August 2009
Editor Tom Ball
Taratahi Lilac by Lexa Cookson

August 20th to 23rd         43rd ADS National Show and
                           The Snohomish County Dahlia Society
                           100th Consecutive Show
September 12th & 13th    Inland Empire Dahlia Society 47th Annual Show
                           And the Pacific Northwest Dahlia Conference
                           55th Annual Show.  
                           Annual Fall Meeting – 6:00 Social hour with                
                           Dinner, awards and meeting to follow.  

Presidents Message
Mike Riordan
Dear Fellow PNDC Members,
The show season is upon us, affording us the pleasure of interacting with one another in all things Dahlia.  I find
myself comparing notes with other growers on varieties we are both growing for the first time.  What do we like, what
do we choose to discard, what is the new one to beat in the classes we like to grow?  Which seedlings on the ADS
Bench look the most promising?  Which first year seedling(s) of our own show the most merit?  What looks the most
impressive at the Trial Gardens?  At every show I like to make mental note of the most outstanding exhibits.  It may be
an established variety grown to near perfection, a basket with striking color contrast with the blooms and the filler or
perhaps a floral design with superior composition and proportion. When you have the opportunity, please make the
effort to tell the exhibitors what you really like.  The sincerest compliments are always the most appreciated.
Our show season provides the dahlia community the opportunity to thrive and increase in numbers. The public has
questions, the show committees ought to have answers.  Lane County has always impressed me by having 3" x 5"
cards randomly placed on the show tables. "Want to learn how to grow flowers like these...?"   The information on the
cards directs prospective new members to time and location of the next society meeting. Hospitality is an attitude, and
should be each judge and exhibitors responsibility.  Manned information tables are very helpful, but the practical truth
is we can only talk with one person at a time. Let's make a special effort this season to see how many new members
and new exhibitors we can each bring along.

Spokane's Inland Empire Dahlia Society will be hosting the PNDC show  September 12th and 13th.  Special thanks to
Joni Beasley and Bill Swanstrom for coordinating the show committees, accommodations and the awards banquet.
Here's wishing everyone a successful growing and showing season.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Joan Marsh
I have little for the Newsletter on this unpleasantly hot day with no rain in sight.  Tom will have noted his new e-mail
address and the e-mail address for Max Ollieu in the roster is wrong.  It should be:  mollieu@q.com.  
I have has no volunteers stepping up to be secretary of the PNDC.  It is an interesting job and does not take up too
much time.  The main job is compiling the roster.  Very satisfying when it is done


Francis H. Vandervelden
January 9th 1932 – June 20, 2009

Francis was a lover of plants and the out of doors and she shared this love with anyone who would listen.  She was a
member of the Southern Oregon Dahlia Society and many other horticulture and garden societies.  She was a senior
horticulture and flower judge and traveled the state extensively with her judging assignments.  She made monthly
visits and gave hands on experience in many types of flowers and trees to the patients of the Hearthside Care
Center.  Francis was a Senior Judge in the American Dahlia Society and a member in good standing of the Pacific
Northwest Dahlia Conference and the Southern Oregon Dahlia Society.  She gave her time unselfishly, putting others
needs before her own.  Francis will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

APRIL 19, 1934 – JUNE 5, 2009

Twyla left us after a long battle with ALS.  She is survived by her many cousins, friends and her husband of fifty two
years, Tom.  Twyla will be remembered for her outgoing personality and friendliness to all she met.  She was very
much involved in the Seattle Dahlia Society and the Pacific Northwest Dahlia Conference.  She produced the Seattle
Dahlia Society monthly newsletter for many years, a job she inherited on a temporary basis only.  She was involved in
all of the tasks that it takes to produce a dahlia show, from making the schedule changes and printing, taking care of
all of the details for the show from assuring that donuts and coffee were available to making sure that all of the forms
for judges were ready.  
Twyla was a one person greeting committee when new members came to our meeting for the first time, welcoming
them and introducing them to other members.  She loved the dahlias, the shows and everything connected with
dahlias, but most of all she loved the people she met.  She made fast long term friends with many of them.  Twyla was
“real” what you saw is what you got.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.


