Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park
United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda
Editor: Mike Riordan (503) 256-0425

Portland Dahlia Society Bulletin
Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park United Methodist
Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda

Editor:  Mike Riordan (503)256-0425 Contacts:  Teresa Bergman (360)
274-8292, Jeanette Benson (503) 649-4118
Next meeting Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 @ 6:30 p.m.


Our April meeting is our annual tuber sale and auction.  Doors will
open to the public at 6:30PM.  Pre-packaged tubers with color pictures
attached will be available for sale.  Some will be as low as $2, others 2
for $5.  Waterlillies and AA’s will be $3.  Some of the newer
introductions will be on the sale table priced at $4  Please remind your
gardening friends that the sale and auction is open to the public so
anyone can participate.  New members joining at the April meeting will
receive a coupon good for $7 toward the purchase of dahlias from the
sale table or at auction.  So the first year’s dues are free!

For those members volunteering to help, the hall will be available as
early as 5:00PM.  I know the coordinators could always use a few extra

We are still welcoming tuber donations.  Just please be sure the tubers
are well marked.  If you are donating tubers, please send a list to Aaron
Ridling. Aaron’s e-mail address is  Last
year we used our digital projector to display photos of the tubers being
auctioned.  This was a great help in selling varieties that were
unfamiliar to some bidders. One digital image is worth more than a
thousand words.


On Saturday, March 22nd, our first work party was held at Swan
Island Dahlias. Thanks to all who gave of their time, energy and
resources to prepare the tubers for our sale and auction.  Mega thanks
to the Gitts family for their tuber donations, supplies, lunch and use of
their facility.  Thanks to Marge Gitts, Ted Kennedy, Teresa Bergman,
Justin Ridling, Aaron Ridling, Clair Kidd, Gordon Jackman, Bob
Merrill, Jerry Rasmussen and Jeanette Benson for volunteering their
time.  My apologies to anyone not mentioned and kudos to all who help
make our sales a success.

A second work party will be held at Swan Island on Saturday, April
26th at 9:00 AM.  This one will be to prepare tubers for our Clackamas
County Master Gardener’s Spring Sale.  Please consider helping us
prepare for this event.  The last two seasons this sale has been our
largest revenue source.


Treats will be provided by Ted and Margaret Kennedy, Phil Mingus
and Larry Smith.  Since we expect a large crowd for the Auction,
maybe a few others could bring in a few extra.


Now is a great time to start preparing your dahlia growing area for this
year’s crop.  If there are weeds or grasses growing, now is a good time
to knock them down.  Remember the old adage that one year’s weeds
means ten years of weed seeds. Moreover, this time of year they are
much easier dislodged and in many instances permanently discouraged,
due to their small size.

Slugs are the most persistent and insidious enemy of the young dahlia
plants.  Why not eradicate them now, rather than wait until there are
dahlias to munch on?  Baits have improved over the years.  Those with a
“Meta” base have added a bittering agent to make them less appealing
to pets.   There is a new class of baits that work differently.  One brand
name is “Slug go”.  The mollusks will ingest and then go back to where
ever they came from to die a quiet, less messy death.

The soil is much too wet now to work mechanically.  However, one can
still hand spade.  Soil amendments can now be spread.   Composts and
manures can be left on top of the soil to leach nutrients in until the
ground is dry enough to till.  Beside local newspapers, your local Feed
Store is a good source for where manures can be obtained locally.  Just
check the postings on their bulletin boards. Organic amendments
benefit the soil two ways.  Added nutrients and improving the soil
texture and its moisture retention capacity.  Remember that dahlias are
gross feeders, putting their nutrient requirements in the same category
as tuberous begonias and fuchsias.

