Dahlia Legacy Project

By the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers

Dahlia Legacy Profile

Dahlia Legacy Project of Eric & Janet Anderson, by Bobbyjane Merrick ,2023

    When asked, Erics advice to the novice dahlia enthusiast.

Find a warm sunny location in the garden, with good soil drainage.

Watch out for slugs! HA!

   Eric Anderson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His family moved to Washington state when he was only one.

He graduated from Washington State University in 1974. After graduation he went on to work as a repository therapist for 43 years.

      Janet Anderson was born in Wichita, Kansas. She moved to Washington State in 1965.  Janet went into the nursing field and became a Registered Nurse. She worked in the Nursing field for 46 years.

Both Eric and Janet worked at Valley General Hospital where they met.  They married in 1978. They became parents to 3 boys.  Aaron in 1981, along came Kyle in 1983, and Tyler in 1985.

     In 1988 they moved to Bremerton, Washington. There they raised a large vegetable garden and a few dahlias. 

        Eric recalled that Kitsap County Dahlia Society was having tuber sale at the Port Orchard Amory. While attending, Eric and Janet were befriended by Ester
Flagel. She gave them some cans and a carrier to transport them in. Eric said that Ester was their first dahlia mentor.

        On another occasion he entered a small dahlia at the Puyallup fair. He won a 3rd place ribbon and a check for fifty cents.  He was hooked, said Janet.

        In 1990 the Andersons became members of the Kitsap County Dahlia Society.

As parents of three little boys, their time was involved with school sports and many other activities.  The standing joke by the Kitsap County Dahlia Society is that the Andersons were fantom members! (HA, HA)

   They also added that their grandsons also showed dahlias, and won at the Kitsap, and Puyallup fairs. The little boys enjoyed showing their dahlias.

     When Eric was asked about his showing experiences, his reply was, one always learns something new at each show. He likes to critique the experience of the show results with his judging team. They also discuss varieties, when awarding ribbons and selection of the best dahlia to the head table. Judging makes one a better exhibiter.

    When asked the furthest distance that they attended a dahlia show, was Portland Oregon.

       Janet makes her prize-winning dahlia baskets along with Eric. The last few years she has incorporated making dahlia arrangements. She does a top-notch job and is some serious competition.

Eric learned hybridizing and collecting seeds from Dave and Leon Smith. Who were also his mentors. In 2010 he hybridized his first dahlias. At the ADS National show in Tacoma in 2014, Erics dahlia SUNGATE’S  1st scored on the seedling bench and was put into the ADS classification book. Since then, he has hybridized the winning dahlias listed below; SUNGATES AVERY, SUNGATE’S BEVERLY, SUNGATE’S CLEMENTINE, SUNGATE’S ERIC, SUNGATE’S JANET, SUNGATE’S RALEIGH, SUNGATE’S STAR, SUNGATE’S STRYKER, SUNGATE’S SUNSHINE.

        Along with growing 850 dahlias he buys, sells, and trades tubers.

Eric has also been the president of the Kitsap Dahlia Society numerous times. He has been in charge and organized the Silverdale dahlia gardens for years. His love for Dahlias never ends.

We hope to see Eric and Janets beautiful dahlias at the shows for many years to come.  

Hall of Fame – Nomination

Currently not in the Federation Hall of Fame


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