Asheville NC Dahlia Sale Sat

lindaskyviewMay 13, 2005

Anyone from the greater Asheville area going to the dahlia sale tomorrow? I'm making plans to go in the morning (it's from 10-4, or until tubers run out.) It's being held at the NC Arboretum, which I've also never visited before.

The Greater Carolinas Dahlia Society also has a dahlia show in Sept or Oct - I think it takes place in conjunction with a state fair.

Any tips for a first-time tuber-sale-goer???? I'm such a newbie!


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Poochella(7 WA)

I would try to limit yourself to under 100 tubers! Tuber sales are so tempting- I got some ridiculously cheap tubers for $1.50 because they were the only ones left at a local sale and they didn't want to create whole bin or box for only one of a variety.

Scan the dahlia photos online and make a wish list. (Bear in mind that colors do not always reproduce well online, or in the garden depending on sun/soil/nutrients. But you get a general idea of the flower you'll get.) Try to pick some colors that go with others or with other flowers you might have in your garden. Mix up the shapes and sizes; a nice little pompon or spikey cactus or orchid dahlia make great contrast to spice up a bouquet of bigger flowers.

If you see 'Kari Blue'- get one. That's the end of my advice.

A favor: please tell the nice folks of the Greater Carolina Dahlia Society to get their website up and running! Last few times I've checked it's waiting for construction action on many pages and I bet there are plenty of NC gardeners awaiting an update.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlia photos- shop til you drop

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 11:16PM
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Oh, how tempting. I'm 2 hours away. I won't make it though, 'cause I've got a choir bell ringing concert in Marietta tomorrow. Maybe this is a good thing--I'm running out of space for planting, anyway!

Linda, would you do me a big favor and sort of take note of what's available? I'm definately gonna want to get there next year when I expand my garden!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 1:05AM
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Hey, Valerie ~ I sent you an e-mail a couple days ago, but never heard back. I'm in Franklin, about 1 1/2 hours away from AVL. Guessing you're further west???

The website for the club says the members had their pick of the tubers last week, so I don't know what will be left - or if they got all the newest 'goodies.'

Will try to let you know.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 7:30AM
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Hi, Poochella! I actually found 'Kari Blue', despite the club members not knowing what category it was in (waterlily, as it turned out.) In fact, I couldn't decide between two little sprouting tubers, so I bought both. Hope it's really nice! Might be able to give some away next year.

Since I know virtually nothing about these plants, I hope I got a fairly good cross-section:

Size A: Camano Messenger - Show-N-Tell - Islander
Size BB: Optic Illusion
Mini: Kari Blue - Robert Too - Weston Spanish Dancer
Ball: Snoho Doris
Collarette: Awaikoe - Alpen Flathead - Pooh - Sean C
Unknown (new???): La Baron

The last one was on the 50-cent table, with no size listed, tho' it is supposed to be FD (formal decorative) in purple. I got a vague impression that someone around here had recently hybridized it, and I couldn't find it in online searches.

The others were all $4.00 apiece. I bought tubers, except for two plants already growing in pots. The club had photo albums on the tables so that you could see what the flowers were supposed to look like, but not all the varieties were included.

Valerie~ The arboretum is beautiful, with the sale in a large attractive building. I didn't know where to start, but went around to each table which displayed the selections by size or by type. You had to be careful that the tubers had an eye or a sprout. They were labeled with a yellow wooden stick, attached with copper wire. There were quite a few already in pots, with healthy crowns of leaves.

Their annual show will be in Sept, over a weekend (don't recall the date right now.)

The club members handed out informative literature, and also had booklets for sale (I purchased the American Dahlia Society 'Guide to Growing and Caring for Dahlias.')

In addition to the dahlias, there was a section devoted to special chrysanthemums (another club, I presume.) Their plants were only $1.00 apiece, or 12 for $10.00. They also gave out growing instructions, and the photos of the unusual and exotic mums were really tempting. Of course I started out only wanting a few and ended up with a dozen! Hope I have room to plant all this stuff!!!

So, it was interesting and enjoyable, but would have been more so if I'd been able to bring a list of what I wanted.


P.S.- One of the club members is a dahlia grower here in Franklin, and I think I'll go check out which tubers he has for sale.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 9:32PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Sounds like a wonderful day Linda. You got a great variety and I don't know how you'll be disappointed in Kari Blue. Lots of flowers and tubers and the most unique blue toned lavender I've seen. If you don't like it, send it to me!

I was surprised to learn there are Chysanthemums out there that rival the glory of the dahlia, and people who love them as much as some love dahlias. I saw them online searching for a dahlia or two.

Hope you had fun and that the dahlia society had a good turn out.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 9:49PM
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Hi Linda!

Sounds like you had a great day. I'm sorry I haven't responded to your email--I got distracted by trying to find which forum you'd addressed me in (couldn't?). Yes, I'm over in Cherokee County, farthest west in N.C.

