May 2018 - Dahlias from Garden to Vase
Emily Cleaveland - Owner - Dahlias by Design

It was a lovely Spring day on this Monday when approximately 60 members and guests met at the Salyards Center for the Arts in anticipation of a very educational program. Hospitality created a wonderful spread of tasty goodies influenced by a colorful Spring theme. Member, Virginia Kanzler exhibited a wonderful example of an Art In Bloom arrangement and discussed how to achieve it. As usual, we had a fundraiser raffle of which the "bug repellent" hat was the star of the show modeled by VP Deb Holmes. There was a brief business meeting which highlighted all the upcoming activities. Afterwards, the members were treated to "everything you ever wanted to know about growing dahlias" with expert grower Emily Cleaveland, who owns and operates "Dahlias by Design". She grows them at her farm in Springfield, NH and sells at the Norwich Farmer's Market in Norwich, VT.  

Emily Cleaveland is passionate about her dahlias. For the past 18 years she has been carefully wintering over more than 65 varieties.

She started selling flowers at the Norwich Farmer’s Market back in 1999 and has been providing outstanding cut flowers and quality dahlia tubers ever since. Each Spring she sorts and replants the tubers. Some of her plants can yield between 80 to 100 colorful flowers.

Over the years she has even developed her own fertilizer. She shared with us her extensive knowledge of her favorite plant, including how and when to dig tubers up at the end of summer, how to grow, how to fertilize, how to avoid disease problems and the best type of soil for dahlias to flourish. At the end of the presentation, the attendees were able to purchase some of her wonderful tubers with directions for planting now. The bountiful blooms can be expected in the August timeframe.

To find out more about Dahlias by Design - click here to go to her website