The holidays are over, and you have undoubtedly eaten the sugar plums, latkes and other goodies that go with the season. The weather in most of North America is now cold, snowy, or rainy. But it is not too soon to think about Spring and dahlias. Whether you plan to grow a dozen dahlia plants or a hundred, it is always fun to add a few new dahlias to your garden.
Most of the year's new introductions (the debutantes) are already sold out. That is OK because they tend to be pricey. Most will be widely available next season at a more reasonable price. We are fans of buying locally grown dahlias from a nearby dahlia society sale or auction. A list of local sales will be available early Spring on the ADS website. In addition to getting dahlias that should grow well in your area, it is also a good way to meet dahlia lovers, get in touch with the local society, and get or give some good advice. We are also partial to the commercial dahlia growers who advertise in the ADS Bulletin. See their links at the ADS website.
2019 Stanley Johnson Medal Clearview Edie
Each year one cultivar receives the ADS's highest award: the Stanley Johnson Medal. This medal is presented annually to the dahlia with the greatest number of higher awards - awards above blue ribbons - accumulated during the previous season of ADS sanctioned shows across the United States and Canada.
The 2019 winner is Clearview Edie an A size (large), white, semi-cactus variety. Clearview Edie was introduced in 2014 by Richard and Danielle Parshall of Snohomish, Washington. The Parshalls are among the most successful hybridizers in North America. This is their second consecutive Johnson Medal winner, following Clearview Daniel in 2018. To see who might have stock visit www.dahliaaddict.com.
Dalina Grande Castillo Proven Winner
If your plans include container or bedding dahlias, this is a good time to go on-line and see what's new. Dummen Orange, Sygenta, Proven Winners, and Ball Seed all have photos of dahlias suitable for containers. If you see a cultivar that you like, contact a local garden center or the distributor directly. Many dahlia container plants will begin to appear in garden centers and big box stores beginning in early March, or even earlier.
It is great fun to add a dahlia or more each year. The blooms will always be a happy surprise.