Host John Ott greets the audience from his home studio and introduces the day’s topic, the Dahlia. He displays several cultivars including Pirate’s Treasure, Prairie Fire, Esquire, and Sun Rays, then reads aloud different types of dahlias from a booklet written by the Central States Dahlia Society and the American Dahlia Society including Single, Mignon, Orchid, Anemone, Collarette, Peony, Semi-Cactus, Cactus, Formal Decorative, Informal Decorative, Ball, Miniature, Pompon, and Dwarf.
Next, Ott demonstrates a boiling water treatment technique on a wilted dahlia, which is followed by a time-lapse sequence of a dahlia’s revival after receiving such treatment. The scene changes to a garden belonging to Lou West, who shows how to properly plant tubers, seedlings, and cuttings and then demonstrates the processes of topping, disbudding, and tying them. A second dahlia enthusiast Jesse Strauss is shown attending to his dahlias inside a cloth house, and a third man who Ott identifies as Frank Gosswiller demonstrates a home-made pile driver used for hanging lampshades and umbrellas to provide the plants with shade. The scene changes to a time-lapse sequence of dahlias growing, and then shifts back to Ott’s home studio where he provides an account of the dahlia’s history and background. He follows with a demonstration on how to dig, divide, and dry tubers.
The episode concludes as Ott recommends that the audience consult a current Central States Dahlia Society publication for a schedule of upcoming dahlia shows throughout the country, and he encourages everyone to join their local dahlia societies to learn more.
Episode guests include Jesse Strauss, former Chief Horticulturalist for the Men’s Garden Clubs of America, as well as Frank Gosswiller and Louis West, both past presidents for the Central States Dahlia Society.