To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: September/October 2014 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: Oct. 14 at 7:30 pm at 9th and Lincoln. Program: Wil Gonzalez, floral phenom, will use our last gasp dahlias to dazzle us with arrangement dexterity. Come learn his magic. Who will bring goodies?
Our own ADS National Classification Chairman, Lou Paradise, walked us through optimizing show opportunities. How to transport a weak stemmed beauty to a show? Try shoring up the stem with a dowel or another stronger stem using soft pipe cleaners. (Naturally, remove these attachments on the show table.) Lou suggests transporting blooms in very hot tap water to perk up “sad” blooms; the hot water increases the ability of the dahlia to absorb water and maintain turgidity. Using some of Baker Bill’s well-staged exhibits, Lou demonstrated when showing with two sets of leaves improves over a single set. When showing multiples, all flowers should face the same direction; strive for uniformity. After setting up X3 and X5, Lou adroitly showed how easily a X7 is built: 3 straight down the middle and two on either side. Lou makes it look so simple. Most of all Lou said, “Just keep cutting your dahlias. The more you cut, the more you get.”
Lou’s dahlia acolytes hanging on every word
AUGUST NOVICE ONLY MINI SHOW
46 dahlias from 5 growing teams featured entries in all classes except ms and x5. What a great crop of novice dahlianiers! The Wardens exhibited a particularly dark—verging on the enviable black—Karma Choc waterlilly. Bill blew us away with an enormous Nick Sr. and a lovely Bloomquist Glow, one of the only AA laciniated dahlias in existence. Bill’s Rolf nabbed Best B beating out seven other entries. Bringing in several new varietals, Paula showed a stunning Hy Mirium, A ic, pk. Paula braved X3 twice with darling Frank Holms poms and NX Valley Porcupines. The big winner with 9 firsts, Pat put up exceptional Jessica, AC Rooster, and a cool Bon Odori, wh anemone. Sometimes 100% of winning is just showing up. John and Annette had the only pom in the show, Irish Miss, so naturally they took a first; however, the moment judge Tinnee saw it, she opined, “This may be Best in Show.” She was right. John and Annette proved you only need to enter one dahlia—if it’s the right dahlia—to win Best in Show. Congratulations to all and thank you for all for bringing in your beautiful progeny.
SEPTEMBER MICRO MINI SHOW: Rumor has it that Lola walked away with almost all the prizes at the September show. Congratulations.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS
Thank you to Lola for bringing 3 gorgeous vases to raffle off. Congratulations to Jackie and Annette, the winners. Thank you Baker Bill for bringing a load of baskets for Erik to turn into holiday most-stolen items. Gino brought a gorgeous strawberry cake. Pat donated Fig Newtons. Maggie made chocolate chip cookies. Annette and John shared petite palmiers and someone wonderful brought fresh bananas and lovely green plums. Only through everyone’s generosity do we promote the community we enjoy as Dahlia Society of California.
BEST PICNIC YET!
Blessed with Goldilocks’ weather—not too hot and not too cold– Erik upgraded from one face painter to two; Super Gigi, with help from Mongolia, turned out spider men, butterflies, ogres, mustaches, and even soccer logos for proud coaches like our webmaster, Mike. Balloons also blossomed into a bevy of wonders including Ninja Turtles, soccer players and birthday cakes. Erik rented not one palanquin, but three to protect all the fabulous catered meatballs, ham, salmon and caper noshes, and healthy salads. Jenna festooned the tents; “Bigger and better bunting next year” she vowed. Our crowd devoured delicious Tiramisu from Chera Una Volta in Alameda. Filling in for Soc and his new bionic shoulder, Nick brought members of his Boy Scout troupe to set up tables, chairs, adhere batik African table cloths and distribute garbage cans. In addition to the firefighters showing kids their latest rig, Phil Ginsberg (Parks superintendent) and his wife bicycled over. SF Chronicle’s Leah Garchik’s careful notes described our picnic in her newspaper column the following Friday. On her sfgate website, she posted a lot of photos. Check them out!
More Picnic Pics
THIS BUD’S FOR YOU AND YOU AND YOU
Once again Parks and Recreation enjoyed gorgeous dahlias from the Dell as their principal festive color at their annual gala. Jenna worked her fingers raw devising 75 corsages for superluminary guests. Erik, Deborah and Shelly hobnobbed.
PLAYING THE DAHLIA LOTTERY
Let a few favorite blooms go completely to seed. Seeds are the dahlia version of genetic lottery cards. Each seed contains an utterly unique array of chromosomes which could result in the next Best Of Show. I usually cut mine when the petals have fallen off. I place them in a glass full of water. Every couple days I snip 1/3” off the bottom so the seeds will continue to mature. After they turn completely brown and completely dry, I separate the seeds from the chafe and store in an envelope until spring.
Who knows – collecting these
Might get you these (Pat not included)
OCTOBER: DAYS OF AWE
As our daylight shortens our dahlias strive for the light. To maximize your bloom size, try double disbudding: remove the side buds of both your central bud AND the second level down. This sends double the waning energy to develop a single bloom. You will also note that your stems waiver more and many of your doubles show center almost immediately. DO NOT WORRY. Your plant didn’t go bad; it’s just responding to the changing season. Dahlias need less water now. Wait for them to tell you they need moisture. STOP fertilizing. Whilst I traveled for 4 weeks, Tony watered the Dell. Sue, Valeria, Alexis and Mina deadheaded. However, mildew nailed my section. Grrrrrr.. The optimal solution is to strip away all the leaves with mildew and spray a prophylactic like Hoist on the remaining naked looking stems. I am experimenting with a combination of Stylet Oil, dishwashing soap, Captain Jack’s Dead Bug and Serenade. Usually I have dahlias to bring to our holiday party in December, but this year might end earlier. I note that Valeria and Sue’s section of the hillside is practically perfect. Outstanding! Continue to dead head and cut back severely to new growth. Rigorous pruning now encourages a final flush of blooms. Last chance to check your visible dahlias against your ADS Classification Book. Make sure all bushes are labeled correctly. If you have two of the same variety, you might want to mark which is the better so you can plant it next year. Update your garden map.
Denizen of Disbudding
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Snail mail editing and mailing: Pat Hunter
Photo credits: Claddell, Dietz, Gaensler, Willmarth
In San Francisco the Dahlia was adopted as the
Official Flower of San Francisco on October 4, 1926
by its Board of Supervisors