Have Yourselves a Merry Little 09 Dahlia Season

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

1/27/09: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED AS OF TONIGHT in fairness to the guessers who have worked for a month to get down to the nitty gritty.

In light of the sour economy and tightening budgets, I'm going to offer up 3-5 boxes of tubers for postage in April. This is contingent on having enough tubers survive for my own replanting and to accommodate a fundraiser I'll be doing for a work-related charity. I'm certain there will be extras in many colors, forms, and sizes.

The winners will have to work a bit. I'd guess the number of tubers will be between 10-15, more if I have them, fewer if desired by each winner. So, the top three-five contenders will be those who come closest to a number chosen between 0 and the current national debt: right now, 11:51 pm GMT 12/26/08 that number is $10,593,830,584,531.63. It's a long winter: I had to pick a big number! Let's keep it to whole numbers, no cents. Mr. Poochella has chosen the number and will keep it safe until the time comes. Between now and midnight March 31st people can guess as many times as they wish. Late on 3/31 I will determine who the top guessers are and Dmail those people to taper their boxes to preferred colors, varieties etc. as well as I can.

I have been assured by Admin that we won't blow out the DG servers, so guess as much as you want, please just keep your guesses under you original post by editing each new guess. Of course, ongoing chit chat is encouraged along the way. And if anyone has ideas to tweak the rules along the way, just put them forward. The only rule I ask is you don't sell them for the 09 season and you not be a dahlia tuber vendor.

So who wants a chance to try some dahlias or add to your collection? Nimble up your typing fingers and start guessing!

This message was edited Jan 27, 2009 8:34 PM

Thumbnail by Poochella
Marquette, MI(Zone 5a)

You are a keeper, Pooch !!! Thank you so much for your generous soul and your kind nature.
This will be fun to watch (I don't need any extra tubers) I do think that that is my beach towel there on the table and send me the cat.
How are ya liking the snow ? We've had over 115 inches.


Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I luv contests ^_^ This will be really fun to watch ^_^ God Bless you Pooch and Mr. Pooch.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

OK - I'll take a stab at it...319

You're a sweetheart to do this and it will help pass the long gray winter.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Pirl, you're a tad low on your guess! Keep guessing. Aim for the stars. I was just wondering if I have a calculator big enough to even enter a number in the trillions to find the difference when the time comes.

Dnut, you can play just for the fun of it. Maybe I could give you a gift certificate to Ferncliff if you won instead of American tubers? Or buy you a lunch if you come down for the NW Flower and Garden show? How about that?

Granny, I question your sanity level living in that savage Marquette climate! I thought our paltry 18 inches was horrific. We're just endured 2 weeks of snow and road mayhem- ongoing with a foot of greasy slush now blanketing our hilly driveway. I barely, BARELY got by the neighbor's stranded truck at the worst part of the driveway this a.m. and didn't even think of trying to get back up tonight. It was fun sliding down though.
The photo is about 6 inches shy of the snow total. Much has disappeared with heavy rain, blessed rain, overnight. More snow due Monday evening. Bah humbug.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I added up grannymarsh's total snowfall and yours so now my guess, rounded off to millions is: 333,000,000.

We've had 4 or 5" of snow but Santa took it away, thankfully. We "older" people get cranky with snow.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Wow, Annie, your place sure looks snowy, LOL
Look at it this way, your slugs should be killed this winter for sure, LOL
As for your pic with your kitty, love that kitty too!

Marsha, I just can't imagine 115 inches of snow at all!!! Wow..................

Okay, I will guess the number of: $36,135,485,038,395.01

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Pirl, you're low, Daisyruffles, closer! That's a lot of commas isn't it?

Yes, we still have several inches of snow in the yard Carol, and more falling now. Our shovel handle broke during the worst of it, so my transplant shovel came in handy for ice chipping and clearing sidewalks. I hate abusing garden tools that way. At least we've been able to get up and down from the house with little problem. I'm merely middle aged, but I get cranky in the snow too! Enough for one season already, I say.

