January 2013 Newsletter
Editor: Tom Ball
Dear Fellow PNDC Members:
By now most of us have the garden dug and divided and all things dahlia put away. Now is the time to dream and
strategize a bit. Which ones did really well and which ones will we likely discard? What hints does the 2013 Edition of
the Handbook and Classification of Dahlias provide for likely winners? Which introductions garnered the coveted Hart
and Dudley Awards? What were their overall combined scores, as reported in the ADS December Bulletin? Which
individual new intros scored the highest? What will we be ordering and when to prevent “sold out” disappointment?
Which varieties are we going to take cuttings from for green plants?
Thanks to your interest, participation and financial support, the Portland Society has completed its successful sponsor
ship of the 2012 ADS National Show. Many volunteer hours behind the scenes were spent planning, negotiating and
executing the details of a memorable convention and show. We are all looking forward to Tacoma’s National Show in
You may recall that early this summer Wayne and Eleanor Shantz made arrangements for their Judges’ Training Course
to be digitally recorded by a professional videographer. That product is now been delivered to all PNDC member
societies. This will be a great benefit for societies that would like to conduct judging schools at the society level. PNDC
will work out the details for this part. PNDC will need to determine a testing procedure. The presentation has 5 DVDs,
which is one set. On each of the 5 DVDs, an outline at the beginning indicates what the general content is. PNDC
believes that these DVDs can provide local societies with an excellent resource. Of course, an approved senior judge
should be in charge. We all owe Wayne and Eleanor a huge vote of thanks for their initiative in seeing this project
through from start to conclusion.
We have a birth announcement of which we all can be very proud! A new dahlia society was born in Gold Beach
Oregon this fall! The beaming parents are the Chibanti’s and all the members of the Southern Oregon Dahlia Society.
The PNDC grandparents are pleased as punch!
Well, another year is upon us. I know that the News Letter hasn’t been published for a good while. Please excuse my
absence. That time of year once again. Dues are due. I know that Elva is diligently working on the 2013 PNDC
Roster. If you havn’t already, please submit your dues to her as soon as possible.
We welcome the Wild Rivers Dahlia Society to the PNDC. Welcome aboard!
I would request each Society to send me a most recent copy of their society roster with correct e-mail addresses. I am
having a terrible time sending out the News Letter because many e-mails have been changed. firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be publishing the next copy of the News Letter around the first part of April. Please be thinking about that
edition and consider writing an article about your society and/or the people in your society.
Recommendations for Candidate Promotion:
Lane County – Florence Alvergue to Candidate
Lane County - Wesley Fox to Candidate
Lane County - Brian Fullerton to Candidate
Lane County - Deborah Gilmer – to Candidate
Lane County - Linda O’Bryant to Candidate
Lane County – Tim Phillips to Candidate
Southern Oregon – Keith Manfull to Candidate
Southern Oregon – Connie Parmeter to Candidate
Southern Oregon – David Parmeter to Candidate
Recommendations for PNDC Promotion:
Lane County - Alexandria (Lexa) Cookson to Senior
Lane County - Camille Noel to Accredited
Portland - Tiffany Boatwright to Senior
Southern Oregon – Donna Hymer to Senior
Victoria – Phil Newton to Accredited
Victoria – Connie Young-Davis to Senior
Wild Rivers – Bob Chibante to Senior
Have a great New Year.
ADS IMAGE LIBRARY REPORT
I just finished the 2013 ADS New Introduction program, which includes 87 new varieties for 2013.
This year, it is offered in two different ways:
The automated program only for $13.00 or the Deluxe set which includes the automated program plus an additional disc
of photos only in low resolution for $20.00. This can be ordered through me specifying which you want. Eventually it will
be on the web site to order through PayPal. At this writing, it is not listed yet. Also included with either program are
Questions About Dahlias
by Ted J. Kennedy
What is the best way to divide my tubers as I have left them in the ground for several years?
What is the best companion flower to grow at the base of my dahlias?
I know that chickweed does really well but I think it is ugly.
How much water do dahlias need? I know a person who is too cheap to water his and they seem to grow. On the other
hand, my flowers wilt and have open centers if I do not give them water.
What are the odds that if I buy a dahlia tuber package from a "large box" store, that it will be alive and produce the
flower on the label of the package?
