Once again the hint of spring is in the air. The buds of Rhodies are beginning to swell and the Daphnia and
Forsythia are in bloom. The days are getting longer and before we know it we will be back into day light savings
time. An unmistakable sign of spring…Some members have already started taking cuttings of the newer and rarer
I would like to cordially invite members, their guests and dahlia friends to the Spring PNDC Meeting and Luncheon to
be held at Parker’s Restaurant in Castle Rock, Washington. We have set the date of Saturday, April 13th. Parker’s
is located at 1300 Mt St Helens Way Ne, Castle Rock, WA 98611. From I-5 take exit 45 and head east past the Shell
Station and strip mall. The restaurant is on the right, about a quarter mile after exiting the freeway. Parker’s phone
number is 360-967-2263. We will be able to order off the menu, so we can have what we each most prefer. There
will also be beverage and dessert choices. The luncheon menu is attached. Please e-mail Teresa at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your luncheon selection so Parker’s can have the right amount of provisions on hand.
Everyone will pay individually at the restaurant on April 13th. We are indebted to Teresa Bergman for handling all
the luncheon arrangements. Thanks so much, Teresa!
The delegates from each Society will meet in executive session at 10:00 AM and the luncheon and general meeting
will begin at noon. Please send agenda items to Tom Ball at email@example.com Following the general meeting
we will have our tuber and plant auction. Every year our member hybridizers and commercial growers donate some
of their newest and best. The bidding is always spirited as well as entertaining. What great dahlia fun!
Very much look forward to seeing each of you in Castle Rock on April 13th.
Once again it’s time for the PNDC Spring Meeting. It will be a very short time before we are out preparing the soil
and getting ready to plant the tubers that we have nurtured through the winter. Time seems to pass quickly. I would
like to remind everyone, that if you have not sent in your PNDC dues now is the time to do so. Elva is in the process
of making up the 2013 roster.
Still having a small problem getting the news letter out to all of our members. If you receive the news letter via
regular postal mail and you would like to have it via e-mail, please contact me with the proper address.
firstname.lastname@example.org If you know of another member who is not receiving the newsletter and should be, please
bring it to my attention also.
See you at the meeting.
ADS Image Library
Two new programs are available from the library. The 2012 ADS Photo
Contest winners and the 2012 Fabulous Fifty Dahlias programs can be either ordered
on the ADS web site, or by contacting me. The cost for either is $13. On line you can use
paypal. Otherwise you can send a check to me made out to ADS.
The 2013 ADS New Introduction program is still available, either
automated program only or the deluxe version of automated program and second dvd of images
only. Cost of the automated program only is $13, deluxe is $20. They have been popular
this spring for programs.
ADS CONFERENCE CALL
A few items hot off the press: we had an ADS Conference Call today. Some of the discussion follows, which I believe
would be useful at the Spring Meeting.
ADS has developed a trifold publication for society use. Hopefully, it should be available by April 1, 2013. Societies
should know about this full colored brochure and use it. It is colorful and tastefully done. I do not have any
information about price, if there will be any, or any other details. You might contact Steve Nowotarski since he is in
charge of marketing.
Societies have access to the ADS logo for official functions, such as advertising shows, tuber sales, shows, other
official dahlia activities. Societies can find and make copies of the logo on the www.dahlia.org in the member section.
ADS Bronze medals have always been sent separately to each dahlia society. It has been proposed that multiple
medals be sent to a conference rather than each society and then they can distribute to each society. As I
understand it, Terry Schroeder is to contact each conference and determine the best procedure. You will have to
make a decision of how to proceed on this one. (It has been Eleanor’s experience that it is best to have medals sent
directly to each of our PNDC clubs. On several occasions – the PNDC reps at the Spring meeting did not deliver
them to the proper person and the medals remained unaccounted for.) It might be in PNDC’s best interest to offer to
pay for the postage. That is another topic for discussion. If you think that you will have a good turnout at the spring
meeting and you distribute the medals, you should contact Terri right away. For your information, most of the
societies across the nation award this medal in the seedling section.