Is it just me, or do the prices of those dahlias seem a bit high? I've been ordering from Swan Island and average $5 per tuber (I've been VERY disciplined). Of course, I guess it's nice to know what you're getting has been proven to do well in our climate. Do they mark them as "good for cutting", etc? I'm just starting a market garden, so that's my focus, these days.

Oh, I do love exotic flowers. Just today, I was on the hunt for Limelight, a green-blossomed Chrysanthemum....I've wondered if I should be growing some mums for those fall florist sales--homecoming, etc.

Poochella, I thought the blue dahlia didn't yet exist??


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 12:49AM
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Hi Valerie~

Poochella says Kari Blue is actually a "blue-lavender" - so maybe the hybridizers are getting closer to a true blue. I found a good photo of it, and it's lovely. My favorite colors are in the purple/lavender family, so I'm a happy camper.

If I'd only known... I think the chrysanthemum club was selling Limelight. I just looked at their membership form which was included in the materials they gave me, and there's no address on it. I'll do a search and see if they're online and send you an email if successful.

No extra info. on the dahlia tubers except for the tag with variety info. The president of the club is a landscaper, with a large commercial garden in Cashiers. He might be able to steer you to those good for cutting, but I think I've also seen that designation in some of the catalog descriptions. Is there anyone who could help on the Market Gardener forum?

President of the dahlia club is: Buddy Dean. His email address is: Here's part of a message he sent me -

"Me????????? A dahlia FREAK....... President of the Carolinas Dahlia Society. A commercial distributor. A hybridizer of new varieties. Teach Dahlia classes for SCC with one class being in Franklin. I just don't remember the date. Give lectures to garden clubs. Sell cut flowers. Grow about 1400-1500 plants a yr. for cut flowers, exhibition & seedlings. Some seedlings will be going to the trial gardens for evaluation and competition. We grow about 200 different varieties along with our seedlings. Right now I think the total number of cultivars is somewhere around 230. I don't remember how many yrs I've been growing- 10-14????? It's that I can apply what I know about general landscaping to dahlias."

So - good luck!!! Let us know how you're doing. Is there enough population where you live to support your business, or would you travel to other areas to sell?


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:20AM
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The NEW website is up (and sorry, yes, part of it is still under construction - I do have a life, of sorts).

AS members provide photos, we're adding GARDEN GALLERIES - the name of each gallery will include the County - so you can see exactly what's growing in 'them thar hills' (ooh! Dahlia Double Entendre)

At our March Meeting we'll have a slide show of the NEWEST Dahlias to be introduced. (ItÂs also a chance to start learning about Dahlias before you try to pick out tubers! At each of our Meetings, we have a short discussion about what you should be doing, at that time, in your Dahlia patch.)

The TUBER SALE is slated for Saturday, May 13th 2006 at the Arboretum.
(shhh: The Members Only Sale IS held the Saturday before, at a secret location. But anyone at the March or April Meetings will know where!)

And we're offering a special deal: 12 bucks will get you into the Members' Only Sale, a box with those yellow wooden tags & a marker, some reference materials, AND get you a Mentor for a year. Think about it - somebody who knows what they're doing, at your beck & call!

AND THERE WILL BE OTHER TIMES & LOCATIONS to get Tubers or cuttings. (Check out the website  if the info isnÂt there, itÂs Âcause we donÂt have the specifics yet, so keep checking back).

Our ANNUAL SHOW is always the 2nd Saturday of September - this year, Sep 9 & 10, at the Arboretum, Noon til 5 pm - CAUTION: We can't open the doors on Saturday until the Judging is completed, even if it's after 12 noon. But in the lobby of the Arboretum, the winners are brought out and placed in the Court of Honor as theyÂre identified.
NEW this year: a YOUTH competitive division & an UNJUDGED division (for older flowers that perhaps canÂt compete fairly but are still beautiful, or just for Dahlia growers to show off their favorites)
SPEAKERS this year: WeÂre trying for a nationally recognized Floral Designer and a Photographer. Our goal is to increase participation in Artistic Divisions of Arranging and Photography.
THE SHOW IS NOT LIMITED TO MEMBERS ONLY! And we sell cut flowers. And we have educational opportunities!

We encourage our members (& other Dahlia growers) to participate not only in our show but in the NC Mountain State Fair competition as well. Our members are also available to talk about Dahlias and the Society - at our Show and at the Fair. And at your gardening club.

Here is a link that might be useful: CarolinasDahliaSociety

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 9:29PM
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Shoot missed it!!! I have been wanting Dahlias for years and this year finally broke down and ordered a bunch off of eBay since I couldn't seem to find any local growers.

I want to join any societys and clubs in my area, I'm in Western NC so Asheville, Brevard, Cashiers, Franklin, and Highlands are my area.

I would love to learn all I can, and I also don't want to miss out on any more SALES!!!! so want to be on any and all Dahlia mailing lists for our area.

Thank you so much I'm glad to have found you and hope to get to know y'all much better very soon.
in Sapphire NC

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:19PM
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