Delightful, Delicious Dahlias


Delightful Delicious Dahlias

IMG_3289As you know, I don’t like to bring current events into the blog, usually preferring to use it as a place for tranquility to share and discuss design and  lifestyle issues, some reflection and sometimes smiles. But the horrific recent events have been so upsetting and sad one wonders with despair about the direction the world is heading. I wanted to acknowledge this. So many are saying what I feel that in this environment one must have some time to reflection on beauty to keep our sanity. It is not frivolous and ignoring the problems but a bit of beauty helps refuel the battered spirit in a harsh world.

I am so fortunate that I can retreat back to the sanctuary of Weatherstone, where not only has it been a monumental rose season, but my dahlias too have reached new heights – and widths for that matter! Some of them really have been the size of dinner plates, and with that girth, often more difficult to arrange, so I have taken to using them as individual table pieces.


Cutting garden mix dahlias, roses and clematis

Dahlias have long been one of my favorites, even when they fell out of favor and fashion with many people– but by now I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you, where flowers are concerned, I seldom follow fashion and trends, and stick with what I like, and advise you to do the same!

One of my larger specimens

One of my larger specimens

More varieties

More varieties that I grow, I love them in every color and form–cactus, dinner plate, stander, singles variegated  – the variety is endless!

I had promised to show my fourth of July table to some of you and here it is good for the fourth and any summer event as well.

Dinner plate dahlia

Dinner plate dahlia – can you believe the size?


4th July table – I love how the shiny red cherries work with the deep velvety dahlias in the vases

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One of my favorites

One of my favorites-  it is so graphic


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The deep reds are some of my favorites!

One of the most important things to remember is that dahlias don’t continue to open once cut i.e. they stay as they are, frozen in time. In effect this means you can enjoy them until they are fully open in the garden, then transfer them to an arrangement as required. One of the longest lasting cut flowers, the variety is extraordinary – with many plain and variegated specimens in every color but blue. In a garden they last throughout summer, only fading with the first frost and, as tubers, they can be stored during the winter months, so actually become a very good investment over time. We wrap them in newspaper (who said we were fancy?!) and store them in the cellar until early spring when we plant them initially in pots, in the hoop house then move them, when the weather permits into the cutting garden. This could be the seventh year for some of mine – by which time they have become old friends…..and let’s face it, that sort of comfort is just what we need right now.

Simple decorations

Simple decorations

My biggest dahlia, Beethoven! An ever faithful companion in the garden.

Beethoven – like a big, gray dahlia himself! My constant companion in the garden.

I am now going to try an attach a couple videos if I can remember how – my tech teacher is on vacation and I am feeling helpless!!



51 thoughts on “Delightful, Delicious Dahlias

  1. Missing you here in Aspen…Need to bring some of your dahlia magic to the mountains…they are beautiful here as well…not quite in your league, but beautiful nevertheless…See you soon I hope.

  2. Dear Carolyne,

    One of my favorite quotes is from an unknown artist who said that,
    Each time a person makes a work of art, it takes a piece of evil out of this world.

    Your art — your narratives and watercolors and photos — do so much to lift my soul.
    Frivolous? Never.
    Restorative? Always.
    You make the world a more beautiful and peaceful place with your art.



    • Thank you very much Terry….I think I may have to remember that line for future use. I’m glad you enjoy my posts. cr

  3. What could be better comfort– beautiful Dahlias and a doggy! Thank you for all the beauty– I particularly love your Fourth of July table! Keep it coming; we all need a break from the news!

  4. Your photos are so eye appealing that they tempted me to look into the cultivation of Dahlias. I have a friend that gardens in New Hampshire. He prized his Dahlias and I remember walking in his garden admiring these tall beauties. I always assumed that they were for colder climate zones than mine since I garden along the Gulf Coast. Imagine my surprise, reading Dahlias are native to Mexico and that they grow naturally in climates that do not experience frost. I am inspired to add them to my garden plan for next year. Thank you again, this is exactly the type of diversion we all need at this sad time. The sun will come up tomorrow, the earth will bear fruit and life will go on.