ADS continues to attempt to communicate with societies through Society ADS representatives. Many societies do
not use this information. Why not? Ken Jensen is the director for Canada and Don Dramstad for the U.S. These two
men are responsible for communication to and from the ADS.
ADS has scanned in the 1990 onward ADS Bulletins. Any member can find these online.
The Executive Board approved that the orchette dahlias, currently in the novelty open class, have its own class.
They also approved the following definition:
ORCHETTE Dahlias: A bloom combines the involute characteristics of the orchid dahlia form and the petaloid
characteristics of the collarette form. Ideally, eight ray florets uniformly surround the disc flowers in a flat, even
plane. Ray florets should be straight and involute for at least ½ of their length and fully involute for at least ¼ of
their length. Ray florets should possess a corresponding petaloid at their base. Petaloids should be of a length
which gives visual impact and not so small that they are not easily discernible at arm’s length. Petaloids may lie flat
within the base of the ray floret or slightly rise and/or cup upward toward the center of the bloom. Disc flowers with
zero to three rows of pollen are desirable
The classification numbers for this class will most likely be 9401 – 9415.
ADS will hold its two-day spring meeting in Salt Lake City starting on Friday evening, April 12 and ending on
Sunday, April 14, 2013. Eleanor and I plan to attend.
I Want to Buy Some Dinnerplate Dahlias
by Ted J. Kennedy
The mass marketers in the dahlia world must have heard this statement because just about every dahlia over about
6 inches in diameter(and probably some less than 6 inches ) is being labeled as a “dinnerplate” dahlia in the tuber
packs at the large box stores.
The many of us that have grown dahlias for decades are amazed that dinner plates have shrunk in size. In our
kitchen, the plates we use for our dinner table are about ten inches in diameter. I realize that we purchased these
plates over 25 years ago. Since most of us need to watch our weight, I thought there must be a trend to sell dinner
plates in much smaller sizes. However, when I checked the sizes of plates on the internet, the turns out the average
dinner plate sold today is a staggering 12 inches in diameter. It turns out that dinnerplates in the 1960s were 8.5 to
9 inches in diameter. So it seems that “dinner plate dahlias” must refer to those smallish plates of the 1960s.
I suppose we need a new term to designate true Giant dahlias so that they will not be confused with the “puny”
dinnerplate dahlias on the tuber packs at the hardware store. Some dinnerware terms come to mind. A large plate
for serving is a ”platter” and although most are not round, many are. So, we would have “platter dahlias”. That does
not seem to roll off my tongue very well. Another name for a large plate is a “charger”. Again the words “charger
dahlias” are not melodious and probably the term would be confused with the horse definition, a medieval war horse.
And so what are we to do? Perhaps we could call them “Giant Dinnerplate Dahlias” and just go with the flow. At least
the word “Giant” would imply that these are the truly big ones.
Growing Dahlias in Oregon
Excitement stirs in the spring. The days grow longer and warmer; crocuses, daffodils and tulips poke through the
ground and trees bud. Gardeners become anxious, heading for nurseries in search of seeds, plants, and other
colorful delights. Dahlia enthusiasts join in the fun and begin to plan for their own gardening pursuits. As good
gardeners, they have much to consider. Many dahlia growers state that where they can grow tomatoes, dahlias will
grow. They further recommend an open, sunny spot for at least half the day recognizing that most dahlias grow
adequately in most soils. Dahlias will not grow well in too damp conditions, though, since they do not like wet feet,
but will respond favorably to a water retentive, well-drained soil.
pH Values: Most plants flourish in acidic soil conditions and the dahlia is no exception. The pH scale accepted
internationally has a range of+ 0 to 7 being acid and over 7 being alkaline with 7 as neutral. Dahlias grow best with
a pH of around 6.5. This chemical scale measurement indicates the active soil acidity. When the soil acidity is below
6, it limits plant growth. Each graduation is either ten times greater or less than the next gradation. The Pacific
Northwest soils lean to an acidic condition. To alter an acidic soil, one usually applies lime. A generous dusting is
ample, which is applied in early spring. If done too soon, the rains wash away the application. What the liming
process does is break down heavy soils into a more friable soil particle and adjusts the soil pH level in accordance
to its acidity.
