Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum: April 24th, 2013 "Summit Festival"

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Imageedewitt
Apr 24, 2013 11:46 AM CST
Name: Eric DeWitt
Mountainair, NM
Thumb of 2013-04-24/edewitt/305d61

Summit Festival is a BB-sized formal cataloged as a bi-color of pink/white but I manage to get 3 colors on my blooms of yellow/pink-coral/white. It was introduced by Les Connell in 2007. It's a very prolific bloomer that blooms early and provides a very ample amount of tubers. The plant grew to about 3.5-4' for me and made a very large bush that just continuously produced flowers. I didn't cut any flowers to see how well they held up. It provided very consistent looking flowers up until the end of the season when it became a lot colder outside and then I'd get a random one that ended up looking pretty mixed up.

Thumb of 2013-04-24/edewitt/d2488b
ImageDahliaGardener
Apr 24, 2013 7:10 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Okay, this is the problem I have: Summit Festival is absolutely gorgeous. But it looks like a Waterlily to me when you say it is a Formal (Decorative?). Can you explain about this, please? I have real trouble trying to figure out if a cultivar is Waterlily or something else - most of the time I'm wrong - sometimes even when it IS a waterlily.

Thanks,
C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imageteddahlia
Apr 24, 2013 7:41 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Dahlia show judges love to downgrade flowers that are "in between forms". Here is an example of a waterlily shaped flower that has a couple too many rows of ray florets to be called a waterlily. A better written standard for waterlilies would recognize it as a waterlily but severely penalize it for the extra rows. And since the standard only allows 7 rows of florets for waterlilies, it falls into the formal decorative class where it is even more out of place. We grew this one last year in our waterlily row. It can be pretty but neither Margaret or I fell in love with it and it became worm compost after the rototiller chewed up the undug clumps.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDahliaGardener
Apr 24, 2013 8:16 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Thank you very much for the explanation, Ted. It helps greatly. I do still have a couple of questions, though: How do you count rows of florets? Straight toward the center from the outer most ring? (I thought they were in a spiral pattern rather than rows. Confused ) And is it seven rows total, including the petals still folded over in the center? If so, is this when you would pull apart a questionable bloom to count how many rows it has, including the still furled center ones?

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imageteddahlia
Apr 24, 2013 8:56 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Straight toward the center from the outer most ring? Yes, count the rows that are unfurled. Obviously, one can cheat a bit and show a waterlily a bit unripe to make sure there are no more than seven. "Unfurled" rows do not count. Nobody tears them apart to count the rows. The spiral pattern for some reason is much less obvious when looking at waterlilies.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDahliaGardener
Apr 24, 2013 9:29 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Okay, thank you! Now I will be better able to recognize them.

C D
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

ImageIslander
Apr 24, 2013 9:58 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I don't really care how this one is classed..to me its a water lily because it looks like a real waterlily when I float it on my pond!
It is one of the dahlias I would be heart broken if I lost...I really really love this dahlia! Its so very useful in bouquets, holds up well for me, and the colors are just lovely in my climate. It is usually not quite as intense as the photo and I have never seen it look like the 2nd photo...I would kick that dude out as an imposter! It works great as a cut flower and "plays well with others". I think it would be a wonderful garden flower. IN fact I think I will plant it near my "South Africa"rose"Thumb of 2013-04-25/Islander/6b805a . I really like the little line of Raspberry pink between the ornge and white on the petals
Salish Dahlias

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