An occasional application of lime is advisable to overcome the excessive
soil acidity common to most soils west of the Cascades.  Regular garden
lime (Calcium Carbonate) is available as powdered or prilled
(palletized) lime.  Calcium is an element that is essential for the
production of cellulose, the fibers that hold plants together.  Better
available Calcium means stronger stems and overall plant growth.
Dolomite lime (ground limestone) can also be used.  It too brings
Calcium and the added benefit of Magnesium. A great local source for
limes and natural soil amendments is Concentrates, Inc.  They are
located at 2613 SE 8th Avenue (between Division and Powell) in
Portland.   Peruse their offerings and pricing at  http://www. .


Mark your calendars!!! The Pacific Northwest Dahlia Conference will
hold their spring meeting at Steamer’s Restaurant, 8303 NE Sandy
Blvd., Portand, OR 97220 on Saturday, April 19th. The banquet facility
is located on the upper level.  PNDC Delegates meet in executive session
at 10:30. The luncheon and general meeting begin at noon.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with the top
originators, growers and exhibitors in the PNW and British Columbia.  
The most exciting part is the tuber and plant auction which begins at 1:
00 PM.  Many growers bring their newest and best introductions and/or
imports.  The bidding is spirited and entertaining and is handled by a
professional auctioneer.  Membership in the PNDC is not required to
attend any portion of this event.  It is perfectly acceptable to arrive at 1:
00 PM and participate in the auction only, if this is your preference.

The cost of the luncheon is $14.00 per person, including gratuity.  This
restaurant has always provided a first class buffet offering.  Please send
your reservation check to Elva Sellens, 2651 NW Loma Vista Dr.;
Roseburg, OR  97470.  Make your check payable to PNDC.


Our ADS Classification chair, Lou Paradise, is proposing a new four
digit numerical classification system.  Our current system is three digit
based.  The immediate advantage of this new system is that it will allow
for expansion of form or color classes without the additions completely
changing existing classes.  For instance we could add a color class for
say “black” dahlias and the class numbers for existing colors would
remain unchanged.  What new colors are being considered?  The article
on page 75 in 2008 Spring ADS Bulletin suggests black (here we can
bring to mind Ron and Ginger Clack’s Ebony Star), blue (there is on
going research for trans-species color gene-splicing), tri-color (here I’m
thinking of the Kennedy’s “Six-in-One”), green (I’ve seen this in some
yellows), and novelty color (bi-color variegated combo comes to mind).
Others have suggested a further division of the light or dark blend
classes.  Blendes with white could be one class, blends with light colors
excluding white (pastels) yet another.  Dark blends could be with dark
colors and white and another class for darker colors excluding white.

Form expansion is an interesting idea.  We already added the Stellar
class.  In the singles there are some orchid forms with petaloids, some
refer to these as “Orchettes” from the combination of Orchids and
Collarette.  They are currently in the open disc novelty class.  At one
time Incurve Cactus and Straight Cactus were separate and not lumped
together into one class.  Besides being fully double and having revolute
ray florets, they have little else in common.

Carnation flowered dahlias were once grown and admired.  If anyone
has grown Anemone seedlings, you would notice a lot of the seedlings
that do not develop tubed domes look very much like a carnation.

Some have suggested adding a Semi-Decorative class for the less formal
Formal Decorative that are really not Informal Decoratives.  I am told
the Australians already use such a class.

Camellia flowered dahlias were once grown.  There are some
waterlillies with more roundly formed florets that more closely
resemble Camellias than Waterlillies. Yet, they are lumped into the
same form class.   I think it is interesting that there has never been an
ADS size class differentiation for Waterlillies.   We have Suitus Julie at
about 1.5 inches in diameter and some like Taratahi Ruby as large as 8
inches across.   Interestingly, the French National Dahlia Society has
three size classes for the Waterlily form.

Some societies will be trying the four digit system during the 2008 show
season as a dry run to see how this system works in the real world. I
know Lou Paradise feels that this is your American Dahlia Society and
that changes should be made with the members input and suggestions.  
Please write to Lou with your thoughts, ideas, concerns and
constructive input.  Lou’s e-mail address is
April 2008
Floating Waterlily