September 2016 Newsletter

To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: September 2016 Newsletter

NEXT MEETING: September 13 at 7:30 at 9th and Lincoln.


10 Novices transported more than 80 dahlias. Most had preprinted their entry cards; others learned how to look up their cultivars in the ADS Classification Book to determine their of- ficial 4-digit numbers. Some had to check Deb- orah’s composite 1976-2016 Book for varieties not recently in competition. Some learned for the first time that our Section A is for single entries; Section B for triples; and Section C for x5. Deborah alerted them to Sections G,H,I, J and K in DSC’s schedule for items like floating water lily, single variegated, or specific culti- vars like Vernon Rose, or Juul Introduction or People’s Choice.

Kudos to Cathy for her stunning Pennhill Watermellon and for inviting friend Joy, who jumped in with three entries on her first visit to us. Major courage! Tony dressed to match his large yellow with white tipped FD, Ferncliff Pride. Chad and Tom caught Blue with a magnificent HollyHill Bill M, NX, pr. First timers, Carl and Rhian, transported several lovely blooms including three big A’s; alas, they left their first leaf pairs at home. Debby showed a lovely col- lerette, Cinders, and took red with a lovely AC Abbey in the most contested category, B size. Everyone marveled at John and Annette ‘s stunning NX, Hol- lyhill Spider Woman. Despite rushing from work, Dan and Billy scored with a darling Pooh (or Wheels?). Out of a strong field of 6 triple entries, Jenna triumphed with stunning Parkland Raves. Sweeping firsts in almost every category, Queen Pat presided over Best in Show with her utterly lovely Skip to My Lou.

Using judicious entries, Deborah emphasized issues: leaves should be PRESENT and show OVER the top of the container; specimens should be staged for BEST ATTITUDE; and pin frogs should be securely affixed to containers so they won’t topple over and domino down other entries. Deborah found a small dahlia in the AA category. Her lesson was: if your entry doesn’t look like the other ones around it, ask yourself why???? Maybe it’s mislabeled or misplaced.

It was no surprise that Pam Howden, the winningest Water Lily in the US floated majestically above the others; Mexico, the winningest Anenome in the US, triumphed, too. With over two hundred blues to her credit last year, AC Abby won First AND Second. Deborah recommended checking the ADS Classification Book or the list of California Winners to plant the Best of the Best next spring. There are reasons the top cultivars win consistently: strong stems, healthy bushes, great color, some disease resistance, and ability to thrive under varied conditions. Deborah emphasized again and again, “If your dahlia looks ok and has two leaves, SHOW IT! Let the judges do the judging on the table. “ The more dahlias brought to the show, the more expo- sure we get to all kinds of blooms. Dahlianeers and the public learn from all exhibits. Moreover, every blue is another tick in the Classification Book.


Special thanks to Tinnee for designing such a fabulous poster for our DSC Floribunda! show AND printing up a bunch to share with DCSers. City dwellers snatched up Lola’s four bags full of Fairfax heirloom tomatoes faster than you could lick your lips. Ever health conscious, Pat brought fruit snack packs and blueberries. MMMM. Billy baked chocolate chip cake. John and Annette donated slim line Oreos and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks to Gino for his Hostess Cupcakes. Colleen looted TJ’s for ginger snaps, toffees, and chocolates. Too generous.


Despite a hiccup over table allotment, the first dahlia competition of the year filled the San Leandro Library with gorgeous blooms. Were we surprised that Chris Dix won Best M with Leslie Renee and Best Olivia Maureen, Best Ball, especially because they’re his introductions? Chad and Tom won blues for two photos and bunches of Novice winners. Kevin and Karen’s new seedling beamed orangely as Best in Show. KA’s Cloud lead off Kristine’s open Sweepstakes march with Best X3 Large; People’s Choice, her Mustard and Ketchup, crowned her reign. Lou swept Amateur Sweepstakes with what looked like hundreds of Eden Benaries each more perfect than the next. Not only did Pat win Best Novice Bloom, Veca Lucia, but she also head and shoul- dered out others for Largest Dahlia in the

World with a bruiser of a Bryn Terfel at 12 1⁄2.” Louise Hendrickson excelled herself earning Novice Sweepstakes. The awards ceremony delighted Deborah by awarding her a medal for her Best California Introduction, Eden Talos. Iris’s Old Fashioned Bouquet got the nod from the public as well as the judges as well as her jaunty pink and white seedling.


How many Eden Benaries could Lou cut???? Let’s just say Lou could have filled both Amateur and Open with x1, x3, x5, and filled out a humongous x11 display with a few amazing blooms left over. Where did Ken get the patience to pick, the expertise to transport, and the deftness to arrange the x mass display of of tiny wonders. Wow. Mary Bannister, where do you find just snazzy dahlias? The color of her Joey P, 2014, is such a vivid magenta/purple! Mary’s Kite Runner, 9413, is a cutie! Louise displayed a lovely x3 of Karma Fuchsiana 7305; its radiance seemed to come from within. Corralitos Gardens entered several Dark Siders of the close-to-black color, 2307, and VERY spiky cactus form. Iris’s Rosco, 1413, demanded attention.


Did you miss our show? Check out these sites to gaze upon our beauties. Do you want to see certain aspects of our show again? Check out these on-line stills and videos.


First off, plan for our Dahlia Picnic on Sept. 10. Bring something for potluck. Some people also bring Yatzie or Scrabble or???? Let’s celebrate our blooms at the height of their glory. Plan a couple garden parties of your own. Participate in the Monterey Dine Around: stroll through four different dahlia gardens, hobnob with bloomerati and eat sumptuously. Next, continue the valiant fight against ravening mildew. Remove noisome leaves and add an anti-fungal to your Stylet oil cocktail. ROGUE: if you have two plants of the same cultivar, determine which is the heartier one. Mark it immediately either with a notation on its label or with a colored tie around the stake or???? This way you will know which tubers to keep for yourself to constanty improve your stock. Then determine if your other plant is “good enough” to sell at our tuber sale; if it isn’t, chuck it out! Now! CHECK LABELS!!! Now, whilst your blooms are in full spate, match the name to the ADS Classification Book form and colors. If you don’t have the correct name, bring one to our September meeting for help with identification. Remember Lou’s admonition: A dahlia without a name is just a weed.” Too sad, but too true. Keep cutting back to NEW GROWTH. The single reason I’ve noted for bushes to go brown early is improper dead- heading. You MUST cut back to new growth. Dahlias in the Bay Area should easily bloom through Thanksgiving. If you are not sure what this means, come to the Dell on a Saturday morning when I’m there for some hands-on practice. When you remove little sprigs from the lower trunk, try putting them in 4×4” containers and making cuttings for next year. This is a great way to ensure you have extra snazzy special varieties for early planting next spring. Take some pictures for the ADS photo contest. There’s 11 categories and you can enter two in each. Check the ADS website for rules. Give dahlias away. Share their beauty with your community. Watch faces light up with surprise.

Yours in Dirt,

Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Asst. editor & Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Snail mail: Pat Hunter
Photo credits: Baker, Dietz, Gaensler, Hart

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