Bower Mall will be host to a variety of not only pretty but also diverse flowers and their growers this weekend as a part of the fourth annual Dahlia and Gladiolus Show.
“This is a show to display Dahlias and Glads so that the public can appreciate them and also learn how to grow them,” said Lois Tallas, member of the planning committee for the show.
Tallas said the show is intended to promote interest in growing both dahlias and gladiolus. “Dahlias and glads are so beautiful. You can get all kinds of dahlias from dinner plate dahlias or ones with leaves all different or little bulbs or ones that look like peonies.”
The show runs at Bower Mall during mall hours Aug. 24th-25th.
This is the fourth year for the show, and the third time it has been in Red Deer. Last year the show was in Edmonton and in other years down the road it may travel elsewhere, but Tallas said Red Deer has had a lot of success in hosting it.
She said they are always looking for more people to enter and any and all Alberta growers are eligible to do so. “We have quite a few growers from High River all the way up past Stony Plain.”
Tallas said she encourages people who are interested in dahlias and gladiolus to join the Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society.
“We connect with the American Society too so that’s another area we extend into. We always encourage people to get involved and we share tips for fertilizing and pruning plants as well as hosting potlucks and education sessions.”
Also new and exciting in the dahlia and gladiolus world is the Piper Creek Trial Garden just south of the landfill on 40th Ave.
“Dahlia growers want to hybridize and we have quite a few growers that are doing just this. They are always looking for a trial garden where they can send their flowers.”
The trial garden is exactly what it sounds like, a place for growers to ‘try’ their flowers. It is also the only one in Canada.
Lorne McArthur runs the Piper Creek Trial Gardens and said it’s not just a place for growers to send their plants, but also a place for the public to come and enjoy these plants as they come up. “It’s quite unique and very important for our area and people should be happy that something like this exists so close to our home. It’s a great thing to come out and have a look at any time.”
He said the show on Aug. 24th-25th is a culmination of everybody’s endeavours for the year and a chance for growers to show off their hard work and their successes.
“There is no charge to come and see the flowers at the mall, and our mission is to encourage other people to grow these products so our little association will grow too.”
He said while there are many annual plants to choose from to plant and grow, dahlias and gladiolus hold a special place for a lot of people.
“These are just ones that are sort of, I guess in their own world. They have a separate identity unto themselves. There’s just so much variation in them and it makes it more exciting because there’s not just one type.”
McArthur said the public is welcome to come and view the trial gardens or attend the show and he would encourage people to do so because there is so much to learn.
“When people become aware of all of the choices in these flowers then they want to grow them, and it’s really not all that tough.”
For more information on the Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus society visit www.albertadahliaandgladsociety.com or for information on the show or to register call Lois Tallas at 403-347-6181.