In the ’90s my father started down a maniacal path leading into the vortex of the dahlia world and eventual world recognition. Humbly starting with just a few dahlias, over the next few years my father amassed enough dahlias as a hobby that it became a drain on the family financially. Faced with finding a way to fund his obsession or losing his new passionate hobby by father decided to start his own dahlia business and Lobaugh’s Dahlias was born. He joined clubs, went to Home & Garden shows all across the northwest, and sold dahlias in local markets. As he got deeper into the dahlia culture he started experimenting with creating his own dahlia variants, or originations. In order for a new dahlia origination to become recognized it has to win man awards at shows as a seedling, a process which typically takes several years. My father quickly made a name for himself in the Northwest region with his seedlings and was winning top honors at every show. Soon his dahlias became known across the countrys and shortly thereafter around the world. Now my father gets invited to speak all over on creating new dahlia types, how to setup a good growing garden, irrigation systems, and more.
This weekend I had an opportunity to visit one of my father’s shows at the Kitsap County fair grounds. This is an annual event. He won several awards, some of which I do not even remember, including:
- Best of show
- 3 on head table
- Dozens of blue ribbons
- Best origination in the U.S.A.
Dahlias are amazing flowers and come in many different variations. They can be as small as a quarter or as large as a dinner plate. Their colors and even how their petals form vary widely from flower to flower. The following are some pictures I snapped with my phone at the show. Some are my fathers but most are a random selection. If you are interested in learning more about dahlias and seeing some great examples head over to the Lobaugh’s Dahlias website. It contains a wealth of information. Be sure to order a couple to spice up your landscape while you are there too!