Piper Creek Trial Garden

Piper Creek Trial Garden

Echoglen Farm, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Submitted by Lorne McArthur

Trial Gardens are the instrument which all seed growers use to develop new varieties of seeds to feed the world and beautify our yards. Governments and Departments of Agriculture around the world sponsor seedlings for food trial gardens. Seed companies employ the best geneticists to breed new varieties of plants. The American Dahlia Society, celebrating the 100th Anniversary in 2015, employs the same method.

Members of the Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society have accepted the challenge of a trial garden for dahlias. The time spent caring for, growing, judging the seedlings, and record keeping will be the result of hours of volunteer work. Alberta dahlia growers have spent a lot of time and money attending shows and participating in judging courses to become senior certified judges who are members of the much larger American Dahlia Society (ADS). An application for a trial garden has to be submitted to the ADS and once approved the garden will have a 2 year probation period. This is standard for all trial gardens.

Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society members have been growing seedlings for many years. Because of waiting lists, there is a challenge for members to get their seedlings into the US Trial Gardens. Trial Gardens in Canada have come and gone on both the West and East coasts. Trial gardens have never been on the prairies until now. Our extreme climate in Alberta makes dahlia growing a challenge. We are a hardy bunch of enthusiastic growers, with a goal to growing successful gardens. We will accommodate hybridizers from across Canada and the US.

All growers can submit tubers in their 4th growing season. Originators shall submit 3 tubers of a cultivar along with a picture, entry form and applicable fee. Cultivars in Alberta will be started indoors and transplanted after the danger of frost has passed. Directors and volunteers will maintain the trial garden. The gardens will be cared for in the same manner as all dahlia gardens. Judging will be according to the rules in the ADS Classification Handbook of Dahlias.

The City of Red Deer has been very supportive and recognizes the endeavours of the ADGS. The garden is open for public viewing during the growing season.

The Piper Creek Trial Garden is located at Echoglen Farm, Red Deer County, at the home of Lorne and Marilyn McArthur. The land location is Range Road 273 #37514. Our local people know this location as 40th Ave, south of 19 St, near the City Landfill Site. Mailing address: Lorne McArthur, RR#3, Red Deer, AB, Canada, T4N 5E3. Look for the steel pole structure behind the tree farm on the West side of 40th Ave South of the Landfill Site.

Updated Feb 16 2015 by Larry Quintilio

The probation period is complete and thanks to a tremendous amount of work and perseverance by Lorne and Marilyn McArthur, Wayne and Sheila Roberts, Ken Jensen and Eileen Grant the Piper Creek Trial Gardens are the only sanctioned trial gardens in Canada.

Mark Your Calendars

July 2015

Judging Seminars

Ken has planned the following judging seminars for the 2015 year (these will be held at the Piper Creek Trial Garden – across from the Red Deer Waste Management Facility); they are open to all including those who wish to judge and those prefer to observe:

Judging Course – Advanced 

Date: July 11, 2015
Where: Piper Creek Trial Garden
Time: 10am – 3pm

Includes Seedling Judging. Bring a bag lunch. It is helpful if participants have taken the introductory course but it will be open to all.

Team Scoring and Work Bee

Date: Wenesdays – July 15, July 29, August 5, August 12, 2015
Where: Piper Creek Trial Garden
Time: 10am –
Contact Ken Jensen ambbowl@shaw.ca or 403-782-5095
for more information

August 5th will also include learning to use the colour chart.
Individuals are welcome to score at other times as well.
Reg will do a presentation on grooming glads on August 12th.

August 2015
ADGS Annual Dahlia and Gladiolus Show 2015

When: August 29 – 30, 2015
Where: Bower Place Centre,
4900 Molly Bannister Dr. Red Deer, AB
Contact: Larry Quintilio larryquintilio@gmail.com
Volunteers needed for ADGS Show Committee

ADGS Annual General Meeting

Hello Fellow Gardeners,

Below is the Agenda for the ADGS Annual General Meeting to be held on October 4, 2014, beginning at 11:00 a.m., at the Eastview Community Center (120 Ellenwood Drive, Red Deer).

There will be a Potluck Lunch following the General Meeting.  There is a stove so it’s okay to bring hot food.

After the potluck, Lorne McArthur will lead a discussion about storing and caring for tubers and corms over the winter.

Melody (with the help of Eileen) will be available to take 2015 Membership dues for both the ADGS and the ADS.  The cost for these memberships are as follows:  ADGS Single ($20); ADGS Family ($25); ADS Single ($30); ADS Family ($33); and ADS Student ($5).

ADGS Annual General Meeting Agenda

Junior Judging Workshop

Hello ADGS Members,

Are you growing dahlias but are unfamiliar with what the differences are between the varieties and how to tell a beautiful flower from a spectacular flower?  If so, you might wish to register for this workshop.
The Judging Workshop is open to all members but tailored for those who have not previously taken a dahlia judging class.  
You will be introduced to the Classification and Handbook of Dahlias put out by the American Dahlia Society and be taught about the various forms, colours and sizes of dahlias (including understanding the 4-digit class numbers).
Once you have taken this course, you will be offered the opportunity to have some hands-on experience by being paired with a senior judge at the Alberta Dahlia and Gladiolus Society Show on August 24th and 25th (Bower Mall).
If interested, please register by phoning or e-mailing Ken Jensen.  His phone number is 403-782-5095 and his e-mail address is ambbowl@shaw.ca.
The workshop will be held at the Piper Creek Trial Garden on Sunday, August 10th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Piper Creek Trial Garden is on the property of Lorne and Marilyn McArthur (across from the Red Deer Waste Management Facility).

Visitors from the American Dahlia Society

Visitors from the American Dahlia Society (ADS)

On Monday, August 18th, 2014, Ron and Barb Miner from the Dahlia Society of Ohio and Wayne and Eleanor Shantz from the Lane County Dahlia Society (Oregon) are planning to visit us.  You are invited to  meet them at the Piper Creek Trial Garden (McArthur Place) at 10:00 a.m. and join them for lunch at the Rusty Pelican Restaurant, 2070-50 Ave, Red Deer at 12:30 pm.  (Cost of lunch on your own).
If you are attending lunch, please reply to Ken Jensen at ambbowl@shaw.ca or 403-782-5095 by Friday Aug 15.  If their schedule allows, they may also tour members’ gardens.

Ron is the ADS Trial Garden Co-Chairman, Past President, Committee Chair for Policy, Web-site co-ordinator and Trustee.  Ron and Barb are from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Wayne and Eleanor are Vice-Presidents for the Pacific Northwest Conference and active in judging seminars and training.   They are from Eugene, Oregon.  Wayne has an Alberta connection as he spent his early years in this area.

Let’s welcome them as they tour Alberta and thank them for stopping to see us!

Spain: Heritage and Horticulture

Please find attached information on an upcoming garden tour, Spain: Heritage & Horticulture, taking place this fall, September 28 to October 12, 2014

It’s an exciting journey, from southern Spain to Barcelona, including Roman ruins, Moorish gardens, modern horticulture, medieval cities and botanic gardens. And, of course, no visit to Spain would be complete without seeing the Alhambra and Generalife gardens, local artisans working at their traditional crafts, and having supper at a tapas bar.

Spain – Heritage and Horticulture with Sara Williams