The Portland National
               by Mike Riordan

On Thursday, early arrivals were treated to a day tour of the Oregon Garden and the Christopher
Bridge winery.  The Oldenkamps provided tidbits of Oregon history as the bus made its way through
the Willamette Valley.  That evening, we had a wonderful welcome reception which was very well
attended.  Friday, it was back to the busses and the tour of three grower’s gardens.  Each bus
started at the geographical extreme and then met in the middle for lunch and then to the afternoon
garden.  Again we were treated to great area information and history as we moved from garden to
garden, courtesy of our tour guides.  Then Friday evening and throughout the night entries began
arriving in earnest.  By Saturday morning the exhibit hall was ablaze with a riot of color.  Then the
judging began.  With Mark Oldenkamp ably handling the assignments, everyone finished on time for
the judges’ luncheon.  Immediately after lunch, there was the judge’s seminar presented by Roger
and Colin Walker.  Later in the afternoon there were two blocks of seminars available.  The first was
Basket Construction by Eleanor Shantz or a Presentation by our ADS Research Director Kevin
Larkin.  The last block was Colin Walker’s presentation on Dahlia photography or Deborah Dietz
ever popular “Dahlias 101”.

Next it was time to get changed for the awards banquet at 7:00.  The Reverend Wayne Lobaugh
gave the invocation at the full and well appointed banquet hall.  A power point presentation
accompanied the awards in the various horticultural and special categories.  The ADS President’s
Cup was awarded by Jerry Landerholm to the Gitts Family of Swan Island Dahlias.  Three
generations of the family were on hand to accept the award for continuing to foster interest in the
dahlia and participation in dahlia societies throughout their marketing areas.  Additionally, Swan
Island has made significant contributions to Portland Dahlia Society tuber sales both with tubers and
the use of their packing facility.  They also sponsor an ADS sanctioned Trial Ground adjacent to
their display garden.  Ron Wilkes of Goulburn, New South Wales Australia was honored as farthest
traveled visitor to our National show.  Ron received the ADS medal for his mentorship of several
members of our society as well as his long time interest and support of dahlia activities in the US
Pacific Northwest.   Canby Trial Garden Director, Bill Mishler, was honored with the ADS Medal for
his role in development and stewardship of the trial garden. The program for the banquet was
wrapped up around nine PM.  Next the attendees were afforded a real treat… the chance to
privately view the exhibit hall with ADS members only.  The perfect end to perfect evening.
Sunday morning began with the ADS Classification meeting and the Fall ADS meeting.  Next we were
off to tour Swan Island Dahlias.  We had 92 tour participants on two buses.  Lunch was served en
route along with local history and points of interest information.  It is difficult to describe the visual
impact of forty acres of dahlia grouped by variety in rows 15 feet wide and 200 feet or more in
length.   Those that have seen will tell you, “simply breathtaking”!  Swan Island had their packing
and storage areas converted into a floral extravaganza with baskets, sprays and all manner of floral
art to display their varieties to the tuber buying public.  Again, this was a truly unique commercial
display of dahlias.  Once we returned to the exhibit hall it was time for show tear down.   On Sunday
evening, David Brown from the UK provided a lecture and slide show on dahlias in Britain.
On Monday, Labor Day, the final tour was to Hollyhill Dahlias in Oregon City.  Ted and Margaret
Kennedy have colorfully inter-planted annuals and hanging baskets throughout their garden for
dazzling effect.  The entire Kennedy Clan swung into action to welcome the ADS visitors.  The
catered lunch was delicious and locally prepared.

The bloom count for our show was pegged at 4400.  There were exactly 100 design entries and the
design category was also the most heavily sponsored.  Thanks to everyone who helped make your
2012 National Show a success.