An Oceanside Garden Decked with Dahlias

An Oceanside Garden Decked with Dahlias
Photography by Kindra Clineff

Text by Tovah Martin

What could visually compete with the infinite ocean while complementing the bright blue sky? For artist Sus Miller dahlias are the answer.

Sus Miller admits that she’s a binge gardener. She has been besotted by peonies, captivated by iris, fascinated by phlox, and ditto for daffodils, daylilies, and roses. But when a friend handed her five dahlia tubers, she didn’t really see infatuation in her future. In fact, the gnarly little tubers seemed singularly unpromising. Not only did she not know what to expect from a dahlia, but she also had no idea what colors were coming. For an artist, wildcard hues are a dangerous gamble. So, rather than risking a clash with the spectrum already in place, she tossed the dahlia tubers into a newly dug garden on the ocean side of her home in Kennebunkport, Maine, framing Marshall Point. By the end of the summer, she was sending for reinforcements by the box load. Another binge was born.

An Oceanside Garden Decked with Dahlias
Photography by Kindra Clineff