I just realized I have left about 15 clumps at DH's office to suffer through the cold. Couldn't remember if I'd dug them or not, and just realized tonight that they're still sitting there like chilly dogs in their dirt bed. Right next to the building though, so maybe they're okay.

We need more guessers! C'mon, a dahlia is a terrible thing to waste.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

okay, i'll guess 65,256,805,789,012.00!!! is the number that we are guessing above your #? Dahlia's ARE a terrible thing to waste, i hope the one's that you forgot about are ok. i sure wasted enough of mine this year.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

0-10,593,830,584,531 That's the maximum range. So on closer review, Ruffles and Greathorse are both over! I didn't notice before because I can only handle so many numbers in a row. You both have to revise downward and PIrl upward.

Greathorse, did you get hit by an early frost or freeze? I can't imagine digging with children to tend to along with dahlia clumps. Our snow all melted now reminding me of all the stakes I have to organize and clean up yet. They were blissfully hidden for a few weeks.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Ok, here is my "lower" guess.

Lindenhurst, NY

HI everyone -- Pirl, how are you??

This looks like fun:

I'll guess


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)


Hi Maureen - we're fine - how are you?

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

What an absolutely generous thing to do!! WOW

My guess is:

Lindenhurst, NY

Hi Pirl. I'm doing good but freezing..............brrrr..........it's way too cold where me and Pirl live!! it's like 20 deg this morning. how's the weather by everyone else?

today I'll guess:


have a good day all.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The majority of the country will be hit by extremely cold weather later this week. Time to curl up with a few good dahlia catalogs and dream of spring.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Good morning all. I'm wishing I would have gone with 1-100 LOL~! These numbers are tough.
Daisyruffles, closer. Did you get hit with any of the snow/rain the past couple weeks? You know it's bad when the weatherman says "there's a fire hose draped across the Pacific and the nozzle is aimed at us." All is well-watered now.

Pirl, you can't guess the same as Maureen, unless you were just reiterating the astronomic value of her guess. You're in, Maureen: and welcome! Your guesses are both high. My DD just went to NYC for New Years and saw all the sights and throngs gathered. It was bone-chilling cold for their travels but still enjoyable. I'm with Pirl, and would rather snuggle with a catalog in front of the fire.

Welcome aboard luvs! Your guess is high. Keep guessing- there's lots of ground to cover.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

See what the cold has done? It's frozen my brain cells with typing a dollar less than your original number and never checked the number Maureen gave.

Okay - I'll try again...9,802,700,000,000..

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I thought that might be the case on your guess, Pirl. No matter, your new guess is still high. Here's a hint: it's not 7, my favorite number. So it's between 333,000,000 and 5,000,000,000,000. Really narrowing it down now. If anyone hits the exact number on the head, I'll double the dahlias and spring for postage for that guesser as that would be quite a feat.

Keep guessing. Stay warm.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good grief! Is this open season on torturing old people! OK how about 4,333,222,111,000.?

Why aren't more people playing? What's so exciting in winter that's keeping people away from the thrill of the dahlia prize?

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Shh Pirl!! Lets keep it small more chances to win!! LOL☺

I'll guess again...555,000,000,000.50$

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)


my new guess is 493,265,1459,025.

we did get frost at the normal time, but our freeze came about 4 weeks early. about Nov.15th. and it's been downhill ever since.my little girls like to help me in the garden or they go and play on their swingset, thanks to having the most wonderful in-laws in the world, their swingset is like the taj-mahal.only the best for the grandkids!!! i would wait until the girls went to bed to divide clumps,less distractions that way.although i did loose a few because of the early freeze, i still have plenty...............

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Still high for both Greathorse and Luvs.