The Seattle Dahlia Society will be celebrating its 52nd Annual Show this fall.
Sadly, though, one of our most active and devoted members will not be there.
On June 5, 2009 Twyla Ball lost her battle with ALS.  Ironically, Tom and Twyla
Ball recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary.

For over 20 years Tom and Twyla Ball have been icons of our Society.  Twyla
embodied everything that would define the perfect ambassador of and reason to be
a part of the Seattle Dahlia Society.   Twyla was welcoming, encouraging, caring, giving, passionate, fun and most of
all real.  She loved the dahlia.  She loved the people and the purpose of the         Seattle Dahlia Society.  Her
knowledge was broad and deep.  Her devotion was unsurpassed.  Her passion was infectious.  Her outgoing and
caring personality were a welcome addition to any gathering.   In friendship and admiration Dick Williams named one
of his gorgeous blooms after her, Skipley Twyla. She exhibited those attributes as well in her support of the PNDC and
the ADS.

Tom and Twyla met in Hutchinson, Kansas on a blind date when Tom was stationed
at the naval base and she was there to care for an ailing aunt.  Together they
spent 22 years in the Navy serving our country. After retirement they spent time in Arizona before
returning to Seattle where Twyla had lived from the age of eleven.
They accidentally got into the world of dahlias when a family friend needed more
space to grow his dahlias and asked if he could use part of the yard of their
new home for his plantings.  They agreed and enjoyed the beauty of the dahlias
without having to do the work!!!  

One year they accidentally attended a Seattle Dahlia Show, signed up to be members, and the rest is history.
They both enlisted with the same enthusiasm and commitment that they had for the Navy.

Last fall we knew Twyla was not doing well.  But we didn't know why.  Then, we
got the news that Twyla had ALS and they had an unexpected battle ahead of them.
A ferocious battle that they knew, we all knew, they could not win.
At that time we learned even more of the magnitude of their contribution to this
Society.  Of all the big ideas and little details they, simply, handled.  Tom
and Twyla were a true and generous team.

We are so thankful that we had Twyla for so many years.  What we are also
thankful for is that Tom was there for Twyla.  Not just for these past months,
which we know were difficult and which he did fully, but even more, his devotion
for 52 years.
We will savor her memory, always.

Karen Lorentzen, President


Spokane WA September 12th and 13th

The invitations are in the mail along with the postcards to return and planning is happening on all fronts. If you are
planning on attending please return the postcards as soon as possible. If for some reason you or a member has been
overlooked and would still like to attend please let Joni Beasley know. My  email is rjbeasley@hotmail.com. In the
subject line on all correspondence pertaining to the show use "PNDC".  I can also be reached by phone at 509-535-
As soon as we hear from you a show schedule will be sent to all. There is also a Spokane Fair entry form that is
needed to be sent in if possible, inserted in the schedule, or  it can be downloaded at fairexpo@spokanecounty.org .
Under DEPT/CLASS/LOT Just put ID Dahlias. If you need help with this please call Greg Smith our president and show
chair at 509-280-4087. The show schedule has recommendations for lodging as well as information on our banquet to
be held at China Gardens the evening of September 12th.
It will be simply ordering off the menu.
We are also hoping that judges will come up to our Trial Garden to judge the morning of September 13th after
breakfast or church services.

American Dahlia Society Executive Conference Call
June 28, 2009
Wayne Shantz

Time Duration: 2 hours 50 Minutes
Number Present on Call: 24

Meeting Business:
President Jerry Landerholm presided at the meeting and asked for a moment of consideration for our ill and diseased
members. After the reading and passing of the minutes and treasurer’s report, a motion was made to change the
order of business. I will attempt to provide you with an overview of items pertinent to PNDC.

