To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: September 2012 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: September 11, @ 7:30 time @ 9th and Lincoln
PROGRAM: Mini Show! All 18 classes plus x5, x3 and one arrangement. Prize$! First $1.50, second $1 and third $.50. Bring them on! Do come early to set up so everything is in place by 7:30. Who will bring celebratory munchies?
Will Gonzalez, AIFD, and team stunned us with their creativity, explaining the conception and the construction behind several magnificent arrangements. Using themes from our SF show, Will thought us through brainstorming: put all your ideas on paper, no matter how crazy. For the Olympic Torch, Will suggested deep red for the bottom, red/yellow dahlias for the middle, golden and then pale yellow for the top because that’s how flames go from molten to cooler. He suggested larger dahlias near the bottom of an arrangement to “anchor” it with gracefully smaller ones taking the eyes aloft. Will prefers working with oasis rather than pinfrogs but admonishes planning your design in advance so not to repeatedly stab your green block too many times, rendering it useless. Will wove gold, silver and bronze metal strips into laurel wreaths crowned with winning dahlias. He suggested covering “mechanics” (pinfrogs, oasis, straps, tape) with leaves, stones, or bits of glass. Mundane corsages can be snazzed up: frame a dainty dahlia on a square of snake tail; extend wire armature to go both forward and backwards over the shoulder; decorate a hairband with dahlias. We ooohed! Over U Glu, a post-it stickum which can back a boutonniere and obviate the pin—even safe for $5K Armani suits. People loved taking their pictures framed in the High Jump arrangement. Will’s student loved magnolia branches after they were stripped for leaves. She used two for an acrobatic interpretation of gymnastics. Will can be found at Rainforest Fantasy Flower Shop in Ukiah and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS
Thanks to Lou, Pat, Deborah, Tinnee and Frank who donated all the dahlias Will’s entourage got to choose from. Pat’s strawberries and Cadbury Biscuits danced on our tongues. Debbie’s cheese, crackers and cherries waltzed over our palates. Dick Meyers gifted us with lemonade and yummy brownies. John Dale brought in assorted plants looking for good homes.
DJ, Peg, Donna and John threw expecting Amy and Mitzu a delicious shower complete with laundry line baby card. We await their seedling girl in October.
ANNUAL DAHLIA DELL PICNIC
Bring your favorite potluck dish and join our annual Dahlia Dell picnic on Saturday, Sept. 8 from noon until 4ish. Once again, Erik has hired a clown, a face painter, a balloon twister and invited the fire truck and firefighters to delight kids of every age. We’d love anyone to come earlier to help set up and anyone to stay a little later to break down all the tables and chairs. Remember to bring layers of clothes: temperatures can swing thirty degrees.
Mike reports that September means diabrotica—those crummy lime green lady bug-like destroyers of dahlias. Mike simply vacuums the wretches up. This mini dust-buster does not harm elite blooms nor rearrange petals; it just sucks up pests. Too cool tool.
As I was disbudding at the Dell one morning a family from Sidney came strolling by. The boys kept giggling while dad asked questions. Finally the 9 year old couldn’t stand it anymore and asked if I’d like to hear a dahlia limerick:
There once was a man from Australia
Who painted his bum like a dahlia.
The color was bright.
The form was alright
But the smell was a terrible failure.
VOLUMES OF DAHLIAS
The San Leandro Library hosted a wonderful kickoff to our show season! So many flowers and so many winners. Andrew led the Novice Sweepstakes. Coming up from foggy Santa Cruz, Kristine’s luminous beauties handily nabbed Amateur Sweeps. With hometown advantage and a gorgeous Harvey Koop as Best Large in Show, the Mortons triumphed in Open Sweepstakes. DJ’s luminous Martina took a circular trip to the awards platform. Devorah cleaned up with a jaunty floating Wildwood Marie; Best Peony, Elvira; and stunning x3 Mary’s Jomanda for Best Small. Nailing the ca$h categories, Deborah’s Jessicas won Best Tripple Bi; Best Juul’s Introduction with Juul’s Amber; and her Best Californian Intro, Kim, won both money and a medal. Pat stayed on the head table after so many roundtrips with micro Suitzui Julie; pristine Novelty Verrone’s Morning Star; and Best Paradise Introduction with Eden Testarosa. Peg scored well with Smallest Pom, Stonleigh Joyce; Flower of the Year, Teasbrook Redeye; Best Al Almand; and her Corralitos Intro earned her a 6 foot potted Camano Sitka! The Dahlianator, Lou Paradise, dominated the Court of Honor: Best Small and Ball, Mary’s Jomanda; BB, (new!) Eden Predator; Miniature, GW’s Babe; An Powder Puff Polka; O, Marie Schnug; S, Delta Red; Most Unusual, a scarlet/orange concoction of Pink Jupiter; Best Disk, a new seedling; and frosting on his humongous cake—the ADS Achievement Award for Best Bench Seedling, Eden Predator with a whopping 92.1. Wow!
