Trial Gardens 2020

Tahoma Trial Garden 2020

Tahoma Trial Garden 2020
Photo by Bob Schroeder


The American Dahlia Society sponsors public trial gardens at locations across North America.  Another group of excellent new cultivars were evaluated in our ADS Trial Gardens in 2020. 

The results table  shows the scores for each cultivar in each of the trial gardens.  

You may also see photos from some trial gardens by visiting our photo gallery.  And check out this video for a virtual tour of the Canby Trial Garden.

Trial Garden Entry Forms are available in two formats:  pdf   docx


Report from the Trial Garden Co-Chairs

2020 Trial Garden Results

Yes, I actually said it! 2020 results! Our ADS trial gardens carried on in this year of uncertainty and constant changing rules for the various venues. Lockdowns, slightly open, open about half and then some-times back to almost the start. One garden was planted while all the volunteers had to enter at one time with an escort past a locked gate. While at the garden, the restrooms were unavailable which made them all work faster, in case the call happened! That garden did finally open to the public just after Independence Day, as did the restrooms. Another of the gardens also had a locked gate which made it more difficult for the judges to plan a visit.

The west coast also experienced weeks of smoke filled air when it was very unsafe to be outdoors. One garden had to move to a new venue because the educational campus where they are normally situated was closed. Some of the gardens had problems because some judges were not comfortable visiting the garden to judge and that was very understandable. Those of us who did judge, often wore masks which was certainly not a normal event.

Since we did try to carry on as usual, it was decided by the ADS board members, that our ADS medals would also be awarded this year. Derrill Hart and Evie Gullikson Medals are awarded to entries that performed the best in three or more of the trial gardens.


Trial garden Report Correction

As many of you are already aware, an error was made in the preparation of the 2020 Trial Garden report for the December Bulletin.  This error occurred during the preparation of the report and in no way impacted the judging and reporting from the individual trial gardens.  Relying on the inaccurate information included in the Bulletin report, the 2020 Derrill Hart awards were announced and the certificates issued.  Upon discovery of the error, the ADS Executive Committee decided to issue additional awards rather than rescind the incorrect awards and reissue as corrected.

Please accept our sincere apologies for this unfortunate situation and be assured that procedures have been put in place to assure against a recurrence of this in the future. 


The 2020 Medal award winners are:

AA/A Allen’s Big Bang Allen Manual Derrill W Hart Medal*
B Sandia Icicle Steve and Sandy Boley Derrill W Hart Medal*
BB Skipley Frost Richard Williams Derrill W Hart Medal*
M River’s Angie Eugene Kenyon Derrill W Hart Medal*
BA/MB Irish Delight Steve and Sandy Boley Derrill W Hart Medal*
ST River’s Watermelon Eugene Kenyon Derrill W Hart Medal*
WL Oregon Sunset N. Gitts Derrill W Hart Medal*
WL Chi Mon Cher-e Paul McKittrick Derrill W Hart Medal*
CO Kelsey Aria Colin Walker Evie Gullikson Medal**


Congratulations to all our 2020 winners! Thanks to all the originators for always giving us something new and exciting for future growing.

Thanks to our Trial Garden Directors and their sponsoring clubs. But this year our really big thanks go to all of the judges, who often stepped out of their comfort zone, masked up and got the judging done!

Our hope is that next year will be far more normal for everyone in the dahlia world. We have a lot of excellent dahlia growing to do!

Marilyn Walton and Jerry Zierdt, Co-Chairs


* The Derrill W. Hart medal

Awarded to the cultivar that has the highest average trial garden score in the Trial Gardens located across the United States and Canada as an AA or A (Classes 0001-1515); B (Classes 2001-2515); BB (Classes 3001-3515); M (Classes 4001-4515); Ball, MiniatureBall, or Pompon (Classes 6001- 6215); ST(7001-7515) or NX(7601-7615); and Waterlily (7301-7315). The highest 3 scores (from individual Trial Gardens) are used to determine the highest average. In case of ties, duplicate awards will be awarded.

** The Evie Gullikson medal

Awarded to the cultivar that has the highest average Seedling Bench Evaluation score and the highest average Trial Garden score as a PE, AN, NO, CO, O, S, MS (8001-9715).