   The ADS has an official logo and are currently are designing a banner that will incorporate the logo on it. Societies
will have access to this banner when it is available..
   ADS is updating the requirements for the National Show. Portland (2012). Do be alert to any changes. An Artistic
Design Section must be a part of the show.
   ADS has arranged with the Flora Life Company to research three of their in-house products, determining their
effect on dahlias. The results should be available this fall. With regard to research, do read the articles in the Bulletin
of the American Dahlia Society written by Kevin Larkin on research.
   Societies should order the free 2009 Dahlia Wall Chart if they have not done so. The 100 free brochures for
postage will be on an “as available” beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
   The cost of the June Bulletin was $1,800 less than last year. .
   Lou Paradise, chair of classification, will provide information via the Bulletin for the 4-Digit Classification System.
   Steve Nowotarski will establish an organic gardening area on the ADS Web Site.
   ADS has 3 display gardens where 12 evaluators will determine the outstanding border-container dahlia of the year.
As an aside, I would think that Steve Nowotarski would like to have additional trial gardens.
   Claudia Biggs informed ADS that 2010 will be the last year for slide programs for new introductions. Kodak has
stopped making slide film and she had only 4 requests.
   If any judge saw some errors with the judges’ roster sent out by Bob Moynahan, please contact Joni Beasley before
contacting Bob.
   Kevin Larkin will write an article for the Sept. Bulletin that reports on a Northern California dahlia plant project
involving sixth grade students.
   The 2009 National Convention and Show will be held in Everett, Washington, August 21-23/.

A Ball Dahlia By Any Other Name Is Still A Ball
Ted J. Kennedy

At a show I was admiring the ADS seedlings and at the same time another dahlia judge was looking at the same
flowers. We both remarked that the triple entry sure looked like a ball dahlia to us, yet the judging team had declared
the variety to be a formal decorative.  We both question the “acid test “ for determining whether a dahlia is a ball: a
judge pulls a petal at the equator of the bloom and examines it to determine whether the ray floret is over 50%
involute.  We both remarked that this was a stupid way of determining whether a ball dahlia was indeed a ball.  We
both feel that the three foot  test is more determinative than the pull the petal test.  A judge using that method stands
three feet from the flower and looks carefully at the flower and determines what the form should be. A ball dahlia,
above all, should be spherical and should properly recurve to the stem. Also, a ball dahlia should not have a
depression at the top of  the  bloom.  Both of these characteristics are easily determined from about 3 feet away.
Another indication of the ball form is the tubular formation of the ray florets at the equator of the bloom. Again this is
easily seen from three feet.

At a  seminar some months later,  two different senior judges said they believe that pulling the petal from a potential
ball dahlia candidate was an inaccurate test because of the tendency the pulled ray floret to spring open after it is
pulled. They both felt that the other ray florets in the flower squeeze the ray floret holding it into the involute formation.
When the petal is pulled, it can very easily spring open and give the false impression that it is not 50% involute. They
both do not pull the ray floret from the flower but instead pull back the ray florets back to expose one at the equator
and then proceed to measure  the degree of “involuteness”.  It may take two judges to measure the petal length and
the percentage of petal roll, but this method is very accurate. Another method is to use tweezers or very small fingers
to pull the petal and while pulling it,  squeezing it carefully so it does not spring open.

Whatever the method used, there is still too much reliance on the 50% rule. If the roll of the petal is close to 50% and
the flower passes all of the other visual tests from three feet away, it should still be classified a ball.  Another
indication that the 50% rule is probably inaccurate is the fact that very many best ball in show dahlias are the ones
that do not have ray florets that tightly roll. An example is Mary’s Jomanda, one of the top winning ball dahlias.   A very
tightly rolled ray floret causes many ball dahlias  to flatten to a less spherical form. Additionally, tightly rolled petals
can create negative space between the petals giving the bloom a coarse look.  

ADS Image Library
Claudia Biggs

It is time to be thinking about sending photos of new introductions
to me. They are due by October 1st in order to be included in the new introductions for 2010 program. I prefer getting
them on a cd instead of email. The
information sheets should be coming out in the September ADS Bulletin.
The newest programs in the library are the 2008 Photo Contest winners
and the 2008 Fabulous Fifty Dahlias. Both these dvds are $13 each which includes shipping. Send a check made out
to ADS.
I have two discs available for $5 each. These are a collection of
photos, but not enough for a complete program.
The first is Preparing Baskets for Competiton by Eleanor Shantz - 12
photos - 12 steps to completing a basket with a handout.
The second is what I call "Faults" - a collection of photos showing
green centers, blown centers, insect damage, etc. In other words what not to enter in a show. These would be good to
use in a judging class. Again not enough
photos for a regular program, but photos that show good examples of faults.

