Dahlia Society of California
December, 2004


Holiday Party:  December 14, Special Time -- 6:30 Happy Hour 7:00 Feasting.  Don your snazzy duds & please bring both a scrumptious dish to share & a wrapped gift (@$10) related to dahlia gardening for our inimitable Present Predation ritual.  Hint: in previous years much snatched items included baskets of bulbs, personalized calendars, tool caddies, hand blown or hand thrown vases, or gift cards.  Use your imagination to bring the most stolen gift on the table.

DIGGING, DIVIDING & STORING:  Lou Paradise reprised his redoubtable tuber processing methods.    Cut back to 4-5 nodes off the ground so the membranes between sections will act as water stops.  Some people further protect against crown rot by capping off the stalks with tinfoil & rubber bands.  Remember to process one clump at a time, keeping the label with it AT ALL TIMES. 

For a more extensive explanation on digging and dividing see Dec. 2003 newsletter

Do not pull clump out by the stalk or carry with that so convenient handle: the weight of the tubers will often break their necks.  Instead, prize and tote by supporting underneath the mass.  If you use the chisel technique to separate tubers, Lou adjures using a small hammer, rather than a normal sized one to avoid undue damage. 

DAHLIAS IN NOVEMBER?!  Lou L. & Barbara brought flowers all the more fantastic for surviving our nasty rainstorms.  Mingus Wesley, Creve Couer, Inland Dynasty, & big lavender Elsie Houston threw some color into our grey day.  Thank you!  

Thank you, too, to Thelma for her delicious chocolate chip cookies, to Joanne for finger-licking cherry cobbler, & to Baker Bill for his Marie Callender pies.  Mmm  good. 

DJ mentioned photographersedge.com as a good place to get supplies to make your photos into greeting cards. Carol’s 2005 calendars & the last of the 2004 ADS Classification books sold like dahlias in a gopher field.

Many thanks to DJ, Rudy and Franck for the beautiful pictures in this issue.


DROPPING IN ON RIDGEFIELD WASHINGTON:  Driving back from Washington, Franck was nearly blinded by a field of dahlias.  Despite honking horns behind him, he pulled over on the mucky shoulder & walked up the long driveway to ring the doorbell.  The woman who opened the door saw a mud-streaked stranger requesting to photograph her dahlias before he lost the light.   

Apparently his DSC membership, his various dahlia photo awards, & his enthusiastic attitude allayed Sherry McCarthy’s healthy suspicions.  Her husband, Tom, came to watch Franck shooting between bursts of rain.  As they got to chatting, Tom explained that they’d had this field next to their house & got tired of mowing it so they planted dahlias instead.

Please click to read Franck Avril's original discover write-up.

They hooked up with someone who sells flowers at the Portland market in exchange for assisting with the plants.  The cemetery across the street was allowed to take bouquets as needed.  The resulting good karma earned them $50,000 this year with even more ambitious plans for next year.  Franck noted that this incident confirms his belief about how great dahlia people can be.

DUES ARE DUE: Please send Diana Brogoitti your 2005 dues:  DSC $10.  ADS $20.  Both $30.  Use this form for details.


Reduced pix eNewsletter For those of you who have a dial up connection and would prefer to receive a "Reduced Picture" eNewsletter, please drop Ted a line and he will put you on the special reduced pix version list.

JOLLY JANUARY:  Stay tuned for the dates of the Big Dig (probably Jan. 15-16).  In my garden at home, I put 5-gallon pots over the top of my cut-down bushes to shield them from excess rain & stave off crown rot.  When I take out a clump, I widen the resultant hole & fill it immediately with compost.  Some people plant a cover crop of plants which re-nitrogenate the soil such as hairy vetch or fava beans. 

My dahlia godmother stakes out trellises for oh-so-fragrant sweet peas.   I often sprinkle poppy seeds around—they gaily thrive during the mud months.  Remember when dividing, leave several fragile tubers together; a couple viable masses beat a lot of shriveled worthless ones every time.  Start checking out the on-line catalogs from The Big List. 


Write up what you liked from last season & what you’d like to try for this year.  Canvas the cookbooks for a delectable dish for our holiday potluck. Scour the shops or your imagination for a swipe-worthy gift, & select festive garb to delight us all at our next meeting. 

eNewsletter of Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA
   Editor: Deborah Dietz. Web-Layout Editor: Ted Marr
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