Many gardeners buy a soil testing kit or they buy a pH meter to determine the pH. Ideally it is best to have a
specializing firm test soil. They will not only test the soil but will also make recommendation for soil improvement.
What one can do is take soil samples from different parts of the garden plot, mix together and send to the testing
Some growers recommend using the radish test. They plant ten radish seeds in soil that they know is good and ten
seeds in the soil they have selected to test. After the seeds germinate, usually around five days, they carefully
remove the plants from the soil of the two testing mediums and measure the root length. If they find a significant
difference between the two selected soils, they can then make a judgment about the efficacy of their soil. The test
can reveal toxicity problems that may exist.
Soil preparation strategies: Many differing views exist when it comes to soil preparation and growers need to decide
which option is right for them. Some do not desire to disturb the soil at all while others desire to amend the soil, and
still others will merely till. In the LCDS Dahlia Gardening, 1974 publication, the society recommended the following:
When planting your dahlias, prepare your soil well, especially where you plan to plant each tuber. Some advocate
working only the ground in which you plan to plant. We [LCDS] advocate well-worked soil. After the grass is worked
under and the ground loosened well on top, we next broadcast our fertilizer. After broadcasting this onto the soil, we
next work it in before planting in a week or ten days. If you wish to add anything at planting time like bone meal, you
can put it in the holes. Otherwise wait until the plants are up 12 to 15 inches and side-dress them with a good plant
food. Today a number of members continue to ply their trade as recommended years earlier.
Other members have turned to a no-till strategy. From their perspective, they would rather allow that earthworms till
the ground. In these times, the LCDS calls it the no-till, layering, or lasagna gardening method. (See lasagna
gardening technique). While some other members grow green manure crops to augment the soil; legumes (peas,
annual clover, alfalfa, soybeans) provide a nitrogen fix that microorganisms can use. Some growers plant
buckwheat, oats, and rye for a cover crop. Each of these planting choices will add plenty of humus to the soil.
Growers need to make sure to till the crop under before it seeds itself or they can allow a fall crop to winter over,
tilling it early in the spring. Any of these organic procedures will increase soil health, furnishing it with a fertile bed
for vigorous dahlias. Whatever the decision, supplementing the soil will assure good plant productivity.
Farmers often summer fallow. What they do is plow the ground and do not grow any crop on it. If enough space
exists, dahlia growers should change the location where dahlias are planted from one year to the next. They will find
that dahlias planted on new or fallow ground tend to grow extremely well. Also, they should keep records, noting
where certain varieties grow well. Some UK growers plant their top performers in what they consider their ideal
location. They call this part the BANK. No first year varieties ever see that part of the garden. For the majority of
dahlia growers, however, they select exhibition quality dahlias and attend to the details of growing them well, not
worrying about such sophistication.
Slugs and snails: Awareness of slugs and snails attacking merging dahlia plants is no secret. One will need to find
something that will protect these plants without affecting wildlife or pets. Putting a layer of sand around each plant
can deter these voracious eaters. (See Dahlia Pests)
Under the soil: What avid growers see in their garden is what appears above the ground. The majority of gardeners
fail to realize the significance of what occurs underneath the soil surface. A healthy ecosystem endorses an entire
complex food web. These soils may have from 100 million to 1 billion bacteria per square foot. The hierarchy
continues with mycorrhizal fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods and finally earthworms where from 5 to 30 will
live per square foot and more if the soil possesses a high organic content. All gardeners need to manage the
organisms in their soil. Recommended resources for such a study are Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and
Wayne Lewis and Soil Biology Primer with numerous illustrations published by the Soil and Water Conservation
Service. By studying these books, they will learn how to apply soil food web science to their yard and garden.
