Piper Creek Trial Garden 2019 Report

One of the original ideas of the Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society was to have a ADS trial garden in Central Alberta. The reasons for us to have a trial garden were:

  1. Exposing different dahlias to our Climate.
  2. Increasing access for Dahlia Trial entrees.
  3. Create more Dahlia interest in Canada.
  4. Interest more Canadians growers in Hybridizing with easier access to a Trial Garden.

We have succeeded in our goals! Growers from many different states and provinces have trusted us with their seedlings. Many more Canadian gardeners understand the value of growing good quality Dahlias. More Canadians are hybridizing. People are interested in the procedure of saving seeds. Our Canadian hybridizers have much easier access to a trial garden now that we are here. This year we had 27 entrees from 12 originators, 6 from the U.S and 6 from Canada. The most we have had from Canada. Of the 27 entrees only 2 did not pass the 85 passing mark. The table below reports the top performers.

Name Description Hybridizer Score
CHI NESE RD MB R RD 23 McKittrick 92.8
20th AVE INGRID MB L LV11 Gibson 90.4
ECHO BOOTS MS R McArthur 89.2

We are becoming more aware of virus and its symptoms, stepping up our sanitation procedures. We did carefully remove specimens early in the growing season that were displaying virus symptoms. Educating other gardeners in virus symptoms and procedures has become a mission for our members. People do bring us pictures and have asked our advice on dealing with virus in their flowers.

Our Summer Festival is held on the first weekend in August. It is two full days of judging courses, staging and judging a mini show outside under canopies. The general public is invited to attend and people enjoy the flowers, appreciate the hard work and the knowledge of the members. Everyone is treated to a roast beef supper and plenty of social time. We were all treated to the best weekend of the summer weather wise.

Our Dahlias are transplanted from the greenhouse outside after June 1st. The summer was cooler than normal with a lot of cloudy days and cold nights. Growth was slow and maturity was late with all crops as well as the Dahlias. Fortunately we had a very long growing season, the killing frost held off until October 3rd. Usually he have frost around the first week of September. Some of the Dahlia entrees that we received late just barely bloomed but we did get to complete our scoring.

The quality and variety of entrees always amaze us, so many beautiful and perfect blooms. It would be hard to pick a favorite. Just when you think you have seen the perfect Ball or Water Lily, another one comes along, and they are all so different. It was a good year.

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