FVDS Newsletter
by Emil Johnson
June 27, 2004

Fraser Valley Dahlia Society News Letter Website -

Volume 3 - 2004 since 1997 June/July Time & Place

Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 8 pm from February through October,

at the Central Heights Church, 1661 McCallum Road, Abbotsford.

June 22 Refreshments

Clare Nash Lorne Ayres Peggy Byland

July 27

Picnic at the Stach's home. Don't go to the Church in Abbotsford!!

Please remember to wear your name tags

If any members are willing to receive the newsletter via email, instead of regular mail, please let me know at

President's Message

Keep things organized and pest free

With tuber sales all finished and dahlias planted, it is time for reflection and to have a closer look at what we planted. Here are a few things you can do to keep up with what's happening in your dahlia beds. · Make a list of all varieties planted. · Watch which varieties come up quickly and which take forever. · Keep an eye out for slugs, as it is damp enough for them to slide through the garden. · If you made some cuttings inside, watch for spider mites. · It is important to keep weeds out of the garden to keep future problems at bay. Visit and enjoy other members' gardens. You may get new ideas that can help in your own gardens. Remember to stop the AA's on time. Then they will give earlier blooms. It will not be long before the first blooms appear, and when they do, take pictures. It is a good idea to put the name of the variety on back of picture or one is liable to forget it if you don't grow many, or only grow a few varieties for one or two years. Make certain you start tying your plants early to avoid disappointments. "Hope all us dahlia growers have a bloomin' good year." Ralph Kuiper


· Jean Heeringa has kindly invited FVDS members to a picnic at her home in Ferndale Washington on Monday, July 19. We are asked to bring cutlery, plates and chairs to this potluck dinner. The meat will be provided by our host. To get there, take the I5 south to the Grandview exit where you turn right. Keep going till you cross the railroad tracks and then go on to the flashing light at Vista Drive. Turn left and proceed to 6277 Vista Drive, which is on the right hand side of the road.

· Our annual picnic is 6:30 p.m., Tuesday July 27 at the Stach's home at 9884 Lyncean Drive in Surrey. The club will provide the meat, coffee and tea, but members are asked to bring a plates, cutlery, and chairs, as well as salad, dessert, etc. to the potluck. To get there, take the 176 St. exit going north off the Freeway. Turn east (right) onto 96Ave. East (Barnston Dr.) and travel until you get to 179 St. Turn left and proceed until you get to Lyncean Drive (the first left available). Turn left and the party is at the third house on the right.

Our good friend will be missed

The gardening community in the Lower Mainland lost a staunch supporter and contributor when Johannes (John) Byland passed away on April 22 in Yarrow. John, who was born January 5, 1931 in Boskoop Holland, leaves behind Peggy, his wife of 47 years, two sons, their spouses and children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family in this difficult time. John was approachable and attentive, and his wry wit was as amusing as it was insightful. He could always be counted on to do the right thing and give his best effort in what ever he tried to do. Many gardening clubs and other organizations relied upon him for years to take care of the books. At various times, John served as the treasurer for the Burnaby Gardening Club, the Vancouver Dahlia Society, the Fraser Valley Dahlia Society and the Yarrow Seniors' Society. With him on the job it was a certainty that the accounts would be accurate to the penny. John learned his accounting skills before he came to Canada, when he worked in the banks in Holland. John and Peggy settled in Burnaby almost forty years ago where they became fixtures in the gardening community. After John retired from his work with the Vancouver School Board nine years ago, the couple moved up the valley to Yarrow. He was an expert, competitive grower of dahlias. He also belonged to the Vancouver Rose Society for a long time. His flowerbeds bloomed beautifully, and his vegetable gardens were abundant. He possessed a wealth of gardening expertise that he was always willing to share with anyone who asked for it. The Chilliwack Gardening Society recently presented John with their Green Thumb Award. John was a valued member of the community wherever he lived, but most of all he was a good friend to those who knew him. A memorial service was held at the Yarrow United Church April 27.

First Hand

My dahlias have come up nicely, but as I write this there are still six out of 68 that have not broken through the earth's crust. Yesterday I got itchy fingers and decided to have a peek at the shy tubers to see what was going on. I've done this before without mishap. But not yesterday. While carefully pulling back the soil from a reluctant shoot, I snapped off its top. It didn't really make a sound, but I swear I could hear the trapdoor of a gallows opening. I cringed and quickly pushed the earth over what remained. I wonder if that was the dahlia's hasty funeral. I'll just have to wait and see.

I also did another bonehead thing. I started pinching off the main stems of the plants that were ready for the trim. I told myself to be careful and not pinch off too much and expose the open stem like I did last year. But on the very first one I took off too much. So I hauled out the aluminum foil to cover the hollow tube. It worked well last year and kept out the critters and the rain. I did a better job on the subsequent pinching and took off just the right amount. However I'll keep the foil handy.

I've had no slug or snail damage this year. I really haven't seen many in this part of Langley so far. Nothing worse than seeing the chopped tops of the new plants, and knowing at best they are set back for a while.

Now the wait is on to see the blooms, especially the flowers of the new varieties planted. Emil Johnson

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