We still have Delightful Dahlias-19 forms, Dahlia Primer, Biggies,
previous Fabulous Fifty, New Introductions and
Photo Contest Winners available for $13 each. If you order 3 programs, you only pay $3 shipping for a total of $36.00
I also have handouts available with photos of the dahlia forms.
Contact me for more information.
Claudia Biggs
3332 W. Elmhurst Ave,
Spokane, WA. 99208

Portland Trial Garden News
Ted J. Kennedy

Swan Island Dahlias has been hosting our trial garden for several years now and they have always done an
outstanding job of taking care of our “babies’.  In our 2009 garden there are 31 entries and nearly all of them have all
three plants up and growing, an improvement from years past.

Nick Gitts Jr has placed the trial garden entries into three oval beds on the West end of their magnificent show garden
area.  Since there are so many visitors who want to know the names of the trial garden entries, we have endeavored
to add several signs to the beds. In addition, Nick has added an arched entrance to the area, further demarcating the
trial garden from their show beds. Of course, we invite any body who is interested in dahlias to come see our trial
garden. Swan Island is open every day during the season and parking is only a few feet away from the garden.  We
especially would like to see lots of dahlia judges come and judge the flowers

Every year we hold a judging session in conjunction with our show on Labor Day week end. We invite judges (and any
body who is interested) to  meet on that Sunday morning at about 9:00AM at the trial garden and judge until lunch
time and after. In fact, many judges plan on having a picnic lunch on the picnic tables just a few feet away from the
trial garden.   
This is an excellent opportunity for candidate and accredited judges to get in their annual requirement to judge
seedlings as there are numerous senior judges there to work with you.  
Our September 14th society meeting will be held outdoors at the Trial Garden and we have our traditional pot luck
food. This meeting has rapidly evolved into our most attended meeting, with as many as 60 people attending.  Visitors
are welcome.

Judges ALERT!
Joni Beasley PNDC Judges Evaluation Chair
Your representative has your judges annual report and evaluation forms. Please pick them up during your show or
request them.  I need them filled out and returned to me ASAP. These keep your status updated for another year and
let's me know if you are in line for advancement. Remember if you have not sent them in for 2 years or more by the
ADS rules I am obligated to demote you a step and I do not want to have to do this. I can't accept information by
email! I must have hard copy for my records. Hopefully by having them available to you during show time it will be
easier to remember to return them by due date of September 30, 2009.

From the Societies

Portland Dahlia Society Report
Larry Smith
After a less than desireable start to the season, the weather has turned out great in the Portland area for growing
dahlias and many of our members are reporting earlier than normal blooms. Vice President Ted Kennedy has
coordinated some excellent programs for our meetings, including how to care for the growing plants and a
demonstration on dahlia basket preparation.

PDS had record sales this year, which will come in handy in preparing for hosting the ADS National Show in 2012. The
increase in earnings can be attributed in part to a well timed Oregonian article featuring the gardens of Bob and
Myrtle Bloomfield and Larry Smith, which appeared the week before our annual sale. We also had successful sales at
the big Master Gardener Sale, though a freak storm with 70 mph winds came through the first afternoon of the sale.
Our tent went flying, as did the tubers. The three members working the sale at the time swore that they heard the
tornado music theme from "The Wizard of Oz" as this was going on. Thankfully, the scarecrow(Gordon Jackman),
Dorothy (Jeanette Benson), and Glinda the good witch (Marge Gitts) were able to save and secure the tubers until
reinforcements could come in and reconstruct the tent.
The National Show Committee is in negotiations with a major convention hotel in Portland to secure a site for the 2012
National Show, to be held on Labor Day weekend.  Although the contracts have not yet been signed, it looks
promising. This would be a great location, with plenty of space, spectacular views and good accomodations very close
to the airport.
All PNDC members are invited to attend our annual show, Labor Day weekend at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds
in Canby.

