BACK TO THE FUTURE
Okay we've got all the technical jargon out of the way so anything we can't see with the naked eye is not allowed from here on in. Now to try and think up a way of using the resources the cells have - to create those fantastic exhibition flowers. You see DNA is in the plants we bred from, and over a few years we should be able to find out those which have given us different variations, and then combine those variations to manufacture the types of flower we need in the future. I'm convinced that during all this dedication to perfection - certain bad traits will surface, but this is inevitable even if nature alone committed the offence. Many are only taking the form away from that of a show flower - making it less desirable for show, but some can bring terrible consequences by passing on viruses even at the seedling stage, and even more in the years to come. Of course longevity in dahlias was not manufacture by design alone. Dahlia breeders have possibly used varieties that have proved their self over a good many years, and they passed on that strength. I read with relish Les Jackson's new article in this year dahlia annual, and it just shows how this top breeder has studied his subject, and all with out the aid of a computer.
Observing photographs of varieties you've already bred is essential - so a reasonable camera is a must. Preferably digital because then you can do everything with the computers help.
I'll start by using a few of last years hopefuls - trying to show you how I intend to improve on the varieties I've already bred. As most of you know there are three groups of cactus dahlias, and I'm not talking of size, but the type of petal they produce. They are either cactus, semi-cactus, or fimbriated. If you look at the classification directory it goes something like this.
8.Cactus Dahlias: Cactus dahlias have fully double blooms the ray florets are usually pointed, and revolute for more than 50% or more of their length, and are either straight or incurving.
9.Semi- Cactus Dahlias: Semi-cactus dahlias have fully double blooms, and the ray florets are usually pointed and revolute for more than 25% of their length, and are broad at the base and either straight or incurving.
11. Fimbriated Dahlias: Fimbriated dahlias have blooms where the ray florets should be split, or notched into two, or more divisions, uniformly throughout the bloom to create a fringed overall effect. The petals may be flat, involute, revolute, straight, incurving, or twisted.
All these as far as I know come in giant, large, medium, small, and miniature sizes - so let's take the largest of these groups, and show you what they are made of.
|Argyle Satin.||Winkie Bombardier.||Sweet Killarney.|
No excuses showing two varieties I bred myself - Argyle Satin popped up in 2009, and Sweet Killarney which I was particularly pleased in 2004. Unfortunately it didn't make it - being far to full of petal despite using all the stems it made. I suppose I could have kept it for breeding, and mated it to a variety with less petals, but there I gave up, and it joins that ever increasing line of `Lost Angel's' wonderful term that. I wished I'd have coined that phrase, but at least a good friend, and American breeder named Ted Kennedy did. The flower, and photograph were produced by a mate up in Stockport called Geoff Hoyle. Let's talk about the one next to it Winkie Bombardier - now I'm certain this is a giant semi-cactus in the UK, but is it in its native land of Australia? Take a look at Joconda two pages on, and this also seems be misrepresented. There seems as much confusion here with the giant semi-cactus as there is with the decorative, and ball dahlias. Any way this isn't our concerned, but the classification buffs.
Argyle Satin at the moment is exactly as they state in the classified directory "Ray florets are usually pointed, and revolute for more than 25% of their length" (means curled up I believe) I did coin a phrase for this phenomenon many pages before by suggesting the way the petals curl was quilling, but as know one suggested perhaps it was a better term - I guess it was just one of my crazy ideas.
On to the next size down, and everyone's favourite's the medium semi-cactus.