The Flame Border

The Flame Border

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The Flame Border

As has been obvious so far, I use many slightly muted, romantic shades in the garden. And at the beginning of my gardening life these were the ones that I focused on. After some years I began to ‘hunger’ for the warmer tones, especially orange, but also red.

Luckily, I had a piece of unused ground behind the house. In this place I decided to establish a border that was quite simply named The Flame Border. Here you can experience orange perennials and annuals as well as red and purple ones. The last ones mentioned are, however, primarily seen in smaller shrubs and trees, such as Japanese maples and Purple Hazel.

Claus Dalby’s Garden club

As a member of my garden club, you will have the opportunity to visit my garden once a year. You furthermore receive monthly inspiration videos in Danish and will have access to more than 200 videos - - also in Danish - on the website. Finally, you are also invited to lectures that I give, and you get a discount on my Danish books. 

The greenhouses

The greenhouses

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The greenhouses

Let it be said straight away: I am deeply fascinated by greenhouses. So much so that I have written a couple of books on the subject and made television shows about amazing glass houses. For it is pure magic that just a few rays of sunshine on a greenhouse can raise both the temperature and one’s mood by several degrees.

I have no less than three houses myself of thirty, forty and fifty square meters respectively. They are first and foremost indispensable for growing plants in and for winter storage of more delicate plants (two of the houses are heated during winter.) Another big advantage of having the greenhouses is that they add a lot to the atmosphere of the garden.

The Victorian Greenhouse

This thirty square meter greenhouse was the first one I built. On one of my early trips to England I fell head over heels in love. It happened at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where many English greenhouse manufacturers were represented. The selection was impressive, but when I came to Hartley Botanic, I immediately fell for this medium sized Victorian green house. It fitted my needs perfectly. And this brick-based model fulfilled my wildest dreams.
The greenhouse was ordered and back home again I found a mason who erected the base behind the house, and when this base was ready, the house arrived from England. It was delivered partially assembled on a small truck, and the driver and the one passenger not only handled the transport, they were also the ones to erect the greenhouse. In the span of a few days the house was ready to put to use, and I must say that it is one of the best gifts I have ever given myself.

The Greenhouse Studio

Behind the house, in the northeastern corner, we had a parking space to begin with. But as the number of pots and containers grew, the cars had to give way and were instead parked down by the road. At the same time, I decided to cut down some old Thujas that had been growing there from long before we moved in. When the trees were felled, I soon realised that here we could place a third greenhouse.

When I get an idea, I am quick at putting it into action. The idea about the new greenhouse was conceived in the summer of 2012. And the following spring the house was completed.

This time I chose to commission a greenhouse company to be responsible for the entire design and build process. Drivadan got the assignment. This company are great experts at building with steel constructions and they are a large supplier to e.g. garden centres who want a glass covered shopping area.

My good friend and sparring partner Kjeld Slot suggested that I build a pyramid shaped greenhouse, and he drew up the design. Kjeld did the sketching, and Drivadan drew up the final plan. This worked perfectly.

The house was to be forty square meters, and I chose that it should be possible to heat it during winter and therefore the house was equipped with triple layered energy saving glass, and heating was installed.

From the beginning I realised that this house was meant more for people than for plants. I had glass shelves put up and soon the greenhouse was decorated with vases and ornaments from floor to ceiling. In everyday speech I call the house my studio, for this I where I can make all my flower arrangements and be creative. It is a wonderful universe, and when, during winter, I light a fire in the open fireplace, it is particularly cosy.

Finally, I want to mention that my gardeners are also frequent users of this house. When it is too cold to sit outside, they have their lunch and coffee breaks here. It is pure luxury to have such a room.

Already after the first couple of seasons I outgrew the Victorian greenhouse, so soon I wanted an even bigger house – a bigger nursery. It should be possible to heat it during winter, so I could store less hardy plants here in the cold season.

The Nursery

On a spot in front of the house next to the forest I had some hot beds that I happily gave up to make space for yet another greenhouse. The space allowed for the house to be a full fifty square meters, if I utilised it to the max. And I did … For seen against the large house it was important that this new greenhouse would not look too small.

