ADS, American Dahlia Society—A Little History Gathered

ADS, not to be confused with Attention Deficit Syndrome or Advanced Draining Systems. No. This is the wonderful, wild, world of dahlias where members get together to share information, dahlias and have shows to find the “best of the best.”

There is history of show winners and the dahlia flowers who placed put together by Harry Rossetti. You can read his three hundred twenty five-page-historical gatherings, member’s notes, and other interesting facts here. It’s free, filled with tips, a few short poems and I enjoyed reading through it and if you are growing dahlias, you will too.

When glancing through the yearly-shows of dahlia winners there are many familiar names. Dahlia Surprise has been winning awards for years. No surprise there.

It is said that those who join the society are seeking perfection. Of course many also join because of a passion for growing dahlias. There are, the long awaited, coveted dahlia tuber sales and swaps. The local societies grow new varieties of dahlias and they must meet high standards before they are introduced. I believe they must at least score eighty five percent.

Michigan is hosting the National American Dahlia Society Show this year, August 29th through September 2nd, at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. If you can make it, you will not be disappointed.

The bulletin for the Dahlia classes and number of flowers that must be entered is here. Every Dahlia show has rules and if your flower is too large it could be nixed, if it is too small, not good either. Your flower could be perfect form but fall into the oversized and undersized box. It’s always good to know what the judges are evaluating when entering your treasured dahlias.

This dahlia on the farm is on it’s way to becoming a show flower, if not there are many others to choose from.

Color codes and size codes can be found here in the charts by Washington State University.

It is possible there is a local Dahlia show in your area where you can go and admire these flowers in all of their perfection. Dahlia growers who grow for showing pinch their dahlias back several times so they will have a larger flush of blooms to choose from. It really adds up to the fact that we really need more dahlias: Am I right?

On a international note read this story about some Dutch dahlia growers. It’s always a delight to hop around the world chatting with other dahlia growers. You might already know them from their social media account. They grow their dahlias to sell as tubers so many, many cuttings(thousands) are taken in spring from potted dahlias. As the cuttings root, grow, and weather permitting, they are transplanted and grown in long rows in the field. The visual bonus is a field of flowers that makes your day brighter. Much brighter.

If you are wanting to connect with other dahlia growers and international dahlia societies you can most likely find one. Just a click away.

Until tomorrow…Enjoy the fruit of your labors, flowers.

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