The phrase, 'Dollars to donuts' is a pseudo-betting term, which indicates short odds - in other words, something is a certainty to win. I spent last weekend on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula, enjoying all the things that a dahlia show weekend can bring. On Saturday morning, I was greeted warmly upon arriving at he Kitsap County Pavilion - not just by the gorgeous dahlias and the old dahlia friends, but also by DONUTS. If there is one thing other than dahlia-culture that I have learned through my involvement, it is that every dahlia event is accompanied by donuts. These deep-fried, guilt-ridden and usually forbidden sweet treats show up at Federation of NW Dahlia Growers (FNWDG) activities - including board meetings, workshops, local club shows, and even at the trial gardens. My conclusion is that, if you show up to participate at any FNWDG event, you are certain to find maple bars, bear claws, glazed, chocolate and sprinkled, and sometimes even buttermilk and crullers.
Donuts are only one of the certainties you encounter during show season. During my visit to the Kitsap peninsula, I was sure that I would be greeted warmly with hugs and smiles; that I would have a chance to bend the ear of some of the best growers and hybridizers in the country; that I would have many opportunities to discuss issues local challenges (heat, wind, drought) to successful dahlia-growing. I knew I would spend some time at the Tacoma Trial Gardens, the dahlia show, and Wendy and Drew Brant's home for the Saturday night barbecue. What I didn't realize was that I would have an opportunity to visit and photograph two other gardens - the Kitsap County Dahlia Society's garden at the Port Gamble Post Office, and the gardens of Eric and Janet Anderson, just a few miles from the Silverdale Fairgrounds. Although record-setting heat has affected dahlia growth all over the state, the flowers I saw in those gardens were sensational. The commitment and enthusiasm of the growers I spent time with last weekend was exactly what I needed to renew my own energy and focus on my own dahlias. I will admit that the three weeks of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees fahrenheit had caused me a high level of anxiety and discouragement, and I needed a boost to get back on track. Kind of like having a donut when you feel your energy flagging........
Kelsey Annie Joy (with two friends) at Eric Anderson's Garden
A shot of the garden at the Port Gamble Post Office