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Dahlia Show Held Last Week in Hartford, CT

Last week I drove to Elizabeth Park in Hartford  for the 54th Annual Dahlia Show which the Connecticut Dahlia Society sponsored .

I was amazed at the size and color of the dahlia blooms.

Annual Dahlia Show last week at Elizabeth Park  in Hartford, Conn.

There were so many people at this show that it was sometimes difficult to navigate the aisles between the rows of dahlias, each standing tall  in its own green pot.

The dahlia can boast of a long history as a garden plant, beginning in the sixteenth century when Spanish soldiers first saw it in Mexico.  Only in the early nineteenth century did it  become a favorite for the ordinary gardener.

Paul D. Sorenson wrote an excellent article on the early history of the dahlia in the Arnold Arboretum’s journal Arnoldia.  He said: “The first authenticated introduction of living dahlia materials into England occurred in 1803–and on this date many authors agree.”

Later, of course, it would come to America, only to be promoted by the surge of plant societies that embraced a particular plant variety.

The result is that today we have groups like the Connecticut Dahlia Society, together over fifty years, simply because the members enjoy gardening with this particular plant.

Each  September people flock to the group’s dahlia show.

Dahlia ‘Pinwheel’, one of the winners at the Show
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