A story of a dahlia tuber that saved a parent’s sanity and possibly a child’s life.

Tucker has had a love affair with Dahlias since he was a child . Their extraordinary jewel color palette and many forms have enchanted him his entire life.

Last Fall, he met Maria Kayne at his hands-on demonstration for the joint Woodbridge and Orange, Connecticut Garden Clubs. Maria Kayne had brought an eye-popping selection of dahlias to the demonstration. After his presentation she invited him to tour her garden. What he beheld was a staggering collection of dahlias. More than 100 varieties of this remarkable flower, where miniature plants and 10’ tall dinner plate dahlias, thrived. He was transfixed by dazzling colors and many forms of these flowers that he had never laid his eyes upon. As they walked through the garden she told him the story of how her love affair with this tuber began.

Maria planted her first dahlia tuber 25 years ago when her 13 year old was diagnosed with a rare cancer. About 9 gut wrenching months into treatment, her oncologist placed a tuber in her hands and said, “Take this dahlia tuber home and plant it in a patio pot or in your garden. I promise this act will give you hope and faith that your son will recover.”

A little perplexed, she went home and did as he instructed. Her first dahlia plant thrived under her care, a prolific plant that gave her hope that perhaps this seemingly silly activity might actually save her sanity and maybe even her son. Indeed, later her son went into remission and has been cancer free since. Since that first experience Maria has pursued growing, researching and presenting her dahlias.

Today she is a nationally acclaimed grower of of Dahlias which last week garnered 17 Blue Ribbons, 11 Best in Class and the Duke of the American Dahlia Society’s national show in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Below are some of the floral arrangements that Tucker designed from a harvest of 300 bloom sampling of over 50 varieties of these very special flowers.