Sooke Garden Club: Time for dahlias to dazzle

Garden club speaker on Sept. 26 will be Jean Vantreight

Jean Vantreight with a display of many and sundry smaller dahlias. Jean is this month’s guest speaker for the Sooke Garden Club.

As summer comes to a close, gardens that rely on perennials for colour tend to lose the ‘wow’ factor created by vivid hues of spring and early summer flowers. Enter the dahlia – big, bold and beautiful. Okay, they’re not always big. They range widely in both plant and flower size, but they always deliver ‘big’ when it comes to impact. Their colours and colour combinations are simply stunning. Most excel in vases and arrangements (if you’ve been to the Saanich or Sooke Fall Fair, you know this firsthand), but for me it’s the vibrancy they bring to the garden at this time of the year that makes them so worthwhile.

Like many other gardeners in our area, I grow dahlias but bring no particular knowledge or expertise to the undertaking. I got started a few years ago at the urging of a friend who knew I was looking for a late season flower of substance that was low on, if not off, the increasingly long list of plants consumed by the local deer. To date I claim only mixed success, with ‘failures’ due, I suspect, more to my shortcomings than to the dahlias. Fortunately, apart from the odd nibble, our four-hoofed friends have indeed ignored the dahlias, giving us a range of good options for adding flower power to the unfenced landscape from late summer to frost.

It was therefore with considerable surprise that I learned what prompted Victoria-based family matriarch Jean Vantreight to ‘finally get serious’ about growing dahlias: the deer were starting to eat hers. This was some 10 years ago, and she has since become recognized for her knowledge of all things dahlia, her expertise as a grower, and her talent as a prize-winning exhibitor.

Jean will be sharing that expertise at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club with her presentation on Dazzling Dahlias. Using photos and cut flowers for illustration purposes, Jean will focus on the various types of dahlias and some varieties within those types. She will also discuss the life cycle of these plants and provide helpful tips for growing them successfully. Members are invited to bring questions.

Please note: This month’s meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Townsend Road. Also on the schedule: fall parlour show, Potato Contest results, and submission of entries for the annual photo contest. New members are welcome. Membership is $15 for the calendar year and can be purchased at the door. For more information, e-mail: sookegardenclub@yahoo.caor phone Jane at 250-646-2573.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke’s homeless reflect on housing situation

Ed MacGregor Park a new temporary home for Sooke’s homeless population

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Book stores in Victoria notice uptick in sales for anti-racism titles

White Fragility, How to be an Antiracist are among the best selling titles

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Library’s Summer Reading Club goes virtual

This literacy program is usually offered in person

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read