Portland Dahlia Society Bulletin
         September Meeting at Swan Island Dahlias, 995 NW 22nd Avenue; Canby, OR 97013
Editor: Mike Riordan (503)256-0425 Contacts: Larry Smith thebodysmith@hotmail.com, Jeanette Benson (503)
Next meeting Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 @ 4:00 PM
Our program for September will be a reprise of last year’s highly rated gathering at Swan Island
We realize that work schedules may limit some member’s arrival times. It is perfectly acceptable to join in when ever your schedule or inclination
We will start at 4:00 PM with a tour of the gardens and an opportunity to judge seedlings at our ADS sanctioned trial garden. This is an easy way for
judges to fulfill their annual requirement for trial garden judging. Senior judges will be available to work in teams with those just starting out.
At about 5:30 we will have dinner. The Gitts family has generously agreed to provide tuna sandwiches, potato salad and Marge’s incomparable Lemon
Meringue Pie. You may also bring a dish to share if you like. The Society will provide soft drinks.
Gordon Jackman will give a demonstration on arrangements after dinner. It is interesting to hear Gordon’s interpretation of the whys and how to’s of
floral art and how to comply with the requirements of the show schedule for the floral design entry categories. We will also have a speaker from Swan
Island to discuss growing techniques and answer questions you may have about growth practices.
By Larry Smith
Due to popular demand (and a great idea submitted by Teresa Bergman), we are launching an official mentorship program at our monthly meeting. New
members or just those who have questions and want to learn will be to meet with a designated experienced grower from 7:00 to 7:30 PM, prior to most of
our meetings. This program will officially begin at our October meeting and be offered each month except December (our holiday party event), January
(no meeting held) and April (tuber auction and sale event). Our first mentor volunteer will be Max Ollieu. Max is an excellent grower who is known for his
winning entries and attention to detail. Max will be available to share his knowledge with anyone who shows up at 7:00 PM on October 9th. Other
experienced growers may also be on hand, so don’t miss this opportunity to glean valuable dahlia growing tips.
By Ron Wilkes
Editor’s note: Ron was the guest of several of our members during his visit to the Pacific Northwest this dahlia season. He holds the distinction of
traveling the farthest distance to visit the Portland Dahlia Society 2007 Show.
I live at Goulburn New South Wales, Australia; the following is what is happening here during the last nine years. Goulburn’s claim to fame being it was
the first inland city in Australia. It is situated on the main highway linking our largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne and is about one hour form the
Nation’s Capitol, Canberra.
Being at the crest of the Great Dividing Range height above sea level 2000 feet, so hot in summer and cold in winter. Average rainfall should be about 25
Nine years ago this average started to decline which meant our water supply dams were always below full when the next spring, summer arrived, that was
when most growers needed water. After three years city council had to introduce restrictions, at first these did not pose a problem as two days a week
gives enough moisture to keep dahlias growing well with show quality blooms. Levels four and five were a different matter as no city water could be used
outside the home.
All major growers are very keen and widespread use of shade cloth helped prevent fading, as I never attend a show with the intention of coming second, I
also used this plus tried different types of mulch, after trial and error it could be seen that Lucerne hay gave the best results when used about six to eight
inches thick, as it retained moisture and kept roots cooler, (Lucerne is named Alfalfa in the US of A).
Years ago, a temperature of 100 degrees was thought to be hot, the last two years this has risen to 120 degrees which is very uncomfortable for both man
and plants, these higher temperatures usually arrive with a strong and very hot wind from Central Australia, that is close to desert areas so dahlias had a
real battle to grow, forget about shows, it is now four seasons since I have been able to exhibit as I refuse to take second rate blooms to shows or even
give them away to friends.
Hot dry conditions is just what Two Spotted Mite love so these are now a problem, while I do have some very deadly poisons to combat there pests, I
prefer to use ECO-OIL which is not a problem for all the beneficial insects, a spray every two weeks keeps the plants clean. Earwigs are also a small
problem but the little European Blackbirds are wonderful helpers to rid the dahlias of these pests, they scratch the mulch all off the beds so every day it
has to be raked back over the beds but a very small price to pay for such a great help.
When I return from another visit to your great country, it will be time to plant dahlias again. I will do so then, hope for enough rain to grow and exhibit
again. At my age I know exhibiting must stop very soon but would like to give up on my terms, not be forced out by weather conditions.
Both the Portland Dahlia Society and the ADS have a fall special for new members. If you know of someone thinking about joining our society, or you
are not yet an ADS member yourself, here’s a great opportunity to save some money!
Join either the ADS or the Portland Dahlia Society now and get all of 2008 and the remainder of 2007 for the same low price as if you joined in January
of 2008. In the case of the ADS that means the June and September Bulletins are absolutely
Membership in PDS is $7 per individual and $10 per household. The dues are payable to Treasurer, Larry Sawyer at the meeting or can be mailed to
Larry at: 11015 SW Berkshire St.
Portland, OR 97225-4407. Larry also has the information for the ADS dues. Please be aware that joining ADS through our society is less than the rate for
an ADS membership at large.
Our annual show was just completely this past Labor Day weekend. Many thanks to all members and participants who worked so hard to make our
show a resounding success. It could not have happened without everyone’s help and cheerful cooperation. Thanks to show Co-Chairmen Larry Smith and
Teresa Bergman. Special thanks to the tally crew of Larry Sawyer, Shirley Bankston, Shirley Schaffer and Mark Oldenkamp. Thanks to all the members
and commercial growers that provided cash or tuber awards. Special thanks to the donors from other societies. Thanks to the team that set up the head
table, put out the cards and table covers on Thursday afternoon. Thanks to Jeanette Benson for coordinating the judges and clerks teams. Thanks to
Jeanette for compiling our complete show report and sending it off to the ADS Classification Chairman in San Francisco. This is how the wins from our
show get counted in next year’s Classification Book. Thanks to all the helpers that worked so well together to make the show tear down and clean up go
so smoothly. Results highlights summary provided on next page.
Annual Garden Tour
Please set your calendars for the Portland Dahlia Society’s annual garden tour Sunday, September
The tour will begin at Mike and Scott’s Garden at about 10:00AM. Their address is 821 NE 168th Place. Take I-205 to Glisan Exit (Exit 21A from either
North or South Bound) go East on Glisan to 165th Avenue, turn left on 165th (North), next turn right on Pacific Drive and lastly right on 168th Place.
Next stop is Pot Luck lunch at the Sjoblom home at approximately 11:15. Henry’s address is 15600 SE Walden Way, Milwaukie, OR 97267. Not to
worry, we will have detailed point to point diving directions in a subsequent publication and available at Mike and Scott’s. Henry’s wooded setting is a
great picnic lunch stop we have enjoyed many times in the past. Members are asked to bring their own plates, serving spoons and eating utensils.
Following lunch will be a tour of Ted and Margaret Kennedy’s garden at approximately 1:15. The Kennedy’s address is 18283 S. Holly Lane; Oregon
City, OR 97045. Ted and Margaret have an amazing colorful display of named varieties as well as seedlings. They also have perfected the art of growing
tomatoes, watermelon (in Western Oregon!), beans and Asian pears.
Last stop is the home of the Oldenkamp family at 23702 S Central Point Road; Canby, OR 97013. We were thinking about 3:00PM. Please be aware that
the farther the tour progresses, the more inaccurate estimated arrival times may be. We want everyone to enjoy the tour and have a safe and pleasant time.
If for any reason participants join the tour late or are not able to visit all the gardens, this is acceptable and understandable.
September 2007