From the desk of: Amanda
My next featured vendor is one I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with for several months now. I also work for a local florist, and Don Dramstad, of Don’s Dahlias, Etc is one of our specialty suppliers.
Before I moved out to VA, I’d been following Don on Instagram, and was completely enthralled with his dahlias. Yeahh .. the photos don’t do them one bit of justice. They are more than just a flower, they’re an experience all unto themselves. Every week, when Don brings in our buckets of blooms, we all gather around and marvel at the brilliant colors, different shapes and sizes, and how incredibly perfect they are.
When Don made his delivery a few days ago, I spent some time chatting with him about his business. Just like everyone else involved with the Farmer’s Market, he has come a long way. He started growing dahlias 22 years ago, and only had four different varieties. The next year, he moved up to twelve. He gradually increased the size of his Purcellville farm, not only in number of dahlia varieties, but he’s also branched out into other flower types, as well. In recent years, he added hydrangeas, peonies, and what’s called a rose lily (or double lily) to his lineup. The rose lilies are absolutely incredible.They have the same fragrance and coloring of a standard stargazer lily, but far more petals, giving it an utterly unique look. But, back to the flagship flower. Today, Don and his wife have 525 different varieties of dahlias growing on their land, he has recently been bestowed with an incredible honor. He is flying out to Tacoma, WA next week, to be inaugurated as the President of American Dahlia Society. I always joked that he was a local celebrity, since everyone knows of Don’s Dahlias, and I think it’s really cool that he’s garnering nationwide recognition now, too.
His flowers are sought after by florists from New York to North Carolina for wedding work. His flower have even decorated the White House! This is one of the most popular wedding varieties he carries, and it’s one of my personal favorites:
With all of these honors, and a booming business, I asked Don what his favorite part it all is. His face lit up as he answered, “The flowers”. Good answer, Don. They’re my favorite, too.You can find Don and his wife every Saturday at the Leesburg Farmer’s Market, but you’d better get there early. He’s been known to sell out in as little as two hours!!
Stay tuned for more post about some of the other great vendor’s I’ve met. And remember … SPP is very proud to offer a 10% discount on any of our services to those who support any of the Loudoun Farmer’s Markets.
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