Diggin’ the Dahlias

Best of Show 2016, the Lacinated Dahlia

Penny Pollock, Dick Boger & Mary Ann Hardman

The summer’s warm sunshine and abundant rain have produced a profusion of vibrant dahlias.  Flowers of all sizes and colors, simple or complex —  their beauty
is unsurpassed.    

Dahlias, dazzling and delightful, are popping up in gardens all around Highlands and  Cashiers.    Join your friends and neighbors the weekend of September 16 as they celebrate this dazzling beauty with events benefitting the Highlands Historical Society.     

On Thursday, September 14 at 5:30 P.M. HHS will dedicate a plaque naming the Prince House to the National Historic Register.   Highlands’ oldest residence, built in 1877, is one of the key elements of the Historic Village, along with an original tuberculosis treatment tent and the early Hudson Library building.   The dedication is free.  The public is urged to attend.   

Enjoy the cool mountain air of a fall evening as you celebrate with other patrons at the Dahlia Festival Patrons Party, which begins at 6:30 P.M. “Denim & Dulcimers” kicks the evening up by featuring local musicians and fried chicken. Tickets are $100 per person and are available at

The Dahlia Festival culminates on Saturday, September 16, with the Seventh Annual Dazzling Dahlia Flower Show, an amateur flower competition for growers of every age.   Dahlias will be on display from 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. at the Highlands Recreation Center, located at 600 North Fourth Street. An admission fee of $5 will entertain you with hundreds of individual dahlias of too many colors, sizes and leaf types to describe.        

The highlight of the afternoon will be at 2:00 P.M. when acclaimed landscape architect Mary Palmer Dargan speaks on “Tricky Places: Designing with Dahlias, Perennials and Flowering Shrubs for Drop Dead Gorgeous Summer Gardens.” She’ll be signing her new book, “Landscaping for a Lifetime.”  You’ll want to take one of the beautiful dahlia arrangements home so plan to purchase one as you leave the show.

The Flower Show could not happen without local gardeners entering their beautiful blossoms.  Flowers are accepted at the Rec Center on Friday, September 15, from 4:00 to 6:30 P.M., or Saturday, September 16, from 8:00 to 10:00 A.M.  An Entry Fee of $15 covers up to eight stems.  Adults and children, first-time and long-time growers, everyone is urged to bring their blooms.  Professional judges will select First, Second, Third Place and Honorable Mention in numerous categories. 

Don’t miss the opportunity for your bloom to win Best of Show, like the stunning Lacinated Dahlia pictured here.  Congratulations to Jimmy Evans for his 2016 Dazzling Dahlia Best of Show winner.