Tom Ball
The members of the Seattle Dahlia Society are anxiously awaiting the ADS National Show and the 100th Anniversary
Show of the Snohomish County Dahlia Society.  We will be happy to greet old dahlia friends and perhaps make new
At our August meeting we will finish up details for our 52nd Annual Show to be presented at the Lake City Community
Center on September 5th & 6th.  
Scarlett Pflugrad and Tom Ball attended a seedling/trial garden class on 8 & 9 August at Spokane, presented by
Wayne and Eleanor Shantz.  We weren’t the only out of towners at the  class.  People from Oregon, Montana & Idaho
were also in attendance.  Wayne and Eleanor presented all of the material and guidance with their usual professional
manner and made the class interesting, informative and fun.    
We would take this opportunity to wish all of the societies a great growing season and our very best for success in
your shows.  

Southern Oregon
Michael Canning
The growing season is in full swing.  That wonderful time when potential and reality are nearly matched in the mad
dash to set blooms.  

The Lane County Dahlia Society is also working very hard getting ready for the 46th annual show with many new
faces on the organizing committee.  Cheryle Hawkins and Lexa Cookson share the duties of show chair, Michael
Canning has been named judging chair and Anne Phillips will handle the head table.  Eugene Kenyon is in charge of
set up, and Camille Noel debuts as publicity head.  Veterans Phyllis Shafer and Alfretta Spores return in tabulation
and arrangements respectively.  This group is ably supported by long time LCDS Leaders Wayne and Eleanor Shantz
and most importantly by our membership.
The LCDS Show is September 19th and 20th.  We are looking forward to a new venue this year.  It will be staged at
the Wheeler Pavilion at the Lane Events Center (Lane County Fairgrounds) in Eugene.  We accept entries from 6:30
am until 8:45 on Saturday the 19th.  If you are interested in entering and would like to have a show book please
contact Michael Canning at icehawk@rio.com.

The September meeting of the LCDS will focus on preparing bloom entries for show.  We are hopeful of converting
members who grow dahlias to join in the fun at the show.  October and November meetings focus on the end of the
growing cycle, including a show and tell of favorite blooms before the first frost of the season.  
Best wishes for a successful and enjoyable season from the Southern Willamette Valley.   

Victoria Dahlia Society
Ken Beswick

The Victoria Club has had a fun year so far and are gearing up for our Flower show on the 15-16 of August Weekend.
We have done our normal complaining about the cold spring and now here in mid July the weather is fantastic and
some of my plants are four feet high and in bloom. We have had great meetings and have had a lot of fun with our
new Segment called Coach's Corner. This is where one of our more experienced members will do a demonstration of
just about anything you can do to a tuber and plant at its various stage of development. We also have a Program
Topic for each meeting. Our last meeting's Program was a two page quiz on the proper use of the Classification Book.
August is also our Club Barbeque which is always well attended and includes the Club purchased meats and a vast
array of pot luck salads and desserts. Speaking of food we close our Flower Show in August with a Chinese Food
Dinner . So as you can see, we are doing fine here in Victoria, British Columbia and look forward to meeting any of
you who pass our way.    

Inland Empire Dahlia Society
Joni Beasley
Hi to all. Since this is our chance to host the PNDC show we are busy here getting ready. Hope many will plan to
We had 3 very successful tuber sales followed quickly by the planting of the Trial Garden and the VA Display Garden.
And, then it rained and rained and rained! The Trial Garden took a hit it is just now coming out of. The drainage is not
the best where is situated and over 8" of rain on top of the 4 hours of watering the park department did was a bit too
much. We hope it is doing fine by show time.
Many of you have not been to Spokane since we had a new floral building built and we think you will all be amazed at
our facility. It was designed with us in mind and the lower level where we stage and judge is very large. We have a
number of sinks along a wall to ease any crowding that we had and we enjoy  a large staging area adjoining our
judging area. After judging the flowers are transported upstairs to the show floor on the elevator by fair staff. We just
love it!
We are, as many of you know by the response we are getting, hosting a SEEDLING SCHOOL taught by Wayne and
Eleanor Shantz on August 8th and 9th. It is exciting to know we have people coming from out of town to take the class.
Our society feels fortunate that Wayne agreed to do this as he has indicated he is cutting way back. The ADS
National show is in August as well. Many of us are planning on attending and hope to see a few familiar faces there.
If anyone plans on attending our show you can find information in this publication in another article. See many of you