Tuber care: Evaluating the health of tubers is one of spring’s early activities. Selecting the best tubers for planting
will enhance the health of plants throughout the growing season. Often, poor quality tubers stem from grower’s fall
husbandry. Too often, they fail to continue grooming their dahlias later in the season when shows are over. Thus,
deadheading and disbudding stop. This inaction provides a ripe time for disease, such as sclerotinia. One needs to
cut all wilting stems and thereby alleviate major problems, which may affect tubers. Before petals begin dropping,
one must cut off all blooms. By attending to these preventatives, avoidance of problems is possible.
What kind of tubers do growers select for planting in the spring? First, they avoid planting mother tubers (the tuber
planted the prior season) whenever possible. These tubers have a tendency to rot, usually rotting from the center
out. If no additional stock exists, they take cuttings from the mother tuber. Secondly, small, firm tubers function best
for planting since they will reach for moisture and nutrients outside of the tuber sooner. Experienced growers always
press these tubers and inspect them closely for a tuber can appear plump on the surface but have some soft spots.
Since smaller tubers have limited food they will expand their root system sooner, which ultimately lends to a vigorous
plant. Too plump a tuber, on the other hand, relies heavily on its own system and may not generate a vigorous root
system. When hot days come, the plant of such a tuber may exhibit stress and not fare as well either in the garden
or in shows. By planting larger tubers, growers also risk a poor tuber crop in the fall. If possible, they should select a
tuber that possesses two good eyes or shoots. Usually one eye shows apical dominance, a strong trait in the dahlia
that suppresses other eyes. Using the second eye as a backup avoids loss if something happens to the first sprout.
When cutting tubers from a clump or ridding a tuber of rot in the spring, one must cover the cut with a bulb dust.
Otherwise, the excised tubers have a tendency to rot when planted. A number of growers use a sulfur dust, but
some recent literature suggests that sulfur inhibits growth. To the knowledge of the LCDS, sulfur does not pose that
much of a problem. Also, one should avoid placing tubers on concrete either in the spring or the fall since concrete
draws moisture away from the tuber.
After choosing the tubers for planting, one should eye them up approximately three or four weeks before planting.
Encouraging an eye to develop will greatly enhance early growth in the garden. Before starting the eying up
process, though, one needs to verify the accurate name for each tuber. Most LCDS members write directly on the
tuber with a Noblot Bottle of Ink Pencil, used to write on green lumber in the forest product industry. When one uses
this pencil, often the dahlia name will still be apparent on the tuber when the clump is dug in the fall. After identifying
the tuber, LCDS growers put a few of the same variety in a Ziploc bag, inserting some vermiculite or peat moss and
mix the tubers in it. They then sprinkle some water from a mister and fasten the bag and leave in a relatively warm,
dark place and check periodically. After awhile, they will see sprouts forming. The tuber is no longer dormant. If they
intend to use some of these tubers for cuttings, they begin this process even sooner. Many times these tubers will
make fibrous roots. One tries not to disturb these roots when transplanting, which promotes a more vigorous plant.
When tubers are planted early enough, they gain a head start in inside conditions.. By planting them in a 6 inch to a
gallon pot, it provides assurance of viable plant growth in the garden within a few weeks. By waiting until the soil
warms before planting tubers directly in the garden, more risk is inevitable. Some tubers appear firm and healthy but
have begun rotting from the inside. On occasion, when buyers purchase a tuber from a commercial grower they will
have a tuber that does not grow well. Many times, inside rot is the problem.
Cuttings and Pot Tubers: For pot tubers, good preparation for planting will prevent other difficulties from surfacing.