I'm surprised you freeze so late there in MI. We can frost as early as late October, or as late as late December like this year. Glad you only lost a few to the freeze. I would love to see (and play on) the Taj Mahal swingset. I'm not giving up the fun stuff just because I have a few decades behind me.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

how about 78,159,179,987

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

How about~333,555,777.30

Lindenhurst, NY

Good morning. I'm having a tough time counting all the commas and trying to figure out the range...LOL help.........

How about 499,000,000.

Everyone have a good day and stay warm.

Anyone grow Hillcrest Kismet other than Poochella?
I think I might have to order this from Coralito's.
Poochella, any other "must haves"?

Wish it were spring, wish it were spring, wish it were spring (my affirmation for the day:-)

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Morning guessers,
I'M having trouble with the commas too! I'll just say Greathorse is closest at this point. That'll keep you busy for a while.

Maureen only 2.371 months or so til Spring. You're affirmation is working... It's going to go fast, so you better order Hillcrest Kismet soon and so should I. It's just such a perfect bloom, to me, in color and shape. Other 'must haves?' About 50. I'd never be able to purge my garden of quite a few because I just have to have various colors, sizes and shapes. The more, the merrier.

In dark red, "Black Cat" is my new fave. Haunting near black-red and a very sturdy flower/stem. Summer Night is a good second choice here.

In white/lav it's a toss up between Painted Lady and Unforgettable.
Lavender/purple I like Lauren Michelle and Seduction real well, and Le Baron. And Lilac Time. AND Chimacum Troy and Paul Z!

Bright red- little Nescio is a great bloom machine and Bararossa is an impressive large bloom. Hy Lobster is pretty cool. Weston Spanish Dancer is a festive red and yellow with lots of blooms. Kasasagi is a bright pompon that kicks out red/yellow happiness all season long and then rewards you further with about a zillion tubers. (lots of commas LOL)

Yellow- I'm having trouble thinking what to do about yellow this year. Ivory Palaces for sure, because it's a big fluffy bunch of beauty on a stem. Polventon Supreme because it's a perfect ball and good bloomer. Chimacum Topaz because it's a good producer and keeper, year in and year out. Nothing wrong with Keith H either. Or Cameo for a pale waterlily. Yellow Star has been a favorite incurved cactus for quite a few years. But I'm on the hunt for a medium sized, bright yellow cactus or semicactus- let me know if you find any, anyone!

Orange-I find Hy Lustre intriguing because of the red/orange contrast between front and back petals. Another excellent ball. Jomanda is a longtime favorite for cutting too. Pam Howden is a wonderful waterlily and blooming fool.

Pink- Mary's Jomanda! Beautiful. Pretty in Pink- great bloomer. Karma Sangria, a sturdy cactus blooms in pink/yellow on great stems. Sweet Dreams was a great pink addition from Lenjo last year.

I know I'm forgetting many, but those are some of my longtime favorites to date. Keep in mind that I'm looking for cut flowers as a priority in choices. Just depends on what your color/size preferences and goals are. Now I'm all jazzed about summer! Thanks for the inspiration, Maureen.

Lauren Michelle here:

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Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Crapola, Abloom has Lauren Michelle and I didn't order it :( o well added to the 2010 list in the Great Book of Lists. Pooch isn't 'Twilight Time' on your lavender blend fav list? I sooo luv that one.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I'm sure it would be a contender if I grew it, but I think that's on BigCityAl's favorites list. BCAl has been conspicuously absent and I miss him. Where are you Al?

I'm interested in your experience with Abloom, Dnut. I've corresponded with her and can't wait til she can ship to the US. Great website.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I miss bigcityal too Pooch. He's been silent quite awhile. I hope he's ok. This is my first year ordering from Abloom and I will let you know for sure, and put it in Garden Watchdog as they haven't been rated by anyone yet.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Add me to the missing Al people. I love his sense of humor.

