To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: August 2021 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: ZOOM We’ll discuss how to use your ADS Classification Book to find names for mislabeled dahlias. Learn how to recognize the difference between the three cacti: straight cactus, semi-cactus and incurved cactus. What is an annenome? A stellar? What is the difference between a formal decorative and a ball?
Time: Aug 10, 2021 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 846 9787 6567
TWO DAHLIA SHOWS IN CALIFORNIA IN 2021!
San Leandro is hosting a show. Yay!
Dates are Friday Aug 27 for setup and judging Saturday August 28.
Venue is at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland. 660 Bellview. Curtis requests that anyone accredited to judge or willing to clerk to please call him. Clerking means following the judges and recording their decisions. It’s a great way to learn more about specific varieties and wonderful way to hone your dahlia aesthetic.
Cheers, Curtis Maxwell.
CENTRAL COAST DAHLIA SHOW: Central Coast Dahlia Society (near San Luis Obispo) is having a smallish show on 8/14/21. We are excited to try out this practice run on a one-day show for our club, with the hope that we will build on this and get bigger for next year. The show is for “novices” and “open to all”. Kristine Albrecht and Iris Wallace are coming to show, guide and judge. Click here for the show schedule and entry cards. So who’s feeling like a road trip???
DAHLIA ART: Eric reported that he spotted Nicole Barens’ piece Dahlia Cosmos, digital art (16” x 20”). All of the dahlias in the piece were shot in the Dahlia Garden at Golden Gate Park in 2020. I’m a photographer and artist who lives in San Francisco and is endlessly enchanted and surprised by the wonders of Golden Gate Park. (Instagram handle: @nbarens)
At Alta Bates, Erik spotted this huge @4’x8’ photograph created by Isabelle Menin called Dream River 03.
(If you come across any dahlia art, please send in information about it.)
THE WALLS ARE TUMBLING DOWN: As many of you have trekked in to note, our hillside is in shambles. Jeff Miller and landscape architecture his team came to the Dell Tuesday July 20 to survey the hillside for a major renovation. As any passerby can see, the old railroad ties are crumbling, and something needs to be done. Stasia Obremsky (of Eden Stasia fame) generously is offering to support the effort, and has retained Mr. Miller. His firm has already done projects in Lafayette and Alta Plaza parks, and is used to working with Parks and Recreation. Jeff can be seen below with his surveying team.
Design questions include deciding how many tiers of what height, creating a little fenced off “observation deck” with steps up into the first tier, how to make the area above the hillside more attractive, steps for we growers on each end, and facilitating watering. We will have a chance to see Jeff’s designs as they evolve.
SUPER SHOPPER/SUPER SHARER: Lucy writes: I purchased the following from Romeo’s and would be happy to share. The smallest amount I could purchase will last for years.
1) Conserve ( spinosad concentrate, an insecticide) 3.5 ml of concentrate /gallon water recommended . 3.5ml=0.12 oz
2) Eagle, a fungicide as a concentrate of an azole 3.5 ml of the concentrate /gallon
3) Safari insecticide pellets
If anyone is interested they can contact me by email or you can give them my cell phone number: 734-474-4294
I have one flower on Kenora Fireball and my Irish Blackhart is small but gorgeous. Here is Lucy delivering the last of her Kenora Fireballs.
Sluggo Plus at Costco Airport $9.99
BEST SEASON YET! Phil and Marilyn’s garden—a combination of tubers, cuttings, DSC plants and one block left in through the winter—is magnificent this year. AC Jeri amazes Marilyn with its humongous size and glorious color. Check out Hollyhill Confetti, M FD Var, and Kenora Firefighter from the late Gordy LeRoux. Their Citron du Cap waves 8’ tall! Phil admits he sprays Dahlia Cocktail every Saturday evening. The 30 bags of chicken manure just keep on giving, too.
DINING AL DAHLIA: If you’re down in Santa Cruz, Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant invites you to dine amidst Patricia’s isles of glory. Patricia hybridizes so you can view new varieties as you enjoy chili relleno and sip margaritas. Ole!
ADS PHOTO CONTEST: There are 10 categories and all pix can be submitted on line. For further rules check out dahlia.org and the September ADS Bulletin. You do NOT have to be a member of ADS to enter. All dahlias need to be identified by name and in the ADS Classification Handbook. You can check dahlia.org for last year’s winners to give you an idea how the judges swing. You are allowed to submit up to 3 photos per category. Louise, David and Deborah brought home prizes for us last year.
Class 1- Undisseminated/Seedlings- In general, they are unclassified dahlias and have not been sold as a “named” variety. HINT: Anything in Lou’s section with a number instead of a name on the stake is undisseminated.
Class 2- Dahlia portrait. A photo of a single bloom. Minor enhancements to the photo and background changes are permitted. These are basically “mug shots.” They like the whole bloom in frame.
Class 3- Dahlia blooms- More than one cultivar or more than one bloom of a cultivar. Please identify the cultivar(s). This can be from the garden or bouquet or some other clever arrangement.
Class 4- Dahlia Gardens- Photos of places that dahlias are grown
Class 5- Dahlia shows and personalities. Photos of activities related to dahlia shows and the shows themselves. They are archival in nature. Deborah won this category last year.
Class 6- Dahlias and Critters – Insects and animals and the dahlias. In the past this has included dogs, cats, frogs, bees, preying mantises, and butterflies But maybe you can discover a Komodo dragon amidst your dahlias?
Class 7- Dahlias and kids. My favorite category. They show so much emotion. It’s ok to stage your adorable children to make these photos unbearably cloying. Really, the more sentimental the better.
Class 8- Digital dark room- Using a program to enhance or to change an image. For example, change the color of a dahlia. Louise won this category last year.