For instance, if growers have started their stock in a greenhouse, they will need to harden off their plants, especially
cuttings. Pot tubers will also need personal attention. Usually, pot tubers will display approximately two eyes. If one
chooses to split clumps in order to gain another plant, he will need to apply a bulb dust to the open cut. Before
taking a plant out of the pot by first watering well, one needs to tip the pot upside down, holding the left hand on the
stock coming out of the soil and gently tap the bottom of the pot with the right hand. Once the root ball has slipped
out, one needs to dig a hole adjacent to a stake and gently place the plant into the ground and pack a loose soil
around it, making it firm but not too firm to disturb the fine root hairs. Watering the plant well after transplanting is
the final task. (See Dahlia Propagation)
Staking with variety identification: Dahlia growers should plan their garden first, allowing adequate space for each
variety. If one places plants too close together, the risk for powdery mildew is higher because the plants do not have
good air circulation. Most LCDS growers plant two tubers to a stake, placing the stakes about 3 feet apart. Later in
the season, they want to groom and feed the plants and they find that additional space between the plants a definite
bonus. If they decide to plant low growing varieties, they plant them closer together.
Before planting tubers or plants, members pound stakes into the ground. LCDS recommends at least a 5-foot stake,
except for dwarf varieties. By pounding the stakes first they avoid disturbing a tuber’s root system or puncturing the
tuber with the stake. They plant the tubers approximately 6 inches deep. The depth of planting provides an anchor
for the plant. If they plant tubers closer to the surface, they make sure to tie the plant more often as it grows.
Otherwise, it can lean or fall more easily. They plant the tubers horizontally with the eye or sprout up; they also do
not water the tubers but let them reach for nutrients and moisture. By avoiding overwatering after planting, they
expect a more vigorous plant. When they transplant plants, they often will water them with a growth vitamin, and
make sure that the plants do not dry out, but at the same time, they do not water excessively.
Once members have planted the tuber, they use a label of some kind that identifies the name, the size, the color,
and the form of the dahlia. They do not make this an expensive project. For instance, cutting up a cottage cheese
carton into ¾ inch wide by 3 or 4 inches long is ample as long as they can attach it in some way to the stake. They
record the information with a number 2 pencil and it will last the season. Many first time dahlia growers make the
mistake of not identifying what they have planted. The next season when they go to plant, they have no idea what it
is they are planting, and without records if the variety fails to keep, they cannot remember the variety they wish to
replace. Even if new growers think they don’t care about the name, the LCDS recommends that they be safe and
identify plants. Finally, they need to be wise and keep a master plan.
Fertilizers: Microbial life provides for living soil. Without such soil gardeners will find soil lacking earthworms and any
real signs of life. Thus, growers must feed the soil synthetic chemicals in order to grow a viable crop. Whenever
possible, they should harness the unpaid work force including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and protozoa, the smallest form
of animal life. Keeping the soil in balance and regulating nutrients will help to detoxify the soil. The gardener desires
a soil that will store moisture, possibly fix nitrogen by using a legume, and build humus. Organic growers will add
such ingredients as kelp meal, lawn clippings without any weed deterrents, leaves, coffee grounds, and sometimes
The traditional method advocated for many years was to test the soil for deficiencies. Dahlia growers would then
amend the soil by adding nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash or some combination of these three. The fertilizer
numbers would depend on what the soil lacked. Some growers generally applied a mixture of 16-16-16 while other
growers applied a 10-10-10 mixture. Today, many have gone to heavier dosage of nitrogen – like 50 or 60. What
most growers found in the Northwest is that they had much more phosphorus in their garden than they needed.
