Category Archives: Piper Creek Trial Garden

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.

Upcoming Events

Senior Judges are welcome to all courses as their participation enriches the learning opportunities for all participants.

Piper Creek Trial Garden Workbees

Date: Tuesdays – June 20, June 27, July 4, July 11, July 18,  July 25, August 1, August 8, and August 15, August 22, 2017
Where: Piper Creek Trial Garden
Time: 10am – (until the work is done)
Activities: Help out at Canada’s only dahlia Trial Garden! See new varieties being assessed, learn all about Pruning, Hoeing, Disbudding, Colour Coding, and Scoring from the experts. Participants will also be given the opportunity to evaluate entries should they wish.

Garden Party!!

Date: July 29, 2017
Where: Piper Creek Trial Garden
Time: 3pm to sunset; Dinner at 5pm
Activities: A party at the Trial Garden to celebrate dahlias with the public and members! Beef on a Bun provided, donation to the Society requested to help cover costs. Members are asked to bring a potluck salad to share. BYOBeverage (non-alcoholic)

Dahlia Judging Course  (Pre-registration recommended)

July 30, 2017
Piper Creek Trial Garden
10am – 3pm (Bring a bag lunch)
Activities: This course is for beginners and will teach participants to identify the various forms of dahlias in preparation for show judging.
Ken Jensen or 403-782-5095

Flower Arranging Workshop (Pre-registration recommended)

Date: August 6, 2017
Piper Creek Trial Garden
10am – 4pm (Bring a bag lunch)
Activities:  Participants will be given information and the opportunity to create a flower arrangement. Bring your own container.
Marilyn McArthur or 403-346-4902

Colour Coding Dahlias

Date: August 22, 2017
Where: Piper Creek Trial Garden
Time: 10am – 3pm
Activities: Participants will do the final colour coding of entries in the trial garden for evaluation.
Contact: Ken Jensen or 403-782-5095

Gladiolus Judging Course

Date: August 13, 2017
Piper Creek Trial Garden
10am – 4pm (Bring a bag lunch)
Reg will be presenting information on Gladiolus including how to prepare them so that they will show well at the upcoming ADGS Show.
Reg Powys-Lybbe or 403-652-2150

ADGS Annual Dahlia and Gladiolus Show 2017

When: August 25- 27, 2017
Where: Bower Place Centre,
4900 Molly Bannister Dr. Red Deer, AB
Contact: Larry Quintilio
Volunteers needed for ADGS Show Committee

ADGS Annual General Meeting

When: TBA
Where: Eastview Community Hall,
120 Ellenwood Dr. Red Deer, AB
Time: 11 am
Contact: Larry Quintilio
Potluck lunch to follow

Visitors from the American Dahlia Society

Visitors from the American Dahlia Society (ADS)

On Monday, August 18th, 2014, Ron and Barb Miner from the Dahlia Society of Ohio and Wayne and Eleanor Shantz from the Lane County Dahlia Society (Oregon) are planning to visit us.  You are invited to  meet them at the Piper Creek Trial Garden (McArthur Place) at 10:00 a.m. and join them for lunch at the Rusty Pelican Restaurant, 2070-50 Ave, Red Deer at 12:30 pm.  (Cost of lunch on your own).
If you are attending lunch, please reply to Ken Jensen at or 403-782-5095 by Friday Aug 15.  If their schedule allows, they may also tour members’ gardens.

Ron is the ADS Trial Garden Co-Chairman, Past President, Committee Chair for Policy, Web-site co-ordinator and Trustee.  Ron and Barb are from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Wayne and Eleanor are Vice-Presidents for the Pacific Northwest Conference and active in judging seminars and training.   They are from Eugene, Oregon.  Wayne has an Alberta connection as he spent his early years in this area.

Let’s welcome them as they tour Alberta and thank them for stopping to see us!