Two Hundred Dahlias Offered in Vick’s 19th Century Seed Catalog

This is the time to plant dahlia tubers here in New England.

This week I plan to open up the boxes of dahlia tubers that I stored in my basement and begin planting them.

Rochester seedsman James Vick (1818-1882)  wrote about dahlias in his Fall catalog of 1873. He said, “My collection of Dahlias this season is much larger and finer than ever before, as I added to my stock all the new prize sorts of Europe, this spring, and I hardly think it excelled by any collection in the world.”

Chromolithograph from Vick's Illustrated Monthly, February 1878

Chromolithograph from Vick’s Illustrated Monthly, February 1878

He had five acres of dahlias in full bloom that fall in his display garden plus thousands of flowers scattered in other beds as well. That must have been quite a sight with all that flower color in blossom.

He sold two hundred varieties of Dahlias, and in the fall he sometimes traveled to exhibit his Dahlias at State Fairs in about half  the country.

Vick certainly loved Dahlias.

The illustration [above] appeared in his magazine Vick’s Illustrated Monthly in 1878. It features various sizes of the Dahlia flower.  He wrote “While we would like to encourage the growth of Dahlias from seed, and admit that in the work there is pleasurable excitement, those who wish flowers can obtain them at a far less cost of labor, by purchasing a dozen or two of bulbs in the spring.”

I think he was right, and that’s why I plant tubers [though he called them bulbs].

Are you planting dahlias this spring?

 

Share

Speak Your Mind

*