When the plants grew to about 12 inches, they would side-dress usually with a hit of nitrogen, which would perk up
Others traditionally would add manure to the soil. When they choose to use manure, they must be careful. If
manures are not composted, they can burn the plants. Rabbit manure can be applied directly to the soil without
aging, but chicken, steer, or horse manure can be fatal. Another problem with manures comes when they find the
garden infiltrated with weeds, which have not composted in the manure. It is much better to add a composted steer,
horse, or chicken manure augmented by organic humus. If they still choose to use animal manure, however, they
need to make sure that it has aged adequately and that the manure source does not come from animals that have
eaten chemically treated plants, which can then directly transfer insecticides, drenches, and herbicides to the soil.
From the Societies
Lane County Dahlia Society
As the season turns again our thoughts begin to run to big beautiful blooms when the spring gives way to summer.
At the Lane County Dahlia Society there is plenty of work to be done raising funds to cover our operational
expenses and our annual dahlia show. Three tuber sales events are planned starting with our annual tuber sale and
auction at the regular meeting on April 4th, and continuing through the middle of May.
The Lane County Dahlia Society is proud to host our 50th consecutive show the weekend of September 14th and
15th at the Lane Events Center in Eugene. In addition, this year, we’ll host the PNDC show that weekend as well.
LCDS invites all PNDC members to come help us celebrate a half century of shows. We hope to end the season in
September with our biggest brightest show to date. We have added special classes to our show awards and show
chair Cheryle Hawkins is seeking more award sponsors to help support these special categories. If you would like to
become an award sponsor, would like a show book, or need more show information, Cheryle Hawkins is your contact
at 541-461-8004 or email@example.com .
The Lane County Dahlia Society slate of officers for the 2013 season is:
Vice President-Camille Noel
2nd Vice President-Cheryle Hawkins
Recording Secretary-Gretchen Randle
Corresponding Secretary-Michael Canning
Here’s hoping they grow straight and tall from your friends at the Lane County Dahlia Society.
Nanaimo Dahlia Society
It seems to have been a milder winter for temperature, but still the rains keep dropping their moisture. Here in
Nanaimo, we're hoping the last frost has happened so we can get on with organizing our tubers for our tuber sale on
April 27th at Country Club Centre. Some of our growers have been busy putting tubers into pots and under lights for
cuttings as well. Preparation of our soil was the program at our March meeting and after many questions and
answers, members left for home with dreams of what might be this year in each of their gardens. As a society for
both Glads and Dahlias, there was a challenge put forth for many of our members to grow Glads this year and to try
growing Dahlia seedlings of their own. These Dahlia seedlings will be judged and a monetary gift will be awarded to
the Dahlia seedling with the most potential to be kept and grown again maybe for another year.
We have a few new members this season and of course are always looking for more. If you have family or friends
who live on the island, please put them in touch with one of our members to come see what is offered as a member
of our society. Age is not a boundary!
Our Flowers of 2013 for our annual show in August 24 & 25th at Country Club Centre are: a single of Gwyneth and
a triple of Lakeview Glow.
A standing invitation goes out to all Dahlia growers of the PNDC to come and experience the ISLAND LIFE as we
We look forward to seeing you at our show!
Wishes for a great growing season
Portland Dahlia Society
Uncharacteristically dry March weather allowed for a few in and around Portland to work the soil enough to at least
get a head start on weed and slug control. We also focused on slug control in one of our early season meeting
programs. Look out, slugs, we have your number this year! Other educational topics we have focused on this year
are: taking cuttings, soil preparation, and decoding the ADS classification book.
One of our focus areas this year to spread our dahlia addiction is finding ways to order needed supplies as a club in
order to get price breaks for members. One of our members got us a great deal on vermiculite and seed starting mix
already. We will continue in this pursuit throughout the year.
It is already time to drag tubers out of storage and release them onto the world! We have our big club auction and
sale on Tuesday, April 9 at 6 :30 p.m. at Rose City Park United Methodist Church on NE 58th and Alameda (just off
Sandy Blvd.). The newer and special varieties will be auctioned, but many great varieties are available 2 for $5 on
the sale tables. We will again have a tent at the Clackamas County Master Gardener sale on the first week of May at
the Fairgrounds in Canby. This is a huge event with over 150 vendors as well as mini seminars on all aspect of
gardening. In the meantime, we have two work parties set up at Swan Island Dahlia Farm to package the tubers
getting ready for the sales. All dahliaphiles are invited to join us at either of our sales.
