Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum: Novelty Forms

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ImagePNWGal
Dec 4, 2014 5:30 PM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
Thought I would toss in pix of a couple of the new purples that I posted on the wish list thread:
Thumb of 2014-12-04/PNWGal/875115 River's Purple Pinwheel

Thumb of 2014-12-04/PNWGal/795f32 Skipley Ida Bella, with Barbara's Favorite
anniecan
Dec 4, 2014 5:36 PM CST
Name: Annie Luck
Apex, North Carolina
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN TH
Love that River's Purple Pinwheel!
ImageIslander
Dec 4, 2014 6:18 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
During the Garden Show I overheard a bunch of judges who were NOT impressed with Purple Pinwheel. One called it "A mop on a stick". I am afraid that spoiled it for me. The color was nice but even as an amateur I thought the form left a bit to be desired.
Salish Dahlias
anniecan
Dec 4, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Name: Annie Luck
Apex, North Carolina
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN TH
Good to know Noni,
As we all know, photos can be very deceiving.
ImageCCvacation
Dec 4, 2014 8:45 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
Might have been the bloom entered, too, though... Perhaps it was a sad example of that variety. I suppose that's why top hybridizers trial their best seedlings to the best show people. My skill in growing is like t-ball compared to the big leagues, which is painfully obvious at the shows.
CC
Imagehonnat
Dec 4, 2014 9:06 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
Islander wrote:During the Garden Show I overheard a bunch of judges who were NOT impressed with Purple Pinwheel. One called it "A mop on a stick". I am afraid that spoiled it for me. The color was nice but even as an amateur I thought the form left a bit to be desired.


It's interesting that the trial garden results list it as a Stellar; but River's catalog lists it as a novelty. I have yet to see a River's Novelty in person; but I can see how it may have it's limitations as a show flower. I'm just interested in the color; and anything close to stellar gets my attention every time.

To many older judges; those categories still get mixed as stellar is a newer category. I overheard a judge at a show swear he thought Valley porcupine was a stellar...oh my.

Judges have mixed views about stellars and novelties in the conversations I've overheard. To them, Stellars are just bad formal decoratives because they don't have as many petals, and their petals are pointy. Novelty flowers are just an 'anything goes'; and I've seen judges shrug their shoulders and wonder how in the world to judge one against another as there isn't a single form definition. The growers that have been showing for more than a couple decades seem to be much less likely to enter anything in these categories as well.
ImageIslander
Dec 4, 2014 9:33 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Actually, the conversation I overheard was in the Test Garden..so it was not an individual flower. It was 3 plants in full bloom.
Salish Dahlias
ImageCCvacation
Dec 4, 2014 10:38 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
Oh, my... Hard to give three plants of a variety the benefit of doubt! Hilarious!
CC
ImageIslander
Dec 4, 2014 11:01 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
It made me cringe because I knew a lot of you were looking forward to this flower, but if you were hoping to show it I thought I had better pass that on. I did like the color and found it interesting, but if memory is recalling right I think it looked pretty sad by the end when a lot of the other plants were still going strong. Perhaps it can be used to add genetics for that purple color to something better in the future?

Salish Dahlias
Imagehonnat
Dec 4, 2014 11:17 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
I'll withhold judgment until I grow it myself. "Mop on a stick" doesn't tell me much; and it's hard to say what those particular judges were looking for or how it will grow here.