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
San Leandro grew so many wish lists with first sightings of new and cool cultivars. My first gottahave is Vista Pet, a spiky novelty. Stiers’ Lakeview Curly, 2510, swirls up a pink storm. Many people were beguiled by Deborah’s AC Joy, a frothy confection of angelic golden kissed by pink. Corralitos’ Irene Ellen and Leslie Renee and Marilyn Woodward pleased purple globe fanciers. Corralitos’ Rock Run Elva 3201, stood pristinely white. Kristine’s BJ’s Rival, 8205, puffed out such a quilled breast to win Amateur’s Best anemone. Devi found the perfect container to compliment her x5 of stunning Raspberry Skies. Magnificent cocky AC Roosters shouted down darling Verrone’s Taylor Swifts and jaunty Irish Pinwheels–all proving that the Stellar category expands with enticing new possibilities. The Martens revived an old stately, Adriana, and debuted a gay NTAC Eileen, a stunning flat plane collerette which competed with Masurat’s dramatic Bloomquist Sweet. Where are the Mortons scoring such snazzy roots: 1301 Hy Debut, Twister, Hollyhill Margarita,2405, Mingus Mike B, and Carmen Alexandra, 3210, rocking orange blend.
Oh such seedlings! Leading off the pack with the ADS Seedling Bench Achievement Award and a whopping 92.1 points, Eden Predator nailed Best Small in the show. Look for it to be released next year and GET IT. With a super involuted 9213, team Paradise grabbed a hat trick with Best Disc. Likewise Lou’s Eden Talos scored well: large, radiant, and strong. Like old fashioned gingham, Lou’s 3115 stunned everyone. Curtis teased us with 2 stunners: his second year Best Seedling a pink/red/magenta ball or fd and his super frapped miniature white fuzz ball. With great swirl, Chris Dix’ 3411 entertained many. Kristine’s new billowing bombshell filled the Largest Most Perfect category even though she thinks it will eventually be categorized a large B or small A. Hmmm? The Masurats delighted with an orange version of Shea’s Rainbow. Good news: Roy’s Phil is a fourth year so maybe it will be introduced next year. DJ trumped everyone with an entire bouquet of his seedlings. So much to look forward to!
Dahlias sprout new buds as soon as I turn my back! Dahlia season peaks now. Participate in the last show of the season at Valco Mall in Cupertino. The winds come up necessitating dahlia bondage. I tie mine to a stake; Corralitos and Mortons use string corrals; Bob Papp and Dick Parshall use Hortonova storm tape applied parallel to the ground. Remember to dead head down to new growth. By doing so you should have blooms at least through Thanksgiving if not through December or even January. Try a little foliar feeding (through the leaves) by spraying with a water-soluble fertilizer. You can add an insecticide and a fungicide to this if you want to cover all the problems in one fell swoop. Always err on the side of dilution! Too strong fertilizer can actually subdue or even kill your plants.
Check your labels with the ADS Classification Book. Make sure each bloom looks like the book says it should. If you have mystery blooms, bring one to our meeting or the SJ show for expert identification. Remember Guru Lou’s sage warning. “A dahlia without a name is just a weed.” Rogue NOW. Do you have certain clumps that are still just limping along? When in doubt, throw it out. You might be able to plant a spare in that spot and still get tubers for next year. Have you grown two of the same cultivar? Decide which plant is superior and label it accordingly. Save those tubers for next year. Invite people to your garden; go visit other gardens. Share your dahlias with friends, co-workers, librarians, doctors, family, neighbors and other special people. Lighting up other people’s lives feels so good!
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Photo credits: Dietz, Eckelbarger, Harris, Hart