If the dahlias get to taste the first frost they then change colour after they have thawed out. The ball shaped ones keep the best and most beautifully. Colours are something that spark me and inspiration sometimes comes unexpectedly, like from these frost bitten dahlias. I was filled with joy by the full and mellow colour scheme that appeared after the frost. Imagine if there where rusty brown dahlias to begin with. Or that dirty yellow colour that ‘Cornel Bronz’ got. Maybe there are?

Slow gardening & healthy gardening

I could have cut down everything that had become damaged by the frost; leaves, flowers and thrown the lot directly on the compost. It would have been rational and efficient, without a doubt. Instead I carefully cut down all delicate flowers one by one from the droopy stalks and just as carefully laid them down one by one on a tray and on a bench. They were simply too beautiful to be rationalised away. Slow gardening, to stop and catch the beautiful moments you meet, to see, hear and experience the moment makes us feel good. Gardening is healthcare. For real. Healing, curing and replenishing. To be active and creative in the garden is what keeps me going. On many levels. The garden is like a vent and a power station. If you are not in full health (like me when I started with the garden) that does give it extra significance as well. The monotonous tasks like watering, raking, weeding and others are meditative and give a calmness. That is why I like them so much. The creative part gives strength and the daily experiences give balance, a sense of belonging and to be part of something greater. We cannot affect the weather, wind or awful things in the world but we can affect our local environment in many ways. Through sustainable choices of course but also by allowing it to become our own retreat. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can go far with a balcony but even without that as well. To surround yourself with plants affects your health greatly and it allows you to land softly when you need it the most.

‘Dark Spirit’ after the frost effect.

The frost bitten flowers demand a gentle touch when they are cut down, but after that they are still nice for a few more days.

Can someone cultivate one of these dahlias please.

To be honest, I have a dream to one day work with gardening as health care, gardening therapy or something similar. The garden has helped me so much and it is what gave me back my desire and strength about eight or ten years ago. There are so many that would be helped by healing in an embracing garden environment.