Why does the ADS use the wrong names for the colors of dahlias? Many pinks are not pink and many reds are orange
and purples are just dark red. And bronze flowers are all shades of yellow or orange. Why can't the ADS use the same
color names that people use, especially florists?
If dahlias are our favorite flower, why do people around the world pronounce its name so differently? Doll-ee-uz, Dall-ee-
uz, Dell-ee-uz, one should be declared to be the correct one.
Why do we call them "tubers" when most people have never heard of that term? Many people call them "bulbs"? One
old lady we knew called them "potatoes" .
Why are dahlias shown with leaves when all one really wants to see is the flower?
Why are “Poms” called poms and yet the other two forms of ball dahlias have the word “ball in their name? Ball,
Miniature Ball, and Poms.
Maybe they should be “pomballs”? Or maybe we should have Big Poms, Medium poms and Miniature poms.
What does the word “decorative” mean in dahlia names” ?
I think all dahlias are pretty. So, “formal decorative” must mean dahlias for formal occasions and “informal decorative”
must mean that they look good in my house.
GROWING DAHLIAS IN OREGON
Wayne Shantz is in the process of writing a new book about dahlias Titled Growing Dahlias in Oregon. Wayne has
generously granted us permission to print chapters of his book in each of our coming PNDC News Letters. Our thanks
to Wayne and Eleanor for all of the time, great effort and knowledge that they both give to our organization.
Once per month, the Lane County Dahlia Society (LCDS) gathers for a monthly meeting held in a local, city-owned
senior center. New members receive a friendly handshake and welcome. All those in attendance look forward to
chitchat, a short business meeting, a time of refreshment, a door-prize drawing, and a program pertaining to some
segment of dahlia lore. Enthusiasm reigns. Located on the west side of the Cascade Mountains and on the east side of
the Pacific Ocean, approximately 70 miles from either destination, LCDS serves members from Eugene, Springfield,
Cottage Grove, and outlying areas in Oregon. During the winter, rain and cooler temperatures from 30 to 50 Fahrenheit
are normal. Once in awhile, snow and colder weather will pervade for a week or two. In the summer, temperatures ramp
upward and sunshine prevails making for pleasant weather with little wind. Currently, the LCDS consists of 120+
members, and it is not unusual to see new contacts signing up at meetings.
In the past number of years, the society has changed its focus, concentrating more on the leanings of younger people.
They desire to know about organic gardening methods that will provide them with positive results. Consequently, the
society addresses its charge by enlarging its educational borders from not just traditional subjects, and for example,
provides information on growing dahlias without tilling, combating perennial pests with fewer chemicals, and the
conserving of water. Away from the meeting, the officers of LCDS meet periodically to plan the yearly program and
organize for the annual show; additionally, they will brainstorm on how to better meet the needs of those who attend
meetings and debrief after an important undertaking. The President opens these behind the scene meetings to all
members and encourages them to attend.
Three events each year contribute immensely to the success of the society. In the spring, LCDS sells tubers at an April
auction and then at several other community locations. These funding activities establish the necessary finances for the
payment of the monthly venue charge, the expenses of the annual show, and for the purchase of other promotional
plans. Dues at the time of this writing are nominal. From its spring activities, it then focuses on the annual show held in
September. For a number of years, the shows have displayed from 1,800 to 2,000 blooms, including blooms in
horticultural, basket, design, and seedling sections, one of which is the Seedling Bench Evaluation sanctioned by the
American Dahlia Society. Later in the fall, LCDS holds a hands-on dividing and storing seminar for the public. From this
session, the LCDS has signed up many new members. The society believes that those new to the group see
unrehearsed enthusiasm combined with a spark of friendliness and caring. Thus, this fall instructional time sells
Advertising in local newspapers and the Dahlia Data, the LCDS monthly newsletter, promotes society endeavors. These
two communicative avenues for outreach and information have become valuable tools for LCDS. In 1998, the society
has hosted the American Dahlia Society National Convention and Show, quite an undertaking for a small and dedicated
group at that time. The society looks forward to the future, desiring to promote the dahlia, a markedly popular flower in
HEALTH IN A DAHLIA SOCIETY
Learn how to get along: A number of dahlia societies struggle because people do not get along. What a terrible
commentary for the promotion of such a beautiful product. The dahlia can convince the world that it reigns supreme in
floral majesty. Who gains credit, who feels hurt, or who has control must take second place to the well-being of dahlia
society pursuits. Unfortunately, one person can poison the whole pool. If members find their society dwindling or at
odds, they need to look carefully at its dynamic and change it. Happy and friendly members will beget fresh, excited
participation from others.
