Monday, September 10, 2007

2007 Midwest Dahlia Conference

This weekend I attended the American Dahlia Society conference in St. Charles, Illinois. After months of hard work and preparation, the weekend began friday at sunrise. I spent two hours in the garden cutting blooms that I hoped would be best for judging. Carefully, I loaded them into the car and made my way to Pheasant Run Resort and Spa to set up for the following days competition.
It was 11:30 pm when I finally finished set-up and placed the last flower on the table and made my way back to the room to order some much needed dinner. Aside from being wound up after a long day and the anticipation of the next day's events, I had my nephew's wedding that was also the following afternoon. Needless to say, I tossed and turned until about 8 am and stumbled into the shower.
After a quick breakfast, a few friends and I headed to the show hall to view the Dahlia's. A truly amazing sight to behold, a ballroom filled from wall to wall with blooms of every size, shape and color. The largest bloom in the show would dwarf a basketball and the smallest about 1" or so just to give you an idea. By noon I had exchanged ideas and absorbed as much information and growing tips as possible from some of the other growers who have many years of experience and knowledge. Next thing I know, the judges place a blue ribbon on one of my blooms, then another for "Best Bloom" in that section. Once the judges had completed the section, they returned to judge all the flowers that had received a blue ribbon and would you believe I won that too for "Best Bloom" in the class. I had made it to the honors table and what an honor it was!
This was a perfect ending to the season for me, although weather permitting, I will have another month or so of Dahlia's to share and enjoy. On sunday when the show closed to the public at 4:00 pm, it was time for them to tear down the tables and clean up the hall. As a member of the society, they allowed us to take any of the blooms home that we wanted. All others would be disgarded... what a waste! I loaded as many as I could into my cooler and made my way back home.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!