A Last Armful of Flowers Before Winter Comes

It happens every year: when I hear about the first big frost of the season I go into overdrive and start cutting armloads of my dahlias in order to have a house full of the these wonderful flowers that have been blooming for 3 months. What I don’t use, I make as bouquets for friends, because I know that after just one strong frost the dahlias will look like burned toast the next day. Pictured above is the afternoon of the frost alert— dahlias and mums happy in the autumn sun.

This sad picture is the next day! Hard to believe that one night of frost could do so much damage. Fortunately I was able to gather them before the evening for a last dazzling display in the house. The tubers will be dug up in the days to come and stored in the dark greenhouse until next spring, when they will be divided and replanted.

I love the whole color range of dahlias, but the deep reds and magentas are some of my favorites. I like to mix them: different varieties in the same color palette makes for a more interesting bouquet.


I grow groups of many colors, but this year the yellow varieties were especially prolific. I lost several of my mad oranges and bright reds so I will definitely be ordering more of those next spring.

Every autumn, like clockwork, my friend Sharon Hoge brings me a basket of quince. I place it next to a big container of yellow dahlias, creating a mini still life.


12 thoughts on “A Last Armful of Flowers Before Winter Comes

  1. I am enjoying your website so much.. I was thrilled to see you had an updated post in my sidebar! Your dahlias are delightful! I would definitely be a fan of the mad oranges!
    The French Tangerine

  2. Carolyne,
    …….In the midst of economic turmoil, politics as usual, and general everyday traumas, it’s such a joy to have your blog back. What could be more uplifting than to see your dahlias, your connection with nature, and your continuous search for beauty. Welcome back and I so look forward to your new book! And like all your other books, I’m sure I’ll pick it up whenever I need a little respite.

  3. Hi there Carolyne, I toured your gardens a few years ago, when you opened it up for Trade Secrets. I too grow a wide assortment of dahlia, and like bringing them into the house. The only problem, no matter how careful I am at picking and cleaning them, A pesky Earwig or two always seems to hide in the flowers, that I spot after a while. Are you bothered by them, or do you have a special way of looking over the flowers, and sending the Earwigs on their way before bringing them into the house?

  4. Love the new blog. I followed the previous website and loved that as well.

    Your new blog is more personal and user friendly.

    I use to live in Ridgefield Ct and spent many spring, summer and fall weekends in Sharon and Lakeville.
    I hope you have weathered the terrible storm and that all is well at Weatherstone!

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