Volunteers Maintaining the Largest Public Dahlia Display Garden on the East Coast | Based at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, NY
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The Long Island Dahlia Society is a non-profit, volunteer organization formed to stimulate interest in and promote the culture of dahlias and to conduct public exhibitions of dahlias on Long Island. In addition to presenting dahlia shows and educational programs for the public, Society members plant and maintain The William Wolkoff Dahlia Garden, located within the Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park.
There are over 1000 dahlia plants in the Wolkoff Garden with hundreds of different dahlia varieties representing every known dahlia form from tiny blooms to "dinner plate" dahlias fifteen inches in diameter, all in a rainbow of colors and shades from white to darkest purple. Just as summer gardens are beginning to fade on Long Island, Dahlias, the kings and queens of the fall garden, take center stage for their glorious fall flower show, blooming from August until first frost.
Meetings are held year round (except for January), on the third Thursday of the month. Locations of our meetings vary so please check the calendar for time and location. Most meeting include an education session, followed by coffee and cake, and a general membership meeting. Meetings are open to all and are free to the public.
The Long Island Dahlia Society (LIDS) was formed by a group of air raid wardens and dahlia fanciers in the Spring of 1944 led by Otto Aumuller. Early meetings took place around a pot-bellied stove at Munz’s nursery in Jamaica and were often held in the fertilizer shed. Mr. Aumuller brought together the first show to the public where hundreds of milk bottles were collected and gilded so that all the blooms were resplendent in golden containers. Eventually the meetings moved to Jamaica Hall, and during the course of the last 67 years, LIDS has exhibited throughout much of Long Island.
In recent years, the cooperation among the dahlia societies of the North Atlantic Dahlia Conference has led to flourishing success for dahlias. With a hard working, well intentioned membership we can only see a bright future for our society.
LIDS is dedicated the cultivation and propagation of the dahlia. LIDS volunteers plant and maintains a garden of over 1000 dahlias in the Wolkoff Garden at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, NY. We also host two dahlia shows each season at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. The first show is on Labor Day Weekend and the second show is a few weeks later in early October. LIDS holds monthly meetings (except in January) on the third Thursday of every month, please check the calendar for times and locations as they vary with the seasons.
Our membership continues to grow, as a new member you will receive three free tubers or cuttings of show grade flowers (our choice) at one of our spring tuber sales. The tuber sales are held during April, May and June. By becoming a member, you can learn about the culture of dahlias at our monthly meetings and the methods used by our own seasoned growers and senior members. We invite you to participate in our shows, displaying dahlias or to just visit the garden or show and enjoy the beauty of the flowers.