Organizational structure provides another means of membership growth. Burgeoning energy comes from new members.
They do not care about behind the scene dahlia business, such as who writes a show schedule, how much and what
kind of awards to give, or how much to pay for tables. These important items represent details that a society should
discuss in executive session. What the monthly meeting needs is an inviting subject, knowledgeable presenters, and
hands-on education. Careful planning makes for meaningful meetings and happy dahlia growers. Any progressive
society must know its audience, tailoring programs accordingly, especially toward the younger generation who lean
toward fewer pesticides and organic growing. By planning meetings a year in advance, it will validate a sense of
purpose, organization and effectiveness. Programs that include some enjoyable moments in a meeting with affective
humor, a free drawing, applause for member accomplishment(s), and a time to mingle with other growers cultivate
cohesiveness. Often, new growers will come especially for the open time so that they can find answers to their personal
questions. A time for refreshments allows for interaction to occur in a casual and friendly atmosphere. The society must
provide a happy environment. People enjoy visiting with friendly people, desiring to belong to this kind of organizational
stimulation. The growth formula is quite simple.
WHY LCDS MEMBERS GROW DAHLIAS
Most often, members new to LCDS state that color draws them to the dahlia. Usually they have grown dahlias for several
years before they muster enough courage to attend a dahlia meeting. When they rub shoulders with other dahlia
enthusiasts, they feel the excitement of others and before long they have many more reasons for growing dahlias.
They find that the dahlia has a longer blooming season than almost any other flower, and that the diversity of it scales
from under 2 inches in diameter blooms to blooms well over 12 inches; they see that the dahlia possesses unique forms
and textures, and that with the exception of blue, the color expands a continuum of color range much greater than they
have imagined. To augment these findings, they also experience a camaraderie from those who also enjoy learning
about the dahlia. In short, they enjoy the fellowship.
To say specifically what brings a dahlia grower to the society opens to a wide range of reasons. Some desire to learn
cultural information while others want to learn how to divide and store their tubers. Whatever the reason, the LCDS has
seen these growers expand their knowledge, enough that they can share more readily with neighbors or design their
own bouquet. Some even begin specializing so that they can hybridize, thereby creating their own variety, while others
want to provide baskets or designs for personal purposes. Some growers even desire to know the finer elements of
dahlia growing so that they can compete in shows. No doubt, many more reasons exist for when we survey our own
gardens, we all see the potency of beauty.
In the next few pages, the LCDS wishes to explore tidbits that will make everyone’s dahlia experiences more productive
and enjoyable. The society recognizes that each of us who has grown dahlias has much to learn about this member of
the Asteracae or composite family, found first by Spanish explorers in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico where they
have grown in the wild for centuries without any human tampering. It is a marvel that an under two-inch open-centered
dahlia protruding out of the cranny of some rock survives while in a domestic garden, the grower works hard to provide
proper conditions and then on occasion still meets defeat.
FROM THE SOCIETIES
Lane County Dahlia Society
The rain has arrived in earnest, and tuber digging and dividing is at a
fever pitch at many patches around our valley. Lane County Dahlia
Society group activities slow down now to make way for holiday madness.
Our executive board will meet in early December to put forward a slate
of officers for 2013, brainstorm a meaningful program schedule for next
year, and to talk about the more general opportunities that lie ahead
for the organization.
In September next year we are thrilled to present our 50th anniversary
show. In addition we are honored to host the PNDC show as part of the
50th celebration. We will be looking for new ways to spice up the show
with some special awards and nods to our proud past at LCDS. Stay tuned
for details as the growing season approaches. Please mark your calendar
for the weekend of September 14th and 15th, 2013 to visit, exhibit, and
judge in our golden year.
