"Hello everyone and welcome. So how did I embark on this website and you may well ask! Well, for two years and at their request, I was writing a monthly dahlia column for a free local paper called The Cornish Gardener (laterally incorporating The Devon Gardener) until unfortunately it ceased publication. For many years I have been writing newsletters for The West Cornwall Dahlia Club (I am Secretary and Chairperson) and continue to do so, however I was looking for a wider audience and came up with this site. It's all my own work (and funding) , the basis of which I am writing in 2009 and updated as and when necessary. Within these pages, based on 15 years experience and much self trial and error, I will be explaining both the methods and products I use, arming you with an informative knowledge, understanding and potential of achieving greater success within the world of growing (and showing should you wish). So welcome to that world, one of hard work, self belief, determination, result and an overwhelming passion for my chosen favourite flower. Basking in well deserved success whilst gracefully accepting defeat. Ladies and Gentleman I give you the DAHLIA".
Following a visit to Camborne Show in 1990 and highly encouraged by my wife to compete I began exhibiting flowers the next year. So in 1991 and laden with a few blooms I 'dipped my toe in the water' and entered my first show (I was immediately 'bitten by the bug'). In those early years I exhibited all sorts, from marigolds to gladioli, from snap dragons to corncockle. You see I have loved flowers since a little child, and more of that later on in this site. My first love were roses and for 1991 and 1992 I came runner up to a local showman who had won the 'Best Rose' trophy for many years (I recall him saying he was 90 years of age or thereabouts). At the 1992 show he gave me my first piece of advice and declared my roses were 'too open' and should be entered more closed, thus allowing for opening and reaching a peak at judging time. I duly thanked him for that advice and went on to win the 'Best Rose' trophy for the next 7 years running. In 1994 I decided to 'spread my wings' and compete at more shows and during this time I met and came up against dedicated showmen. In 1994 on meeting seasoned dahlia growers I knew this was the flower for me, with a passion for the subject matter, the versatility of the dahlia itself, and a competitive instinct I declared to attain a top County trophy inside 5 years. I achieved this the very next year being the Cornish Dahlia Society Novice Champion, The West Cornwall Show Novice Champion, and Cornish Dahlia Society Late Show winner. In 1996 my biggest achievement was that of West of England Novice Champion. For several years I was still showing other flower types, particularly carnations, then following a severe winter where I lost all my carnation stock I decided to concentrate exclusively on dahlias.
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