The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, October 19, 1919, Magazine Section, Image 83

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VOL. XXXVIII.
DAHLIA
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BY DEW1TT HARRY.
(Copyngrht by Emma Hyatt Morton.) i
PRINCESS DAHLIA, gorgeous and
superb, is rapidly becoming the
favored hand-maiden of Queen
Rose in Portland's floral court. Reach
ing a perfection in this miracle-working
climate seldom attained elsewhere
In the world, she is rightfully estab
lishing a following all her own, and
every day sees more admirers attend
ing her levees. In no sense are the
two flowers rivals, for the rose reigns
supreme in spring and summer and
her friendly supporter only enters the
lists in fall, reaching her perfection
about this time every year.
During the month of October dahlias
in profusion of every shape, size and
type and in a veritable not of color
ing contribute their share towards the
embellishment of their favored home.
Hardly a residence in . the city but
that has some of the plants, ranging
from elaborate displays to isolated
varieties, from complete beds and J
pardeas to sidewalk hedges, from
acres of the plants in the farms to
one or two tubers in a tiny yard. The
dahlia is the undisputed leader of
fall flowers and no other plant has
yet ontshone.it in its many. forms and
ehades. In all its luxuriance of dify
ferent and distince forms and regal,
, glowing colors coupled with its pro
fusion of bearing it is the ideal fall
flower when the companion shrubs
have shed their beauty -and blooms
are generally scarce.
Pah Una Is Floral Youngster.
Most of the better known varieties
of flowers found in the usual garden
have been known for ages and are
mentioned in history. The dahlia is
unique in that it is the popular
youngster of the entire collection, as
Its real growth and development has
-taken place within the past century.
Even at that it does not seem to have
had a just deal, for surely a flower
bo beautiful, choice and offering such
possibilities should be more popular
than is the case.
While a stroll about Portland today
will give a surprise .to those who have
not - taken the pains to observe the
number of plants in bloom "here, it
will also be an education in the
beauty and number of types. Visits
to the dahlia farms in the city, -one on
the Slough road, near Woodlawn; one
near Peninsula park, one on Sixth
street, near Caruthers, in south Port
land, and others at most of the
florists, will show even the most care
less observers that, locally at least,
the plant is destined for a great
future.
Hardy, . adapted to show rooms,
beautifying the garden, for cut flow
ers, for decoration and; indeed, for
almost all the purposes for which
flowers are used. the dahlia will be
found to fill the bill. Only one draw
back, the plant and flower are rather
delicate and will not stand rough
handling or usage. Heavy wind
storms or rain bruise and batter the
foliage and buds almost beyond re
pair, and when the flowers are cut
they will not live for long out of
water. However, if they are properly
cared for they last for two weeks in
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the house and, as the plants come in
many heights and grades of foliage,
the garden usage. is unlimited.
vr Varieties Originated.
During the past few years the
dahlia has made rapid steps and local
propagators have managed ' to ' originate-
a multitude of new varieties.
Portland is rapidly coming to take a
leading place, in the dahlia world.
The show of the National Dahlia, so
ciety here in 1915 was admittedly the
best that body has held, and it 'as
sured -this city a- prominent place in
the. future history .of the flower, the
cultural world beginning to reply on
Portland more and more as a basis for
supply and propagation.
Few of the visitors at dahlia dis
plays can realize that such delicate
orchid-like coloring and such large
and beautiful blooms can be grown
in the open.1- Just a few hours de
voted to a stroll about the city will
prove this is the case here, where in
other localities hot-houses and glass
are necesary, and the amazing results
possible here are . difficult . to attain
under . artificial conditions. Truly
Portland is the home for the dahlia.
Every Home Should Have Plants.
With the natural adaptability here
it is almost unbelievable to note the
small number of flower-loving peo
ple of Portland and vicinity who grow
these wonders of the floral world
It should be the case that every
home in the city had some of the
plants. However, the same case fre
quently happens to Portland's rose,
for even that nationally-noted flower
s produced locally is not receiving
the attention that it should.
L.ocal fanciers are hoping that with
the cessation of war increased in
terest will be taken in floral culture
in Portland, that nature's beauties
will be better appreciated and that
the civic duty of residents of the
Rose City in this respect will be car
ried out with a fuller sense of their
responsibility. In this case both the
rose and the dahlia, as well as other
flowers, should receive their right
ful share . of attention when next
summer's garden is planted. ' Now is
the time for flower-loving residents
PORTLAND, OREGON, SUNDAY MORNING,
AS PRINCESS IN
Leading Place in World of Floral Culture as Climatic
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Center Typical view In Portland connrrrul dnhlln srarden, wklrh eonnJns
- rKj aaow oaaila kedice at a city reaiaenee. Separate lloncti aaown
ahvwm la Portland and range tkiougk all trpea aad atdu,
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OCTOBER 19, 1919.