  5. Dear Carolyn,

    Would you cover off how you grow such marvelous clematis.
    Mine do not look at all as healthy or numerous.

    • Hi Laura,
      I have always been lucky with most clematis once I learned to plant small plants around the base to prevent wilt ( a common clematis problem) maybe it is also my soil. But that said I planted some new ones in the perennial garden and they are struggling a bit so fingers crossed. Gook luck with yours— check that the base of the plant is shaded to avoid wilt. cr

      • I plant my clematis inside of obelisk frames and in the shadow of the fences that they grow on. Plus little violets at the bases of the clematis. cr

  6. Those are truly something. I think I have a favorite and then I see something else, but the deep purple near the top of the post is truly luscious in it’s simplicity. And I really think they are a perfect example of nature stepping up to remind us that there still is inherent beauty and grace in the world. Thanks for sharing these magnificent blooms – what a way to start my day !

  7. Dahlias are showy and wonderful. They look marvelous like that on your table. And I love old fashioned flowers. That dark purple clematis is particularly pretty, too. Will have to look for that one. And I agree about what’s going on in the news. I find myself hibernating a bit from the world, and enjoying the fresh breezes, the scent of growing things, and the feel of my pet’s fur under my hand. The simple pleasures are best and most comforting.

  8. I am so glad to see your post today it is gorgeous as always. Thank you for bringing such beauty you are a true classy and elegant lady. Dianne

  9. Beethoven ! Oh how delightful among the dahlias ❤️
    “Perfection of love and beauty” can only be found in flowers and pups : )
    It is truly a soul “refresher” to have a glimpse of your breathtakingly beautiful roses and dahlias ! Can’t wait to see what the end of summer and Fall will bring : )

  10. Carolyne, thank you so much for this post. You are so right. We need beauty in this crazy world, and it is not frivolous. My dog and garden teach me lessons on life and keep me sane! Your dahlias are fabulous. My Remy says woof to Beethoven. Would you mind sharing the maker of the blue polkadot linen?

    • Dear Remy,

      woof woof from Beethoven!!! The napkins are from the Oscar de la Renta home collection. As you know he was my mentor. You can find the entire collection on line. cr

  11. Ms. Roehm,

    My wife forwards me your blog. I am an avid gardner and enjoy views of your garden and flowers in CT. We lived in Darien for a short time and now live in Richmond, VA. I must admit my roses did better in CT thank in VA. Just to hot and humid down here. I know you also have a home in Charleston. I would be interested in knowing if you have roses growing there and what types. I have 2 blush noisettes from Charleston that do well in Richmond.

    Best regards,
    John Schaeufele

    • Hi John,
      I wanted to keep the Charleston garden totally different so I have no roses their. I was going to suggest the noisettes because they originated from Charleston but you know that already. I do not know a sure thing so I don’t want to advise but when I find out I shall share that information sorry about that good luck. cr

  12. Your garden is such an inspiration! Beethoven is equally as darling-what breed is he? I am both a dog and garden lover.

    • Thank you Kristine. Beethoven is one of my four Havanese. And yes, he is a darling! cr

  13. Carolyn. I treated myself to some big strong dahlias this summer. They have been destroyed by tree rats . Do you have any information on a remedy? Thank you. Elana Donovan

    • Hi Elana,
      I have a question where do you live–I have never had tree rats so can not advise you have you checked the internet. Sorry I cannot be of more help. I shall look it up as well and if see if I can find something cr

  14. You take the most beautiful photographs !!!
    But, Beethoven !!! I’m in love with Beethoven. So happy to see a pic of him. I love dogs, any kind, all kinds.
    Lovely post !!

  15. Thank you for posting these wonderful summer photos. I have a small city balcony – large enough for a table and two chairs. When I go to the Farmer’s Mkt. this week I will try and find similar flowers to use.
    Last week I had to go to my doctor for headaches, and the images of when you had your operation were a help. I remembered that you were on your phone (moving on even as you waited) I thought. My problem was just something that can come with age, but Thank you for a good example.

