Nurseries Made Dahlias Popular

Nurseries Made Dahlias Popular.

Plants enter our gardens usually through the portal of the green industry like seed companies, nurseries, and growers.

That was the case with the dahlia.

Originally from Mexico, the dahlias appeared in Spain in the eighteenth century.

The dahlia reached England in 1803, and America a few years later.

Boston nurseryman Charles Mason Hovey (1810-1887) became an early advocate for the dahlia. In his publication Magazine of Horticulture in 1835 he called the dahlia the “King of Flowers.”

In 1838 he wrote, “They [dahlias] have become one of the greatest and most valuable ornaments of the garden.”

Then he also said, “We believe the time is at hand when our own gardens will produce dahlias equalling the English.”

Hovey won Best in Class I for his twenty-five dissimilar dahlia blooms at the Flower Show sponsored by  the Massachusetts Horticultural Society on Saturday, October 1, 1842.

Thus his writing about the plant and also growing it, and, of course, selling it contributed to gardeners planting it in the garden.

Hovey was only one of the early nurserymen to encourage the dahlia.

Today we have a company like American Meadows which still encourages gardeners to grow dahlias.

This image [below] is from the AM company website.

American Meadows dahlia image

Dahlias  [courtesy of American Meadows]

Hovey wrote in 1840, “Some seedling dahlias have been raised, which equal the best productions of the English garden.”

American dahlia growers can stand up to the best.

Today there are 57,000 varieties of the dahlia. This flower has come a long way, with no small thanks to the American nursery business.

 

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Comments

  1. Donna Smiley says:

    Hello Mr. Mickey,
    Would you share details of the 2017
    Dahlia Sale in Rhode Island? I have
    never attended, but would appreciate
    having access to the tubers.
    Best regards,
    Donna Smiley
    LavenderT5@gmail.com

    • Hello Donna, there is no date yet for the May sale of the Rhode Island Dahlia Society. Please continue to check their website, under their name.
      The May sale is held at the Cold Spring Community Center, Beach Street, in North Kingstown, RI. The date, which is usually in the first half of May, I’m sure will be posted as we get closer to May.
      My advice is arrive early to be one of the first to walk in the hall. In that way you will be able to choose from a good selection of tubers.
      Good luck.

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