QUEEN
Conditions Here Are Ideal
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nevernl thonaaad varieties. Below
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ROSE'S
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to see. investigate and study the pos
sibilities and plan for their dahlia
reception and care in 1920 and the
ensuing years.
Contrary to the ordinary concep
tion the dahlia is in reality a very
reasonable plant to attain insofar as
costs are concerned. It is not a
bulbous plant, but a tuber. That Is.
the root is in the form and has the
general habits of a potato, possess
ing eyes and all that goes with the
spud. It is the growth of these potato-like
offshoots, planted in hills
in the same manner as is the lowly
but useful Irish favorite, that pro
duce the amazing and colorful re
sults. The cost for dahlia tubers is
extremely reasonable, some of the
florists offering them as low as 11.50
for a dozen assorted varieties. Once
get a start and the rest comes easy.
as each year there is a harvest of
new dahlias in the hill.
Gardens Are Riot of Color.
Some of Portland's gardens have a
splendid showing of dahlias, and the
color scheme and growing plans are
innumerable. The correct method
for the planting of the tubers is in
hills, two or more roots to a hill,
about five feet apart. The foliage
Is usually luxuriant, and many of the
plants will bear as high as 500 per
fect blooms in the course of one year.
In order to have a good display of
the flowers a fair-sized bed is neces
sary, but the soil conditions are- not
difficult to attain, as some of the
plants have been known to do excel
lently in even pure sand, climatic
conditions being the main essential.
Expert growers are pleased at any
time to pick out plants that will meet
the varied conditions, and this has be
come a large business here. Tubers
that will do well under certain cli
matic conditions are grown and per
fected here and the roots shipped all
over the world. In one recent order
received by a local grower a promi
nent resident of an eastern city sent
a photograph of the house and
crounda mapping out the beds and
describing the present character of
the gardens - surronnding the home
The task was for the local man to
NO. 42.
COURT
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choose the varieties best suited tor
that climate and a color scheme that
was fitting and to have the plants
grow to the correct height in order .
to make the most pleasing display.
Tabera Snipped from Portland.
In cases of this kind the sketch of
the bed is studied by the shipper in
Portland and the plants chosen ac
cording to their height, foliage and
cclor in order thit they will give the
best results. The element of climate.
scil and adaptability also has to en
ter Into consideration, as well as the
fact of giving a sufficient variety to
make a good showing. This business
Is proving attractive here, and com
mercial growers on a large scale are
finding that they have their hands
filied with taking care of orders that
are pouring in as the excellence of
their wares becomes better known.
It is freely ' predicted and seems
almost a certainty that Portland,
within a very short time, will be the
capital of the dahlia world.
The ideal bed to make creditable
showing of these choice plants should
be about 10 by 30 feet in rough di
mensions. This will give a chance to
plant three rows of hills, six hills to
the row. calling for the use of some
40 tubers. The cost of the tuber
should not run more than $S5 for the
best selections, and it is possible to
get any color scheme desired, and
also any height of foliage. For In
stance, if the bed is set against the
house the tallest plants would be
placed In the rear row and the shrubs
gradually lessening in height until
the shortest ones are in front.
Plant Flowera Like Potatoes.
Should the bed be set in the open
sr that it could be approached from
all sides, the tallest plants would be
placed in the center and the shorter
ones on the outside. With two tubers
to a hill the bed at its maximum bear
ing should be showing about 400
flowers, a perfectly wonderful dis
play, and the chances are that if all
the rules and conditions are observed
li order to make the growth as fa
vorable as Is possible, that the 36
plants will bear several thousand
blooms during the season. This esti
mate would seem to those unaware of
the cultural value of the dahlia to be
rather far-fetched, but a casual in
vestigation will serve to show that It
is by no means overdrawn, and that
ven better results are frequently at
tained here.
In several of the farms in the city
literally thousands of varieties are
shown, running the whole gamut of
colors and varieties. New flowers are
constantly being originated and th
older and better-known varieties be
ing Improved. Each year a n'jmber
of flowers of this prolific family htth
erto unknown make their debut, uii'j
it takes a keen and constant study at
floral culture to keep pace with th
marvelous development of the dahlt.
clan. There seems to be no limit i-.
the possibilities and even the expert,
are constantly being surprised by tht
results of their experiments. Cross
rollenisation and breeding results in
amaxing plant prodigies and often the
Concluded on Pake )