Heading east away from the rugged Pacific Coast Hwy in Clatsop County, Oregon and driving onto Hwy 202 traveling past Youngs Bay you will find yourself in a very narrow east/west fertile strip of land along side Youngs River. Then the Klaskanine River takes over. You will pass small family farms that deliver their fresh organic produce to local restaurants and support local thriving farmers Markets. If you go during late summer or early fall your eye will suddenly be caught by a cacophony of color on your right. A sign reads Klaskanine River RV Park. Make a quick roadside stop and take a closer look. The kaleidoscope of pure color is the Dahlia garden of Joanie Chapel. You will quickly realize this is no ordinary garden. Joanie has created and maintained a quarter of an acre Dahlia garden for 16 years. All sizes. All shapes. All colors!
Dahlias were not Joanie’s first flower love affair. Roses were her first passion. Joanie cultivated roses for over two decades and devoted years of her talent, energy and expertise to the Portland Rose Garden. When Joanie migrated to the coastal region 17 years ago nature threw her a curve - the discovery that local fauna hungrily dine on roses. Necessity introduced Joanie to the deer resistant DAHLIA.
No looking back! A dahlia gardening collaboration was born between mother and daughter, Julie. This mother/daughter duo developed a Dahlia enterprise - Growing and mailing dahlia tubers across the country. Joanie hosts some 300 Dahlia plants while Julie, with professional green house and appropriate property, support some 2000 plants with brag rights of some 458 different varieties. Julie, also a Master Gardener, gardens in the Lincoln County area.
Joanie travels nationally to show her dahlias and has been recognized and awarded many times over for the quality of her blooms and artistic floral arrangements of this versatile plant species. By presenting lectures and hands-on workshops (everything you want to know about dahlias but were just too afraid to ask) this generous woman gladly shares her years of experience. But wait, there is more. This passion for color & texture and understanding light & pattern has extended Joanie’s creativity to the magic of quilting. Again, with an eye for detail, she has received many awards for these fabric master pieces. A floral motif is often seen in her quilt design. Generosity comes into view once again as Joanie has donated many quilts to raise funds for charitable causes.
Clatsop County Master Gardener Assoc. has been gifted with Joanie’s gardening skills and knowledge since 2007. Joanie has been an active supporter volunteering as a CCMGA board member and also participating at the state level of Oregon Master Gardeners Assoc.; she has developed the CCMGA “Winterizing Your Garden” annual event; and has developed field trips for Master Gardeners to experience other gardening triumphs across Oregon. BRAVO!
2023 - She won Best in Show Single Bloom Daily Astorian 10/5/23