Several decades ago, the Victoria Dahlia Society operated a trial garden at the Horticultural Center of the Pacific. A Trial garden is a designated garden, sanctioned by the American Dahlia society, where tubers of un-named seedlings are submitted by hybridizers from anywhere in North America for evaluation. The tubers are grown by the garden members under strict conditions in a setting open to the public . At the end of the growing season, a comprehensive critique is number scored for each cultivar.
Operating a trial garden is very prestigious . Typically there are waiting lists and not enough spaces to grow all the dahlias. Many volunteer hours were required to maintain and run the garden. For various reasons VDS gave up our trial garden some years ago.
The only trial garden currently operating in Canada is the Piper Creek Trial Garden, located in Red Deer. It accepts 4th year tubers from hybridizers in Canada and the US.
After closing the trial garden, the club experimented with different display gardens and finally found a home at the Prospect Lake Community Hall where we now have our Learning Garden.
The Learning Garden
We, as a club, have now gone on to expand the Prospect Lake Display Garden into what we are now calling the Learning Garden.
Our goal is to use the garden as a more interactive learning experience. This includes adding additional dahlia forms that in recent years we have not featured in the garden.
We want to spread the awareness of the incredible versatility of Dahlias.