There’s a bright autumn haze in Stacy Boulevard gardens. Thousands of fall dahlias are waiting. Go find your bloom and color!
The varieties are labeled. I wondered how many were chosen, and if any were grown from area heirloom seeds? The Glory of New England, a prizewinning “fancy dahlia” dazzler was cultivated from seeds by the Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester and introduced in 1925 (see below). I love reading about Gloucester gardeners.
Dahlia flowers were eventually named after Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl. The giant ones are nicknamed dinner plate dahlias. In the 1800s avid gardeners and commercial seed and plant firms bloomed in Massachusetts. Established in the early 1800s, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is recognized as the oldest in the country. A gardener from Bridgewater is credited with the first American collarette dahlia variety in 1912.
Thousands of gorgeous dahlias, exhibited by 50 growers attracted throngs to Horticultural Hall on the opening day of the free dahlia show, held under the joint auspices of the New England Dahlia Society and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
For the site of his exhibit and the magnificence of its setting, L.L. Branthover of Wakefield held first place. His pompom dahlias decorate the stage of the lecture hall, and rays from a warm moon falling obliquely over the stately blooms, against their evergreen background, lend added glory to the scene.
Wonderful tints of orange, cream, scarlet, vermillion and gold are to be seen in the dahlias exhibited by George L. Fish of Billerica, president of the society. (“Francis Cooper Hav-A-Look” illust.)
Giant blossoms, some of yellow with white tips, are introduced for the first time from seedlings of the Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester. The new blossom is called “The Glory of New England.”
Another prize winning variety is the dark-red “Alexander Pope,” one of the most beautiful of the collection in the A.I. Strobel exhibit, grown in the Montrose dahlia gardens of Wakefield.Boston Globe 1925 – 2 Wakefield gardens, 1 Billerica, and the “Lufkin dahlia gardens of Gloucester” are featured
Topsfield Fair and flower show competitions
Have any Gloucester gardeners entered the Topsfield Fair this year? There are usually dahlias in the running.
Whenever any one flower is cultivated and shown, I always think of Mrs. Miniver and the rose. Maybe someone can propagate a “Glory of Gloucester Gardens” variety for the city of Gloucester’s horticultural history then & now, generous gardeners and public works!