Class 9- Macro view – Up close view of a portion of a dahlia,
Class 10- People’s Choice- Enter your favorite, including photos of non ADS classified dahlias.
So start shooting NOW. Deadline Nov: 1. Of course, your favorite dahlia e-newsletter would love to include some of your favorite pictures, too. Zip them to email@example.com
DAHLIA DELL DOINGS: So many great visitors including Lola coming to The City and cooler climes. Portland Tom made a special annual pilgrimage to the Dell and brought picnic breakfast! Karen and her daughter received a greenhouse from Marilyn and Roger and donated a bunch of green rebar stakes. Deborah has been swapping them out for the too small redwood stakes that got dwarfed by her enterprising dahlias. Lou has first blooms on some of his unnamed NEW hybrids. So exciting to have such unique plants that no one else in the world has seen yet. Look for the numbers to check out his new varieties. Sue has some dazzlers! And beautifully labeled, too. Her Nick Srs. arrived early: huge and myriad. Erik and Nick’s section has exploded. So much so that they have generously agreed that Shioko can pick a few each week to use in her welcoming arrangements at the door of the Conservatory of Flowers. Tinnee’s dark foliage dahlias surprise strollers. Pat has several new varieties to tantalize: KA’s Peppercorn and Eden Spiderling. Mui claims to be strictly the water girl, but she was caught actually disbudding recently. Her 80+ friend Bin Bin dexterously ministers to Elvira and mildewed leaves. Sometimes it feels like a party at the Dell.
BERKELEY EDEN: Erik Gaensler was invited to Maggie Rothschild’s garden in Berkeley, which is next to Alta Bates Hospital–where Erik works. Maggie was the MVP of our May tuber sale where she bought over $ 400 of tubers and plants. Maggie’s investment has paid off, as her Berkeley garden is thriving. Maggie is interested in hosting a DSC picnic in her lovely yard later this season! Erik got a taste her cooking with a surprise lunch of BBQ chicken and salad from her garden, followed by a gift box of wonderful brownies. Best of all, Maggie offered Erik blooms from her garden to decorate Alta Bates’ Radiology reception area (see photos). Erik has been staging blooms for the patients and staff for 30+ years, but this summer there had been none so far due to the GG park closure. Maggie has offered her garden to be the source of blooms for the hospital for the remainder of the season. So very generous of her!
TANTALIZING COASTAL DELIGHTS: Whilst visiting Martha and Mike near El Granada, we visited Half Moon Bay Nursery. Wow! Such a collection of great dahlias, 3 gallons of blooming plants for $20. While none had names, many were obvious: Lady Darlene, Just Married, Jowey Joshua and Café au Lait. They sent me home with 3 fabulous Ketchup and Mustards and a Mingus Nicole from their own excess collection.
ABUNDANT AUGUST: WOW! August turns nice dahlia gardens into JUNGLES! Buds and blooms everywhere!! How to prioritize your efforts?
#1 DEADHEAD Get the spent blooms off your plants before they begin to drop petals and wreck the buds and leaves below them. Cut down to new growth to stimulate the mechanism to cause more buds to form. Put your cut bloom immediately in water. Note the photo of a handmade implement for carrying dahlias around in the garden until it’s time to put them in vases or carrying cases. Very cool. I’ve also seen 3 milk cartons stapled to a big stake.
#2 DISBUD Leaving just a single bud to a stem channels all that energy into one magnificent bloom instead of two or three so-so flowers with weaker stems. Once you start doing this, your fingers will itch to disbud more. Remember do not pinch; do not cut; bend the extra bud until it snaps off. This leaves a clean spot instead of a little stump or nasty scar.
#3 Clean the bottoms of your plants. Get rid of leaves touching the dirt. Remove the crummy leaves and gunk near the ground. This is the time to note any promising sprigs near the soil trying to make themselves into branches. These can be carefully snapped off the stem and put in 4×4’s to make tomorrow’s pot roots. By the end of the season Lou has 10-12” of exposed stalk.
#4 Douse your leaves with dahlia cocktail. My latest formula: spinosad, liquid green dahlia food, Stylet oil, milk and dishwashing soap. Try to get this into the middle of your plant and on the underside of the leaves. They will stay green until Halloween.
#5 MY FAVORITE: Share your beautiful blooms with the world: neighbors, dentists, libraries, coffee houses, friends, relatives, teachers and conductors. Take them to picnics and parties. Invite vaccinated friends to your garden. It’s sooo interesting to see how other people grow your favorite flower. Go visit other dahlia gardens.
#6 Take lots of photos for yourself, your newsletter, your friends and maybe the ADS Photo Contest. Provide yourself with comfort during the “mud months” January through April.
#7 Rogue. I just pulled out a thriving plant of Camano Pet: green, healthy, reaching for the sky but…… every flower began with an open center. Grrrr. Defective. So I pulled the whole bush out and planted one of my happy spares. Hollyhill Flamingo’s first two blooms stood straight on tall strong stems with lovely leaves but……open centers both. I have officially threatened it: shape up or I’ll ship you out. We’ll see…..
#8 Check your labels. Is this the bloom listed in the ADS Classification Book? If not, key out the correct name. Remember, “a dahlia without a name is just a weed.” Rewrite disappearing labels. I use pencil because it doesn’t fade; if you’ve used a Sharpie, you may want to renew the ink.
#9 Pull up a chair and libation of your choice. You deserve a resting reward for all your good work! I love just basking in my “happy place.”
Yours in dirt,
Photo Credits: Demeter, Dietz, Gaensler, Hunter, Jeong, Santana, Shawaf, Smith
Membership Chair and Layout Mentor: Devorah
Snail Mail Queen: Patricia