January 2017 Newsletter

To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf:  January 2017 Newsletter

NEXT MEETING: February 14 at 7:30 – Join us as we view the ADS New Introductions and discuss who’s hot and who’s not in commercial growers???


HOLIDAY PARTY

Reports redound of great fun and yummy food. Pat and Devi wrangled the revelers in rousing Present Predation. Gifts included many gardening tool kits, narcissi, watering cones, coffee and lots of chocolates. Word has it that DCSers were so mellow—perhaps from the fine wine—that very little stealing occurred. Hmmm??? Certain perennial contributions constituted DCS traditions already. Jenna baked the Gaensler Ham; Scott whipped up his amazing peanut brittle; and Devi’s cranberry jello mold slipped down many appreciative gullets.


DAHLIA ANGEL REVEALED

Here is a sneak preview of an article Kristine Albrecht has written for the ADS Bulletin. Have you ever wondered who runs the website?

dahliaaddict.com? Meet Amanda Windsor. Amanda’s exposure to dahlias started 7 years ago when she noticed them displayed in a restaurant. She started by growing five varieties and now grows 90 in her Eureka, California garden. Early on, she ordered dahlias through the BigList, a variety locator cre- ated by the Colorado Dahlia Society. That inspired Amanda to start dahliaaddict.com. She incorporated the parts she loved from the BigList and added pricing and links to supplier websites. What makes her site special is the ease with which a grower can find and order tubers and cuttings. Amanda is the site designer, photographer and web coder.

Amanda started dahliaaddict.com in Nov. 2015. Initial design and code for the site were a big commit- ment. Keeping the site up to date is a hobby and her work load increases every November and Decem- ber. She has pricing and order information from 62 different dahlia suppliers. She keeps her site cur- rent by surfing the web in search of new suppliers and varieties.

Amanda receives donations to support her website but mostly funds the site herself. The donations she receives come primarily from businesses listed on her site. One of the most rewarding things for Amanda is helping growers find dahlias they want to grow but thought were lost to the world.
One surprise from Amanda’s work is the number of unique offerings each suppliers has. She has found that 51% of the dahlia varieties from any one supplier are unique. For example, Kathy’s Choice can only be found at Clack’s Dahlia Patch. Tahoma Ann C can only be found at Dahlias by Les and Viv. If you are hunting for a hard-to-find dahlia you might want to check out Amanda’s site. Thank you Amanda for giving us such a wonderful gift. Find Amanda’s site at dahliaaddict.com.


BIG SURPRISIES: TREE DAHLIAS ABLOOMING

In the Bay Area, tree dahlias usually bloom from November through April—if a big wind doesn’t know them down before. Golden Gate Park has two blooming right now, the single lavender and the double white. Lou Lombardo long ago gave five varieties to Bob Papp, president of the SoCal dahlia band. Bob still has four of the five thriving at his various public display spaces. Here are a couple from his volunteer garden at Long Beach Veteran’s Hospital. We will try to have some sprouted canes for sale at our April Tuber and Plant Sale.


DELL DOINGS

Lou had lifted, divided and processed All his clumps. Many have already gone on the cutting bench for our delectation later. Sue has about half of hers up, processed and tucked in Sand. Pat’s and Erik’s will go under the shovel and knife at DigOut 2017. Deborah and John dug ten before Christmas but quit when their fingers threatened to break from the cold. The first seven little milk cartons chill out in Deborah’s loft awaiting the warmth for germination.


PSW CONFERENCE

Monterey invites dahlianeers to participate in their annual PSW Conference February 11 or 11-12 TBD. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet Dahliaphiles from all over California, talk about our favorite flower in all its manifestations and frustrations. Monterey Bay Dahlia Society ALWAYS throws a great convocation. So sign up, send in your registration fees and figure out how to car pool down.


BLOOMING DATES

Babette in Monterey announced: My 2017 “Dahlia Festival” Wall Calendar is now up for sale on the website “Etsy” at dahlianista.com


JUMPSTART JANUARY

If you have not lifted your clumps, have you covered them with 5-gallon buckets? Good idea. If you’ve lifted your dahlias, have you processed them? Check them once a month to make sure they are not rotting—alas, a dreadful possibility even after all your ministrations. Plot Plotting: begin immediately to add compost to your patch: leaves, kitchen compost, crab carapaces and shrimp tails, egg shells, grass clippings and even finely chipped Christmas trees. Plant a cover crop of something that sucks nitrogen from the air and deposits it at its roots: anything in the pea or lupine family, mustard or vetch. Cruise Dahliaddict and your other favorite commercial dahlia websites. Remember to check your ADS Classification Book before being beguiled by sumptuous descriptions. Vow to buy a few NEW dahlias this year to delight yourself and your fellow dahlianeers. It’s sooooo much fun to have new creations growing in your garden. I’m replacing more than half of the beauties in my area of the Dahlia Dell this year.

Yours in Dirt,

Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Photo credits: Baker, Dietz, Larken, Shulkin

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