I wanted a wooden greenhouse, and I knew from the beginning that the house should be unique and created especially for this space. Therefore, I contacted an architecture company that I had worked with before, and they came up with many excellent solutions. Amongst other things they suggested that the roof should consist of a metal frame with double glazed windows, while the rest of the house – including the glazing bar windows – should be built from timber.

During winter an electric fan heater keeps the temperature between five and ten degrees which is just perfect.

The garden rooms

Today there is no lawn left in the garden. And who really needs grass? I do not; and neither do the insects that benefit from all the flowers in the garden. The subsections here give an impression of how the garden rooms and the greenhouses look.

The Upper Inner Border

The Upper Inner Border

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The Upper Inner Border

The name for this border is a little colloquial. We call it thus, because it is one of two borders in the centre of the ground surrounded by yew hedges. The border at the opposite end we call The Bottom Inner Border.

To name the borders is very practical, because then my gardeners and I always know what we are talking about.

It is an exquisite combination. The bluish hues continue throughout the season, and from June onwards the bed is also dotted with pinks and pale pinks.

This border is the one that gets the most sun and it is bathed in sunshine from morning to late afternoon or early evening, depending on the season. The colour scheme changes at the beginning of summer. In spring the white and cream colours are predominant because of the narcissi and the tulips. And in their company are baby blue flowers.

It is an exquisite combination. The bluish hues continue throughout the season, and from June onwards the border is also dotted with pinks and pale pinks.

At the beginning of the season the bulbs dominate, then the perennials gradually take over and finally the dahlias become part of the late summer experience. The dahlias are started in pots in one of the greenhouses and they are planted out at the end of June, when the plants have reached a height of approximately half a meter.

Claus Dalby’s Garden club

As a member of my garden club, you will have the opportunity to visit my garden once a year. You furthermore receive monthly inspiration videos in Danish and will have access to more than 200 videos - - also in Danish - on the website. Finally, you are also invited to lectures that I give, and you get a discount on my Danish books. 

The Bottom Inner Border

The Bottom Inner Border

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The Bottom Inner Border

As already explained the inner borders are thus named – both the upper and the bottom ones – because they are situated in the middle of the ground surrounded by the yew hedges.

In the bottom border most of the flowers are white, but in between them moonlight yellow and cream colours can also be seen. They are exquisite together with white and grey. The latter are found on the foliage of bushes and trees, which are presented in this section.

Just as in all the other borders in the garden the blossom here begins with bulbs, and this lasts for a couple of months. First to flower are the botanical tulips and narcissi together with grape hyacinths. Then follows the ordinary tulips and last, but not least the impressive white alliums ‘Mount Everest’.

 I am particularly fond of white flowers. So much so that I have written an entire book on the subject. Here I talk about Sissinghurst Castle Garden amongst others, whose best known garden room is The White Garden. Here the subject is not just the white colour but to a large extent also the flowers’ stature and how they look. A fact that is terribly important, when you plan a bed using just one colourway. 

Claus Dalby’s Garden club

As a member of my garden club, you will have the opportunity to visit my garden once a year. You furthermore receive monthly inspiration videos in Danish and will have access to more than 200 videos - - also in Danish - on the website. Finally, you are also invited to lectures that I give, and you get a discount on my Danish books. 

The White Border

The White Border

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The White Border

In this border there are only – perhaps not surprisingly – white flowers. Moreover, there are different foliage plants, which form a lovely backdrop. Even though several of them are quite humble, they are still very important. It can be compared to a bouquet; here some supporting foliage is also needed.

This border is – like the yellow border on the opposite side of the path – long and narrow and most of the plants are repeated throughout like a pattern repeat. Repetition is one of my main principles, and this helps give the borders a natural appearance. In ordinary perennial borders you often see single large groups of perennials. This is the classical method.

The rose arches at the end of the border are connected and placed in such a way that the path hits in between two of the arches. This design was inspired by something I saw in an English garden where I asked permission to take measurements. Permission granted, I had to use my outstretched fingers, as I had no measuring stick. It worked perfectly.

At the end of the path is a little plinth with an urn on, and this is repeated at the other end of the path that leads down towards the road.

Claus Dalby’s Garden club

As a member of my garden club, you will have the opportunity to visit my garden once a year. You furthermore receive monthly inspiration videos in Danish and will have access to more than 200 videos - - also in Danish - on the website. Finally, you are also invited to lectures that I give, and you get a discount on my Danish books.