(Lane County Continued)
Our group asked me to pass on our congratulations and thank yous once
again to our friends at the Portland Dahlia Society for a beautiful
national show and a job well done. We would also like to acknowledge the
great support level of PDS members at our show just two weeks after
putting on the big one.
Here is our wish for a bright and joyful holiday season from your Dahlia
pals in the southern Willamette valley.
Portland Dahlia Society
Portland Dahlia Society members are just getting over the hangover of hosting the 2012 National Show. Imagine what it
was like to awaken at on the last day of the show to hear TV news reports that the hotel was on fire! Fortunately for all,
it was the old abandoned Red Lion at the other side of the bridge that was on flames, but we choked all day over the
heavy smoke in the air. Thanks to all who helped put on the show, including Chairpersons Tiffany Boatwright, Ted
Kennedy, and Larry Smith. Laura Oldenkamp organized the tours, Shirley Bankston was treasurer and handled
registration. Mark Oldenkamp led the tally team, Teresa Bergman managed the Dahlia Boutique and handled donations.
Larry Smith was responsible for marketing and publicity, Mike Riordan organized the awards and set up the educational
workshops. Many, many more aided our effort in various ways, thanks to all of our members and everyone else who
supported this great show. Our members took two Best of Show awards: Mark and Laura Oldenkamp showed the best
disc bloom in Kelsey Kristie and Tiffany Boatwright was awarded best triple entry disc bloom with Fancy Pants, and
Margaret Kennedy received both best design and best basket honors.
We had our annual Holiday potluck in December, at which time Shirley and Burel Bankston were awarded Lifetime
Membership in our club. Shirley has been a tireless participant at all of our activities and has many times taken a
leadership role. Her husband, Burel, has been a quiet but willing assistant to Shirley in all she does for us. We welcome
both to the Life Member club.
Election of officers was recently completed and the following will serve for the next four years:
President Larry Smith
Vice President Ted Kennedy
Recording Secretary Linda Taylor
Corresponding Secretary Teresa Bergman
Treasurer Larry Sawyer
Our new slate of officers and the remainder of the Board meets on a Saturday in January to plan for the upcoming year.
In 2013, we will be working on such projects as creating an enhanced education/training program for current and
prospective new judges, improving the programs delivered at our monthly meetings, ways to encourage members to
show their flowers, and setting up committees to plan and implement our programs.
SEATTLE DAHLIA SOCIETY
Happy New Year to all our fellow dahlia growers! The SDS celebrated the holidays with a Christmas Dinner feast
featuring the culinary talents from our own members. Tom Ball & Betty Stott prepared the turkeys and hams and
generous members brought treasured door prizes to share with all. Doris Hansen gave it her all as our party planner
Our November meeting featured a presentation and dahlia slide show from Craig and Eva Weaver of their recent trip to
New Zealand. We learned how dahlias grown there are different than ours due to the climate.
We thank all of our 2012 officers for doing a fantastic job in supporting the SDS and we welcome our New Officers for
President - Karen Lorentzen
Vice President - Tom Ball
Treasurer - Kathy Ryan
Recording Secretary - Becky Prokop
Corresponding Secretary - Nicki Tran
Trustees - Ida Bonneywell, W.J. Taylor, Dave Blackmer
Also, our new Membership Chair will be Nancy Spangler; Doris Hanson will continue as Tuber Sale Chair and Tom Ball
will be our new Program Chair assisted by Craig and Eva Weaver.
As dedicated dahlia growers, it seems that we have them on our minds even during the dark days of winter. Over the
next few months, members will be taking cuttings to increase the number of plants available at our spring tuber sale. Our
January meeting kept us motivated as we viewed photos from our September show where we had over 1700 blooms!
We also watched the DVD of the New 2012 Introductions from the ADS. Our wish lists get longer and longer as we try to
imagine where in the yard we can squeeze in a few more this year.
We welcome you to check out our website for more SDS happenings. www.seattledahliasociety.org
Victoria Dahlia Society
Into the winter months now, and thinking back on the lovely warm summer months, and an abundance of show stopper
blooms. Club member, Connie Young-Davis proved this as her Trengrove Millenium became Best Overall winning
flower of the Portland A.D.S. National Show, plus she had four other head table winners. Paul McKittrick, Phil Newton
and I also attended the National Show, with Paul having two flowers on the head table. Connie then became a celebrity
in our city, making the front page of the local paper, along with an interview in her garden by our local T.V. station.
