Today’s guest is a long time inspiration of mine. It’s such a joy to finally have the opportunity to introduce Claus Dalby to Floret readers. In Denmark, Claus Dalby’s many garden books and television show appearances have made him a household name.
The densely planted and artfully designed gardens surrounding his home near Risskov, Denmark have been featured prominently in both print and on the screen. Curated over the decades, his gardens include unique displays of flower and foliage combinations that change with the seasons and highlight his distinctive use of layered color palettes.
Described as “Scandinavia’s Martha Stewart,” Claus Dalby has developed his own line of garden supplies, including a beautifully packaged line of dahlias, bulbs, seeds and plants. Claus also offers gorgeous glass vases and other home decor.
More recently, he has created a unique online garden club community and released a new cookbook focused on healthy, fresh from the garden green foods. Claus radiates kindness and wisdom and I’m so excited to welcome him to this space.
Erin: Claus, I’m so thrilled to have you here with us today! For readers who don’t yet know you, can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your life, work and garden?
Claus: I have been mad about gardening for about 25 years now. My garden is just a hobby. I’m running a publishing company together with my partner from our home. During the years we have published more than 3000 books – childrens books, craft books, design books, and my own gardening books. I have written around 25 books about flowers and gardening.
In Scandinavia, people know me from television programs (I have been on television for about 20 years now) and have made many programs from my own garden.
Erin: Many of us who are obsessed with plants tend to run out of space in our gardens quickly. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about creating pot displays, as that is something Floret readers ask about, particularly those gardening in small spaces. Can you share a few tips?
Claus: I just love container gardening and think it’s an easy way to make nice displays. I have plants in pots from spring to fall, and they begin to flower by the end of April/beginning of May, where I focus on spring bulbs, especially narcissus and tulips, together with Viola cornuta, Myosotis, Erysimum, Heuchera, etc.
I place the pots closely together, and it is very important that I only have one variety in each pot. This allows me to take some pots out and replace them once the plants are done blooming.
Repeating colors is also very important for me, both in my pot displays and in my borders.
I have my own line of pots sold in my name, and they are made of terracotta clay in Italy. I don’t like when pots are looking very new and clean. I want patina!
When I make my pot arrangements, I use a lot of foliage plants. It’s like a bouquet which will be much more distinctive with foliage in matching colors.
I have hundreds of pots with dahlias – three tubers in each. I love dahlias and call them ‘the tulips of the autumn’ because they can give the same color splash! It is hard to pick a favorite, as there so many great varieties. But I really love ‘Thomas A. Edison’, ‘Eveline’ and ‘Lilac Time.’
Erin: You recently posted a photo on Instagram sharing that you’ve lost about 40 kilos (88 lbs) from eating a lot more “green food” while writing your newest book, Slim-Plant Food from my Green Kitchen. That’s incredible! And a huge congratulations to you for the book becoming a #1 best seller in Denmark. I wish your books were available in English! Can you tell me more about what you learned writing your latest book?
Claus: I have learned that you will be much more fit if you eat more fresh garden vegetables and less meat. Next season I will start to grow vegetables in pots. I don’t have space for a kitchen garden, but I have around 2000 pots with plants every season.
Erin: Visiting your garden is on my bucket list. I see that it’s open to Gold Members of your Garden Club. Can you tell me more about your Garden Club?
Claus: I would love to see you in my garden, Erin. I really think that we share the same taste in plants. I just love what you offer.
Of course friends are always welcome, but my garden is just open for several hundred Gold Members of the Claus Dalby Garden Club once per year. Every week members can see a video from my garden or other gardens I visited around the world, they are inviting to a speech every year, and they get discounts on my books. I don’t take other groups in my garden. This is just my own place for pleasure, and I need to have spare time for traveling to see other gardens. I’m very pleased to have three full time gardeners, but as I always say, I’m the head gardener!
Erin: Thank you so much, Claus, for being here with us today. I hope we are able to meet in person one day. I’d love the opportunity to walk through your garden!
Learn more & connect with Claus Dalby: