Dahlias to Lift Your Spirits

This has been a spectacular summer for dahlias around the grounds. These showy blooms come in an alluring array of colors and are ready to take center stage in an arrangement or planting bed. There are many different varieties, from enormous “Dinnerplate” styles to compact “Mignon” varieties, and petal arrangements that give each type a unique appearance.

Originating in Central America, dahlias were grown as food by the Aztecs, who ate the tuberous roots. Most of the varieties grown today aren’t edible, although you can still find dahlias on the menu in parts of Mexico. In our mild climate, dahlias will bloom from midsummer right up until the mornings start to get frosty. Leave the tubers in the ground over the winter, and they’ll sprout up again in the spring. Dahlias like plenty of sun and don’t require a lot of water, a bonus in the Bay Area’s dry summers. As gorgeous as these beauties look in the garden, they are also a standout in flower arrangements. Cut flowers in the cool of the morning or evening, choosing open blooms since buds won’t open off the plant. If you can, cut just above a set of leaf nodes and side buds—this will encourage continuous regrowth and blossoming.

Look for our next floral arranging class with Liz Rivera of Urban Dahlia for a chance to learn more about working with these fantastic flowers.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center