We have a tentative date in July to host a basic judging course in Portland, put on by some of our Senior judges. If
you or anyone you know need a refresher course or want to take your first step toward becoming a judge, stay
tuned for more information as it becomes available. This training will be open to any interested judge or prospective
Seattle Dahlia Society
Spring has finally arrived in Seattle and we’ve been busy waking up our tubers and getting them going.
Our February meeting was packed with information about checking tubers; starting tubers indoors; taking cuttings;
soil preparation and soil testing. Tom Ball brought in several potted tubers to illustrate how to start them indoors.
Member, Craig Weaver, informed us about soil test kits and labs.
We had another terrific meeting in March with Lisa Taylor, a Master Gardener from Seattle Tilth, giving us an
exuberant presentation on soil, home composting and the benefits of worms. She really energized us all to get our
home compost bins going!
Tom Ball also spoke about the importance of compost for hearty dahlias and that we should be adding it to the
garden in early spring. Tom gave us handouts with photos on Composting 101. Craig Weaver brought in various
samples of commercial compost for sensory comparisons. We didn’t realize that bagged compost can be so different
and because of that it’s a good idea to use different brands.
Something fun and different that we did at our March meeting is to distribute dahlia seeds to everyone for growing
and then we’re going to judge the flowers at our fall meeting. Tom supplied his own enriched soil and Dick Williams
supplied the seeds. This is a great learning opportunity, especially for those who have never done seedlings before.
The SDS Tuber & Plant Sale is April 20th & 21st at Country Village in Bothell. There will be a second public sale on
May 11th at the Lake City Community Center.
We welcome you to check out our website for more SDS information. www.seattledahliasociety.org
Wild Rivers Dahlia Society
We are located about 50 miles north of the California border on the best section of the southern Oregon Coast. As
the newborn child of the PNDC, we are still trying to get our legs under us. For me personally it has been a shot of
energy at times. To see new faces enter into our world of the Dahlia culture, is like receiving nutrients for my
passion, in this path of working with nature’s most amazing floral painting. Then again, I am hardly unbiased when it
comes to dahlias. We are continuing to grow a little bit at a time. Though the process at times is like the anxiety of
waiting for those little green leaves to emerge from the soil in which they lay. The group, we have assembled is truly
enthusiastic to learn all they can about the world of dahlias. To put it into perspective, when was the last time you
uttered the words, “this was fun”, when digging and dividing 400 plants in 2 days.
That was the universal response when we did our hands on training of D&D, in the learning garden I have
established at our meeting site behind Bethany Lutheran Church right next to Main St. in Gold Beach, Or. With the
garden being right at our meeting site, it makes it very easy to give hands on teaching in the actual garden
situation. Frankly, this hands on approach has been well received, even when it was as simple as separating seed
Currently, we are beginning to work on our first official show. It will be the weekend of August 24th and 25th. You
can setup up that Friday or in the morning. We will be looking to allow access as early as possible on Saturday,
somewhere between 5 and 6 am. This will be in a climate controlled venue, so there will be no worries regarding
dealing with overnight heat. The current plans are to invest in larger rosettes for the top honors. Ribbons will be
awarded to novices and juniors. Since most of us in the Advanced and Amateur classes no longer keep ribbons, we
are developing our strategy on how to handle that. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. You will find leaving
blooms overnight on the coast is not a problem. Your blooms will show off for you as thanks for getting them out of
the valley heat. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. To our fellow clubs, may I ask for your
mailing list, so I may send out invitations? We are also, looking for sponsors for the show or otherwise. As soon as
we get a handle on the details, (soon), we will get that out to you. I would like to thank those members from other
societies whom have joined us and given their support. It all helps more than you can imagine, unless you were
there at the origination of your own society. Personally, I want to thank Mike & Kathy Iler and my brother Guy
Chibante for their support and vision. They are doing many things for us. I also, need to thank my wife Mandi, who
claims she does not know that much regarding dahlias, but, has been very helpful in answering our newbies
questions correctly making me feel proud. She actually listens, wow. It’s time to head to the garden and have some
more “fun”. Enjoy and may the winter cold kill all your slugs.
