Newagen Seaside Inn is proud to announce local gardener Doug Peck as a blue-ribbon winner at MOFGA Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. Doug has been recognized two years in a row for dahlias from the Newagen Seaside Inn gardens. Doug’s passion for dahlias began when he was gifted six dahlia tubers from Newagen’s former Front Desk Manager, Lin Koch, to care for and winter over. From that initial exchange, Doug became enthusiastic and enthralled with the flower’s varieties and colors. Three years ago, he began exchanging tubers with local growers, and in 2018, submitted blooms to the Common Ground Fair, only to be awarded 13 1st place and six 2nd place ribbons. This September, Doug went to the Fair yet again with Newagen blooms. This time he walked away with 15 1st place, four 2nd place and two 3rd place ribbons.
Last winter, Doug began to research unique and unusual dahlia varieties. He has befriended growers from all over the United States, allowing him to trade and purchase tubers. Doug collected over 150 new tubers and quickly realized he was going to need a bigger garden. With the help of landscape designer Mike Brochu and his crew, Doug created a large dahlia garden at Newagen Seaside Inn, housing over 250 plants, and introduced a “starter” garden at The Russell House Bed & Breakfast, one of Newagen’s sister properties. Doug says “I attribute my success to the attention I place on the care of these plants. From starting them early in pots with nutrient-rich soil, to pinching back stems to produce a more compact plant, de-budding plants to encourage stronger blooms and blossoms, and of course watering faithfully to get vigorous plant growth and healthy plants!” The challenge when submitting to Common Ground Fair is that everything must be organically grown with no pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides.
Next season, Doug is looking forward to upping his game at the New England Dahlia Society show in Boston. Stay tuned!