Prior to the National show, was our club show, with over 600 blooms, and again the overall winning flower was Connie’s,
with Hamari Accord.
Early August our club hosted a weekend judging seminar, starting with a workshop on Friday night for new judges and
clerks. On Saturday, Mike Riordan gave a presentation on history and nostalgia of the ADS and PNDC. Mike and
Wayne Lobaugh dove into the controversy of mixed form, ``tweeners``, a lively discussion ensued. Wayne followed up
with an excellent power point presentation on open centered dahlias, (many thanks to Mike and Wayne for taking the
time to come to Vancouver Island). This was followed by a session of judging seedlings. After a full day of learning, we
had worked up an appetite, and at 4 pm our club barbecue began. The pot luck food was delicious as always, with a
good turnout of close to 40 in attendance.
Early November we had an afternoon work party and the Learning Garden plants were dug up, had a few days to cure.
The following Saturday, those needing a refresher on dividing & storing tubers came and prepared the tubers for their
winter sleep. We also had elections for the club executive, congratulations to Phil Newton who will remain the President,
new Vice President/Secretary – Ryan Barry, Treasurer -Judith Powell, new for Publicity/Web Site – Juliet Rice, directors
In December, 33 members attended our annual Christmas dinner which was a yummy feast of Chinese food at the
Golden City Restaurant, followed by Connie’s delicious desserts, “thankyou” Connie. The Christmas Season is now
here, no snow, lots of wind and rain, a good time to escape to warmer climates.
For now, Wishing you all the Best for the 2013 Growing Season.
WILD RIVERS DAHLIA SOCIETY
I would like to introduce the Wild Rivers Dahlia Society. A newly formed society on the south coast of Oregon, located in
Gold Beach. This has been a desire of mine for nearly 5 years. The last two years have been the most active. I
collected information and ideas from a few people in the PNDC along with help from the ADS and Rosemary Freeman.
The south coast has an excellent climate for growing dahlias; if you can get past the 30 mph breezes and slugs you can
put a saddle on and ride. This last summer we had things in place to move ahead. I heard that the most challenging
thing for a club is putting on its first show. Well, I wanted to do things differently. The show was the first thing we did. I
asked a few friends and family if they would participate in a mini show. In this show we had everything a full scale show
has to offer. Baskets, Arrangements, Regular Horticulture exhibits and the large center piece were presented to those
who came to our event. The show was a huge hit. We had people travel 2 ½ hours just to see the show. Nearly 200
attendees walked in the doors. Why, have a show first? Well, we like to do things a little different here. Every show when
the public walk thru, it is universal the expressions on the faces, followed by oohs and wows as they enter the door. With
that in mind I felt it would be the best way to have a membership drive. We succeeded to get 26 people sign up. 10
became full ADS/PNDC members. I would suggest this would be a good way to go for a startup club. Special thanks to
Guy and Frances Chibante, arrangements, Michael Canning, hort., Eugene Kenyon, Rivers Dahlias hort., Mike Iler,
Blossom Gulch Dahlias, hort., Christy and Richard Parks, Parks Dahlias, baskets, Joan Cooper, arrangements. These
people came from as far away as the SF Bay area to participate. Special thanks to my wife Mandi for all of her help.
They all brought great blooms for the end of September and would do well earlier. The best part, leaves were optional.
We had exhibits of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 blooms. The experiment made this end of the season fun. We have had our
third meeting now and the members are excited. Each has been a hands on lesson, with people taking home tubers
after dividing clumps of Weston Spanish Dancer. Seeds were given at another demo. This approach works well. We will
use as much technology as possible. At our meeting site, I have a garden of 400 plants, which will aid in the hands on
lessons of growing plants. I am looking forward to making this a success story and help bring on a new crop of dahlia
enthusiast. We have a small library I have put together for club use and members check out the reading materials. Next
we will be working on funding and finding awards for our show. We will most likely have our show at the end of August
and hopefully we will see some of you there.
Robert Chibante, President
Wild Rivers Dahlia Society
P.O. Box 119
Gold Beach, Or 97444 - 541-247-236