Victoria Dahlia Society
Living in one of the mildest climates in Canada is lovely as we are watching our crocuses, daffodils and irises bloom,
which has given us the feeling of spring for a couple of weeks now, and gears us up for the next season of dahlia
growing! We are starting out the year by gently waking our tubers and getting them ready for our annual Tuber Sale
taking place on these dates:
April 27, 2013– VDS Plant & Tuber Sale Day 1
10:00am to 4:00pm at Knox Presbyterian Church, 2964 Richmond Rd, Victoria, BC
April 28, 2013 – VDS Plant & Tuber Sale Day 2
11:00am – 4pm (or until sold out) at the Westshore Town Centre in Langford, BC
If you are in the Greater Victoria area, or even nearby, make the trip out to say hello and maybe even pick up some
dahlias that are on your wish list!
In February we started our first club meeting of the year with a tool demonstration from a representative from Lee
Valley. The main message of the demonstration was that using the right tool for the right job is crucial. If gardening
is a strain, one is using the wrong tool! Our Executive Committee met, as we do nearly every month, and we have
decided on our Flowers of the Year for 2014: Hamari Accord (single) and Mon Cher-e (triple). Connie Davis-Young
took best single in our 2012 show with Hamari Accord; and our past president Paul McKittrick introduced Mon Cher-
e, named after his wife. These flowers have personal meaning to some of our club members and we're looking
forward to seeing them in the 2013 Summer Annual Dahlia Show, taking place in August.
At the March meeting, some club members decided on taking a day trip to the legendary Butchart Gardens to visit
their greenhouse, and see in particular how they get their dahlias started. For fun, we are holding an informal
competition for dahlias grown this year from seed. Dahlias are amazing in that they can go from seed to a plant that
is blooming in only 5 months or so. In September, we will have a dahlia show of the blooms that were grown by
members (we won't be judging these blooms by ADS standards.) Members will choose which bloom they like the
best and an award will go to that lucky individual! We are encouraging members to start their seeds at the beginning
of April. It will be interesting to see what blooms we will get from seed gathered at random.
After the Tuber Sale, we will be busy growing our blooms and getting ready for the Summer Annual Dahlia Show.
For now though, we are enjoying the warmer days and looking forward to a great growing season!
Find us on Facebook at: Victoria Dahlia Society
Southern Oregon Dahlia Society
My name is Donna Hymer and I am the Secretary elect of SODS, Southern Oregon Dahlia Society for the second
Our society numbers 30 members total with only about 10 - 14 being active. For one of the "smallest" total
membership societies on the West Coast we have managed to put on one of the largest Tuber Sales and Dahlia
shows on the West Coast, to quote our society President,
Gary Swan. This in its self, is a monumental task. We have only been able to accomplish this, however, with the
continued assistance from the surrounding societies and for that, we are extremely grateful. It is truly wonderful to
have their support and their friendship. We all pray that it will continue in the future. We, in return will continue to
give our support and friendship to them as well.
And Finally – I hope to see many of you at the Meeting on the 13th. It’s always a most enjoyable time to meet
old friends, make new acquaintances and of course talk about our favorite flower. I would take this opportunity to
thank each of the contributors to this copy of the PNDC News. I know that it is a busy time of the year, checking
tubers, getting ready for our sales and preparing the gardens. I do appreciate your taking the time to contribute
and I know that our readers enjoy reading the articles and items from each society. Drive safely!