Dahlias are one of the most prized late-summer bloomers. With their incredible array of colors and types, it’s every gardener’s dream to have a garden filled with these lovely flowers.
It seems only fitting to celebrate dahlias with their own festival. And if you’re feeling discouraged that the garden season is wrapping up for the year, a festival just might perk you up.
On Sept. 21, Northland Rosarium will host what is being billed as the “first annual” Spokane Dahlia Festival. It will feature a dahlia display, an informative lecture and demonstration, vendors, fun craft classes, kids activities, live music and giveaways. There will even be food trucks on hand with tasty offerings for hungry festivalgoers.
I recently spoke with Carol Newcomb, owner of Northland Rosarium, and her daughter, Amy Newcomb Rowe, about how the festival originated.
“It has been my intent to partner with Inland Northwest flower farmers,” Carol Newcomb explained. “Kim Lango, owner of Prairie Sky Farms, has been instrumental in the planning of this event.”
“We wanted to promote this amazing group of women in agriculture who are growing cut flowers for farmers markets,” Newcomb Rowe added.
Brian Desautel and Susan Stephens of the Inland Empire Dahlia Society will give a presentation on how to grow dahlias and demonstrate how to divide and store tubers.
Sponsors of this event are Tall Grass Farms, In Bloom Spokane, Bloom Flower Farm, Cabbage Hill Farm and Snapdragon Flower Farm – all local flower-growing businesses. Many of them, along with Fleur de Provence Lavender Farm, will teach craft classes (refer to schedule).
“We’d like to invite non-gardeners to the festival so we can introduce them to the flower farmers,” Newcomb Rowe said. “This will be an educational, fun and family-friendly event where kids are definitely welcome in the garden.”
Visitors will enjoy strolling through Northland Rosarium’s beautiful display gardens and checking out the end-of-season plant sale.
As a longtime fan of dahlias, Carol Newcomb is looking forward to seeing some beauties during the festival.
“Dahlias are such spectacular fall flowers because of their many colors and sizes,” Newcomb said. “They are well worth the effort to grow.”
“If you want to grow a cut-flower garden, dahlias are the way to go,” added Newcomb Rowe.
“What I love about this festival is that it’s women-led,” she continued, referring both to her mother and the flower farmers. “It’s woman power: these hardworking multitaskers will make this event so special.”
To spread the word about the upcoming festival, Northland Rosarium will sponsor giveaways on its social media accounts before Sept. 21. Watch for posts on Instagram under @northlandrosarium and Facebook at facebook.com/northlandrosarium.
Susan Mulvihill is co-author, with Pat Munts, of “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch this week’s “Everyone Can Grow a Garden” video on youtube.com/c/susansinthegarden.
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