  16. Thank you for so beauty. I is so needed these day.
    Margaret Romero




  18. Your garden and your photographs are so beautiful and your words ring true to me. I love spending time photographing my own flowers and admiring other peoples gorgeous flowers and gardens like yours. It makes me happy. I sometimes wonder if it is being frivolous but no, I agree entirely with what you said ” a bit of beauty helps refuel the battered spirit in a harsh world”.
    Thankyou for sharing photographs, videos and of course books of your magnificent garden and sharing many moments of happiness with many people.

    • Victoria–continue to love your photography I find it a way to loose myself as it focuses your eye in a very specific way–towards beauty. cr

  19. Stunning as always, love the videos too. Planted my first dahlias this year and mixed them in my perreniial border and are doing fantastic, I am deadheading a lot, and what a great repeat performer they are. The videos add a whole new dimension to your wonderful posts, keep them coming!!!

    • Thanks peter for the encouragement this tech stuff frustrates me so- I hope to do A better video in August1 cr

  20. Carolyne,
    Your garden and Beethoven certainly brightened my world. What is your source for those magnificent dahlias? Catalog or nursery? Thanks!

  21. I think many are feeling helpless at this time. In fact I wrote about the same thing this week on my own blog. I could not agree with you more, sharing light, love and beauty is a wonderful day to alleviate some of the sadness and stress.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden travel, adventures and life with us. I have followed your career/life for a long, long time and each time I see one of your homes, rooms, projects, recipes, gardens it makes me smile. Thank you!

    • Elizabeth thank you. It makes me so happy to know I can make you and anyone else smile. A smile, a giggle, a belly laugh is so precious so let’s grab them whenever and however we can. cr

  22. Carolyne, I just love the way you mix burgundy with blue. It is exquisite! I will have to try it!

  23. Dear Carolyne.
    Thank you for your lovely post.
    I cannot understand how some people prefer to have their world filled with bombed out rubble instead of grass and flowers.
    It makes me sad.
    We have a new Granddog called Belle. A ball of white fluff. Now I feel happy.

    ?? Marie ??

    • Congratulations on the arrival of Belle! The perfect distraction to take your mind off bombed out rubble! cr

  24. Your dahlias are glorious! I think my favorites are the white-tipped ones. I’ve never planted dahlias because of having to lift the tubers – my knees aren’t great and I can’t see doing all that lifting year after year, but the results are really spectacular!
    It’s wonderful to see a post/blog about beauty, especially accompanied by such wonderful pictures, amid all the upset, unrest, and rancor we are experiencing lately. We would all surely go mad without a breath of love and beauty once in a while. Your mission here is similar to a doctor’s — what you do is healing, so please don’t ever think it’s frivolous.

    • Thank you Junia. I’ve always thought my mission was to teach, and never been likened to a doctor, so I am very honored with your comparison. And as far as going mad without love and beauty, I couldn’t have put it better myself! I’m glad you enjoy the blog, cr

  25. Though we live in the far West my husband and I were just in Sharon, CT. and saw your exquisite home there.
    Don’t we all have books with titles like “The 100 Most Beautiful Homes in America”…but, truly, the home you
    have created there would rank in the top of any list. Thank you for the beauty you share with all of us

    • Thank you so much Ramona, and I’m do pleased you were able to see Weatherstone. I’m honored to share the beauty, but also the hard work and hiccups along the way with you through the blog!

  26. I planted dahlias this year in our new home. I have tall stalks and big leaves, but no flowers! I’ll try them again next year, but this question is more important than asking what I did wrong. What breed is Beethoven? He’s adorable! There’s always something wonderful to read about in your books and blogs, but when you include your dogs, I enjoy them more!

    • Oh thank you Sherry. Beethoven is the largest of my four Havanese, and my constant garden companion. Fingers crossed for some dahlias next year!

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