The Beautiful Dahlia
by Kellie Parks, MG Trainee
Tenille Enger of Traverse City is an avid seed saver/collector, vegetable gardener and ornamental and cut flower grower. This year, her dahlias are absolutely stunning. The variation in shape, structure, and color are just fantastic. Her newest beds have been filled with well-composted horse manure, and she gives the tubers a handful of bone meal when planting. Her ‘girls’ are fertilized with fish emulsion a few times during the growing season.
Tenille has sourced her dahlias from a nearly a dozen places and has gleaned some growing/breed information from Steve McClaren, a second–generation dahlia grower/breeder whose father Bill McClaren wrote the book, “Encyclopedia of Dahlias’.
Tenille’s care for her plants is consistent and careful. You’ll find her out most evenings with her terrier, Clover, close by, looking for newly bloomed ‘friends’, checking for pests, and debudding the plants vigilantly to encourage long stems conducive to cut flowers. The joy found in the beauty of these flowers is evident and contagious!