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Scandinavia’s Martha Stewart: A Garden Visit with Claus Dalby in Denmark

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Scandinavia’s Martha Stewart: A Garden Visit with Claus Dalby in Denmark

June 14, 2021

It’s fortunate for us that Danish gardener Claus Dalby is a regular on Instagram, since he can no longer claim to be Scandinavia’s best kept secret. In Claus, the discernment and drive of Martha Stewart is seasoned with the jollity of Alan Titchmarsh, and yet so much more.

Not content with being watched by 20 million viewers and seeing his books filling up the aisles of supermarkets and garden centers, Claus is expanding his presence on the world wide web. He is a force of nature fully deserving of a global, post-Danish audience.

Join us for a spring preview of Claus Dalby’s Nordic garden:

Photography by Claus Dalby.

The center of Dalby&#8\2\17;s universe, his house and garden in Risskov, Denmark. Describing himself as &#8\2\20;a garden artist; a flower artist&#8\2\2\1; he is also a successful book publisher, television personality, and designer of covetable hand-blown glass vases for Holmegaard (distributed worldwide).
Above: The center of Dalby’s universe, his house and garden in Risskov, Denmark. Describing himself as “a garden artist; a flower artist” he is also a successful book publisher, television personality, and designer of covetable hand-blown glass vases for Holmegaard (distributed worldwide).
Claus is not a plant collector as such, he just likes &#8\2\20;nice plants in nice colors.&#8\2\2\1; But everything he does is done with great gusto. In the brief time allowed for summer in Scandinavia, his garden fires on all cylinders. Since there is an unusually high density of plants per inch, it follows that he relies on three gardeners as well as himself. They also tend \2,000 pots and three greenhouses.
Above: Claus is not a plant collector as such, he just likes “nice plants in nice colors.” But everything he does is done with great gusto. In the brief time allowed for summer in Scandinavia, his garden fires on all cylinders. Since there is an unusually high density of plants per inch, it follows that he relies on three gardeners as well as himself. They also tend 2,000 pots and three greenhouses.
The garden is rarely open to the public but that doesn&#8\2\17;t mean that we are kept out. As Claus puts it, &#8\2\20;I am always sharing it in other ways.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The garden is rarely open to the public but that doesn’t mean that we are kept out. As Claus puts it, “I am always sharing it in other ways.”

Claus Dalby's spring garden in Denmark

Above: Claus is a prolific writer of best-selling garden books, with his own garden providing constant inspiration. His book on spring gardens (Forårshaver) starts at home, though there is so much else to see that we don’t linger here after Chapter One. A quick browse of Klematis, the publisher which he co-founded in 1985, reveals some of his vast output, all of it tempting and all in Danish.

Nice plants in nice colors, Fritillaria meleagris.
Above: Nice plants in nice colors, Fritillaria meleagris.
On the internet, &#8\2\20;Claus Dalby&#8\2\17;s Garden Club&#8\2\2\1; will be available to those of us who want more Claus, from \1 March this year. For a monthly subscription, it will be full of his glorious photos, demonstrating design ideas for the garden as well as more detailed work with floral art. He will also be traveling—oh joy—so there will be more opportunities to see him speaking, and his English is good.
Above: On the internet, “Claus Dalby’s Garden Club” will be available to those of us who want more Claus, from 1 March this year. For a monthly subscription, it will be full of his glorious photos, demonstrating design ideas for the garden as well as more detailed work with floral art. He will also be traveling—oh joy—so there will be more opportunities to see him speaking, and his English is good.
The furniture and ornaments that earn a place in the Dalby garden have passed a rigorous taste test, whether rustic or formal.
Above: The furniture and ornaments that earn a place in the Dalby garden have passed a rigorous taste test, whether rustic or formal.
Besides its spring perfection, Claus Dalby&#8\2\17;s garden keeps him busy in every season. Flowers are brought indoors from the glass houses, interior design being another of Claus&#8\2\17; abiding interests.
Above: Besides its spring perfection, Claus Dalby’s garden keeps him busy in every season. Flowers are brought indoors from the glass houses, interior design being another of Claus’ abiding interests.
Living walls and considered paving keep this garden moving along in winter, before the onslaught of spring bulbs.
Above: Living walls and considered paving keep this garden moving along in winter, before the onslaught of spring bulbs.
The charismatic Claus Dalby, at home in Denmark.
Above: The charismatic Claus Dalby, at home in Denmark.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on February 6, 2017.

For more Nordic garden inspiration, see:

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