Portland Dahlia Society News Letter
Besides fertilizing, spraying, tying, topping, disbranching, disbudding, and irrigating (my, we are a busy lot!), one
needs to consider the benefits of mulching and with what type mulching of material.  Mulching benefits plants in three
ways.  By shading the soil, mulch keeps the soil cooler and reduces moisture evaporation.  Thick mulch discourages
weed growth.  And finally, most organic mulches provide some plant nutrients and over time improve the texture and
water retention capacity of the soil. A nearly ideal mulch is screened compost available from your local yard debris
recycler. The Portland Dex Yellow Pages has 13 listings for compost purveyors.  If you are considering having it
delivered (as opposed to hauling it yourself), keep in mind that transportation costs can add up quickly.  So look for
suppliers close to your location.  

Another thought for mulch would be grass clippings (sans Weed and Feed only).  When applying any mulch be
careful not to smother the dahlia stalks.  Remember it is a soil blanket, not a plant blanket. One grower down in the
valley had a rabbit farmer contact.  The rabbit farm used mint silage as litter for the rabbits.  So not only did the mulch
smell like Doublemint, it had the rabbit manure kick.  Some growers have used straw or stable bedding mixed with
manure.  With the manure think light dressing (see Ted’s previous discussion).  Other growers have used spoiled
silage or spoiled or unspoiled bales of Alfalfa.  Your local Feed and Seed store would most likely be able to direct you
to nearby sources.
Another type of mulch is the in-organic type.  Here I’m thinking of “landscape fabric”.  The landscape fabric is porous
enough to let water, nutrients and air through and yet forms an effective weed barrier. It is sold by the lineal foot at
most garden centers.  Other types of  barriers; e.g., layers of newspapers or black plastic are not recommended since
they generally don’t allow good moisture and air exchange with the soil.
Side dressing the plants with fertilizer is generally done in June or early July.  Be sure to
place the fertilizer no closer than around the drip line of the plants and in all instances at least 6” away from the dahlia
stalk.  Growers that continue to side dress later than mid July run the risk of causing an increased incidence of
oblong, double, misshapen or “bull” centers.
Into every garden a little rain must fall.  
This is great for plant growth, but sadly promotes some fungus diseases.  Powdery Mildew (as well as other fungus
diseases) is much easier to prevent than to cure. Organic preventatives include 1 Tbs. Baking Soda with 1 tsp. Ivory
Liquid in 1 gallon water sprayed on the garden weekly.  Another is skim milk with the same spreader-sticker (Ivory).  
Home garden approved chemicals include Daconil and Funginex which are available at most garden centers.  Good
garden sanitation seems to help.  Also take a look at other vegetation around the dahlia plot.  Does it show evidence
of mildew? If so, consider treating it along with the dahlias.  Dahlia Smut seems more active this year.  It starts out as
lighter discolorations in round circles on the leaves, looking almost like mosaic virus.  Later, these circles in the leaves
completely rot through leaving a “shot hole” perforation in the leaves.  Daconil seems to be the best control.  Best
photo I could find on the net is at the below link.  Be sure to scroll down to find the two photos of early and advanced

Some growers like to combine insecticides and fungicides.  This is a great timesaver and a good idea as long as both
labels say this is permissible.  Still others have been known to combine liquid fertilizer with insecticides or fungicides.  
My experience has been this combination sometimes will cause some leaf burn.  Saying this another way…if you are
experiencing leaf burn with a combination fertilizer spray, you might want to try applying  your liquid feeding separately
from your other garden chemicals.  For years I was kidding myself and blaming the burning on relatively high daytime
temperatures.  Applying separately solved the leaf burn problem.  Be sure to thoroughly shower after using garden

And Finally
I would take this opportunity to thank everyone for taking the time to write an article for this News Letter.  Without you
we could not publish.  The next edition will be published in November.  At that time we will publish show reports from
each society, and of course, any other items of importance.  On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity
to offer my sincerest thanks to all of the PNDC Members who attended Twyla,s funeral services.  I cannot express in
words how much it meant to me to see you there.  
I hope to see many of you at the ADS National Show this month and of course at the PNDC Show in Spokane in
September.   We hope to have a huge turnout of PNDC members for both of these events.