Minnesota’s largest dahlia grower has deer to thank

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“To say Cassidy likes dahlias — a member of the botanical family that includes asters, daisies and chrysanthemums and originated in the mountains of Mexico — is an understatement.

Creekside Dahlias, as he calls his growing operation, has taken over much of the 4-acre lot in Ham Lake on which his home sits. A watering system makes sure the dahlias — a notoriously thirsty plant — stay hydrated. Gardening tarp keeps weeds under control between rows and rows of neatly labeled plants, some which are protected by umbrellas from sun bleaching and hard rains.

creekside-dahlias

Photos from Pioneer Press: Will Ashenmacher

“It’s unbelievable, it’s inconceivable — I don’t know what other adjective you want to put on it,” said Minnesota Dahlia Society president Chuck Krueger. “It’s impossible that one human being has done what he’s done out there this year.”

“Kyle is by far the biggest dahlia grower in the state of Minnesota at the time,” Krueger said. “I can say that with great confidence. Nobody can compare to Cassidy.”

Cassidy enters his dahlias in shows and, last winter, took a nine-week course to become an American Dahlia Society-certified judge. As such, his standards are exacting. On a recent tour of his garden, he pronounced blossoms that, to the untrained eye, looked flawless as “past their prime” or “not up to standard.””

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