Newagen Seaside Inn is proud to announce local gardener Doug Peck as a blue ribbon winner at MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine.
Peck has been honored two straight years for dahlias from the Inn’s gardens. His 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, Peck 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 first-place and six second-place ribbons. This September, Peck went to the fair again with Newagen’s blooms. This time he walked away with 15 first-place, four second-place and two third-place ribbons.
Last winter, Peck 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. Peck has 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, Peck created a large dahlia garden at the inn, housing over 250 plants, and introduced a “starter” garden at The Russell House Bed & Breakfast, one of Newagen’s sister properties in Boothbay Harbor.
“I attribute my success to the attention I place on the care of these plants,” said Peck. “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, Peck is looking forward to upping his game to the New England Dahlia Society show in Boston. Stay tuned!