It did get a score of 88.8 at the Eastern trial garden (higher than all the HH varieties there), and it received two passing scores (including an 89.67) on seedling benches. So, the opinions of those judges were not shared by all.
ImagePNWGal
Dec 5, 2014 2:19 AM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
If there is one thing dahlia judges are not short on, it's opinions! Ditto for all of us, actually. Interesting to hear that Pinwheel came in on both the high and the low end of personal opinions. I'll throw mine in when I grow it next year!
Imagedrewtheflorist
Dec 5, 2014 7:21 AM CST
Name: Drew the Florist
14 miles S E of Pittsburgh
Thumb of 2014-12-05/drewtheflorist/fcd55e
Rivers Novelty is an interesting cut flower--the colors play well with yellows or reds or purples. It has "texture", which is a design element. Many older judges turn their noses up at anything that isn't an A or AA and an FD, which is really kind of a shame. We have judges in our club who think that because of their lack of depth, waterlilies are just inferior and should stay in the garden. Things go in and out of style, who knows, the next crop of judges may just shake things up...
Imageteddahlia
Dec 5, 2014 10:17 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Many of you have not mentioned that Eugene Kenyon, the breeder of River's Dahlias, has been on quest to breed a new form of dahlia that many call a double orchid. The first seedling that he grew was River's Novelty. He personally disliked so much that he was going to cull it. It so happened that a friend was visiting the garden at exactly the right time and fell in love with it and rescued it from destruction. He gave all the tubers to her and she grew it for a couple of years and everybody loved it. She then entered it into a show and it was selected as the best novelty flower in the show and there was lots of competition there. Mr. Kenyon sheepishly asked if he could get some stock and went on to enter it in trial gardens where it passed easily. It has gone on to be one of the big winners in novelty dahlias.

And the form: At the Canby trial garden, a senior judge marked on his evaluation sheet that it was a cactus dahlia. Before he could submit this erroneous classification to the director someone pointed out to him that the ray florets were rolled in the opposite direction, in the same manner as an orchid dahlia. This flower was a fully double orchid. It passed easily.

Mr. Kenyon went on to gather every other variety that was a double orchid to begin breeding the form. He has introduced a few and I believe that River's Sonia(or Sonja?) is another one. I bet the mop on a stick was one too. They are somewhat harder to breed as the petals do not naturally roll that direction. And the color is difficult too because when you look at the flower, you are seeing the back of the petal and in most dahlias the color on the back of the petal is less intense(and frequently even a different color).

So again, maybe this is more than you wanted to know.

We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
Dec 5, 2014 10:20 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I think these are some of the reasons I like doing cut flowers more then getting into showing Big Yellow Grin .In a bouquet one is not looking for every flower to be perfect but for how they combine with each other...Of course, I want good strong flowers that last well..I will be interested to see what you that are ordering this one think of it by the end of next season...I want reports on how it holds up. In the meantime I have Clearview Erin for a purple stellar and I totally love working with it! I had River's Novelty last year and it tended to be the first flower to age out in an arrangement. When the plant showed signs of virus at the end of the season I tossed it. It was interesting and nice colors in it but that was not enough to make it a keeper. I have ordered Vista Minnie who seems to have similar colors but a fuller form. I look forward to seeing how she will do.
Salish Dahlias
Imagehonnat
Dec 5, 2014 11:32 AM CST
St. Paul, MN
Vista Minnie is super cool; and can be a great cut flower with long stems. Also can be a good show flower as the blooms are very uniform and the color is often great. Mine ended up virused and stunted and I didn't dig it this year. I would love to find some good stock back. I'm always hesitant to buy a variety that has been virused for me before as I think that it will happen again.
Thumb of 2014-12-05/honnat/670f37

[Last edited Dec 5, 2014 11:33 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1105705 (15)
Imageteddahlia
Dec 5, 2014 12:12 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
My Vista Minnie got virus too and it did not make many tubers either. People who see healthy plants of it go crazy for it although it did not impress me except that when it was healthy, it was vigorous.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imagedrewtheflorist
Dec 5, 2014 12:20 PM CST
Name: Drew the Florist
14 miles S E of Pittsburgh
Theresa at Cowlitz River listed both Rivers and Vista and I asked her if she were to only grow one, which would it be . She likes Vista Minnie...
Imagehonnat
Dec 5, 2014 12:28 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
I definitely agree. A healthy Vista Minnie next to a healthy River's Novelty, Vista wins. It has clearer colors and I like the form better. R.Novelty's colors are a bit muddy and the form is a bit shallow for me.
Imageteddahlia
Dec 5, 2014 12:32 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
You all are comparing the two as though they were the same form. Vista Minnie is poor looking stellar that is classified as a novelty for no good reason. River's Novelty is one of the first of new form of dahlia that is a double orchid. Show people recognize this. Cut flower people could care less.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageCCvacation
Dec 5, 2014 12:47 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
My untrained eyes are seeing the same upward curl of each petal, although Minnie Vista's petals aren't curled as much...

Is it possible that Minnie Vista simply has a form caught between the book definition of a double orchid and stellar?
CC

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