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I have ben reading the many coments on low cost dahlias. One of the best sources of top grade dahlia tubers are the dahila tuber and plant sales of the over 70 Dahlia societies that make up the member societies of the American Dahlia Society. These sales are open to all and the tubers are all produced in members gardens. One of the largest is conducted by the Puget Sound Dahlia Asso. They wil have 4-5 sales in the Seattle area. They will have about 17,000 tubers for sale most are priced at $3.00 each and are gart. to be true to name and variety.
Other societes throughout the country will have their sales during April-May. You can get a list of these sales by visiting http://www.dahlia.net.
These sales are a very good way to acquire top grade dahlias for your garden.
I really like the PSDA sales. They are held in quite a few locations over about a month span from March to April. Tubers are individually packed, boxed up with colored photos, sorted by form or sometimes by height. It is one of their biggest fund raisers that allows the society to produce informative booklets, get various speakers to present lectures on a multitude of dahlia topics, and to put on a fabulous dahlia show in August. Only 6 months to go...
Why not start one (a dahlia society) it's easy and think of the fun of being with other dahlia lovers. I am sure there are dahlia folks in your near by area. If you have an interest contact me at SNdahlia@cs.com
I would LOVE to attend a dahlia society sale, but what's with the dearth of New England dalhia growers? I see there's one in RI, but that's about it. I'm worried that dahlias don't do well in my climate. Roses are a challenge- we call them "black spot on a stick". I am also scared of earwigs. I've never had a problem with them before.
I would love to be the founding member of a local dahlia society, but that would be like a person who had never driven to start a car enthusiast's club.
These words are not mine but I read it in an old copy of Fine Gardening.
THRILLER: The focus plant of your container. The one you want people to be drawn to first also this plant will create the line. Not always the tallest in the group
FILLER: plants that are somewhat compact and somewhat spreading ---many foliage plants can be used in this setting. Try for some color contrast and interesting leaf patterns
SPILLER: Here we use trailing plants --those that will spill over the edge of the container like a water fall and create the illusion that the container is connected to the ground.
Note: first choose your color theme and then choose plants that are happy with this color. There are more books on how to do containers and even a DVD (check web site http://www.containerdahlias.com) but it all boils down to these 3 simple words for a wonderful container garden.
Beware: Container gardening can be addictive. I know have about 30 container gardens all over the place. They can be very rewarding and a neat place to grow dahlias.
Picture: My winning container in 2005 Fine Gaedening this is an all foliage container per the rules and you can see the T F S plants
We must meet at the show! I am a member of the ADS Exec Committee and would be happy to give you info on starting a new ADS dahlia society. The is one in CT but a distance from you. RI is closer but in the greater Boston area I know several dahlia growers who are looking for a local group. Dahlias grow very well in New England and one of my favorite suppliers is Endless Summer Flower Farm inCamden ME they specialize in cut flower type dahlias. I am sure a N/C announcement in the free section of local papers will bring interested folks.
ADS Garden Dahlia Committee Chairman
Hi Steve, how would we know each other? Hey, I could make a "Dave's Garden Dahlia Forum T-Shirt"! But then people would be staring at my chest all day.
An aside to your planters-- I am a serious coleus addict and always plant huge containers of them. My "Black Dragon" won a ribbon at the fair last year.
The only thing preventing me from attending that microbe lecture would be if I were called to work. Right now, I'm a contractor for a Temp. Employment agency; they haven't had any work for me in weeks, though.:-(
My mind went ahead with the Dahlia Society... locally, there is an organization known as The Essex County Greenbelt Association. They have a board of directors who run our local agricultural fair (yes, there's a dahlia show!), and a co-op for feed and gardening supplies (I'm there all the time!). This association own all the buildings at the fairgrounds, and would be a great resource in pulling together dahlia growers! My little brain teetered forward to imagine a Spring Bulb Sale that could be open to the public!!! There is a nice indoor space for it which is $1500 a day... that could be reason enough to form a Society. As luck would have it, I used to be in marketing and arranged shows all the time.
I love the Spiller, Thriller, Filler designs except for the Michael Jackson notes the label leaves careening in my head... Very pretty combos.
Steve, your video looks greatly inviting. You have an accent! It's so nice to see some dahlias in bloom, even if it is on video.
Jax, I have no doubt you could put your energy to work and whip up a dahlia society in 8 months. You'll have to grow them, show them off, hook those interested, get some hints from Steve and off you go.
I was thinking that someone to start a Society would have to be a dahlia expert, but I guess it just takes someone who has the time to organize things and find the experts! I used to write the newsletter for the local draft horse club. We had that based at the fairgrounds in order to take advantage of the arena, for the annual show and driving clinics. I was the only one who could write articles b/c I didn't have horses; all the members were too busy. If I needed expertise, I had a long list of people who I could call to help me write articles. This could be very cool indeed! Since I don't have a 100-acre dahlia farm (yet), I would have more time than most people. Ooh, we could have garden tours!!!
To get a membership going, I could do a limited direct mail campaign to the local garden clubs and growers. Also, many many many members can be signed up in September at the Topsfield Fair flower show... that fair is a HUGE deal in greater Boston and there is a big dahlia show there; we can get the exhibitors' names and have a sign-up sheet for members! Then there is "The Big E" fair in Western MA; lots of dahlia fans there, too... those are the 2 biggest agricultural shows in NE.
Jax - you have the organizing experience and that's what it takes to get off to a good start. I know from personal experiences with local clubs that some members have almost no knowledge of plants and shrink from questions about them, referring the questions to others who do have some knowledge. Specific societies for plants tend to have many more dedicated people than general garden clubs.