddock dahlia farm was an experiment. How would the flowers grow? Would people travel out to see us? How much work would be involved? Would the kids get bored and want to start a different project? Could we even keep the plants alive? Well, from day one, the girls were in their element! Irrelevant of any financial gain or business goals (let's face it horticulture is tough), the benefits have been huge. Seeing the girls warmly welcoming new  and returning guests to our pick your own has been fantastic. Their dahlia knowledge is phenomenal. Their confidence and ability to interact improves every day. They have taken on the work like horses and have the ability to introduce a sense of fun and energy into a mundane job, like digging up tubers,  that adults would struggle to do. It is a pleasure to watch children commit to something, work out how to make it fun, rewarding and share that with others. As  a mother, I am excited to see where this journey takes us all next!


This product has been added to your cart