Last night when I was in the midst of ordering I checked on the two lilacs I was down to and when I found Poochella's rave review for one of them (maybe Lilac Time) so that's what I ordered. Same with Mary's Jomanda.

Lauren Michelle has permanent residency on my wish lists but I never seem to find good partners for her so she's on the 2010 list along with others. Somehow it's comforting to think someday I'll have them.

I was wrong - it's Taratahi Lilac! Pooch - how is Taratahi pronounced?

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Lilac Time is a wonderful unique lavender, very richly colored and a nice draping bloom besides. Gee, I wish it were August all of a sudden LOL. You'll love Mary's Jomanda too for a hot pink.

What do you mean "good partner" for Lauren Michelle? Like garden mates for landscaping/color blend? LeBaron is a nice dark purple that sets off the more muted Lauren Michelle well, and is the same 3 ft height.

oooh, I just learned the correct way to pronounce Taratahi, having mispronounced it for years. Tare ah TIE hee or Tare ah TIE ee; I'll go back and find it for sure, if I can. New Zealandish or Australian in origin, I think. Todgor might remember seeing this too.

Lindenhurst, NY

If Greathorse (hi greathorse) number is closest, then I guess


oy vay, i have to keep on counting digits and commas to make sure i'm in the right ball park.

Poochella, that is quite a list of fave's. Thank you for all the info. Lauren Michele is on my list already. I really like the waterlily types. I'll have to look all the others up. My main goal is a good garden plant, not so much for cutting - but that is an added benefit.

Pirl, if i get Lauren Michele and it and it multiplies and survives storage I can give you a tuber in 2010. (maybe I can get a JI for it ??) LOL
I was pairing it up with a dark purple, i'll get the name and post it here later.
Have a good night everyone.

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Trying again!! 76,145,259,987.51

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Oh oh, time to get out the gigantic calculator: you're all getting closer. Stay tuned.

Lindenhurst, NY

Poochella, if we get it do we find out right away, or do we have to wait till March to see if we won??

I'm guessing

Poochella, i'm wondering why do you have to get the calculator out?? You already know what the number is, right? (i'm really tired, i might be missing something here)

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Pooch - I like Pam Harper's theory of color harmony so I need a dahlia to keep two clematises happy - one is pink and the other is purple but sometimes more like wine. Last year I used Orion and Arabian Night - good but not great. Of course, it was the year the pink clematis wouldn't bloom!

Thanks for the pronunciation. Japanese irises are enough to handle - like Beni Tsubaki (Be-NIT-sue-bahkey).

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

First, I 'misremembered' how to pronounce Taratahi, Here it is: "Tara tie" (as in a neck tie.) Still don't know if it's tare-a or tar-a, though. I'll clarify and get back to you.
** Edited to update straight from New Zealand: Ta ra tie he- no special emphasis on any syllable. It is based on a Maori word and really, really hard to delineate an exact pronunciation in two different accents in opposite corners of the world! But that's it. That's all I know.

Next: the leader board of guessers now has Maureen in the lead. Way to go Maureen!
Second place goes to Greathorse, with Luvs a length back in the next lane over with Pirl limping along back on the outside lane. LOL! It's quite a horserace. Still a ways to go though. This is tremendously hard on my scrolling finger and I understand Pirl's comment now about torturing older people.

I bought a few light fixtures several years back, custom made place in Seattle. I went to pick them up and choose shades I liked. At the checkout I glanced at the girl hand tallying the total and nearly fainted when I saw a comma! "Is that a comma????" Incredulous was I, as this was just a few lights, but I had chosen shades that were some ridiculous price like $60 each. Little 5-6 inch glass shades! "Lose the comma" was my next comment and the girl shot back 'Lose the shades." LOL Anyhow, counting all these commas and digits is hard duty and it reminded me of the comma story.

This message was edited Jan 13, 2009 7:28 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We went through something similar buying brass pulls for closet doors! $120.00 for eight of them. Pass the smelling salts!

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