Nature / Slovenia / Travel

Falling for Ljubljana


I’ve always been a four-seasons-kinda girl. I’m not talking about hotels or restaurants, but rather the changing of the seasons. And I love each and every one of them for entirely different reasons. So when we landed in lovely Ljubljana, my heart soared. It was Fall.

Autumn has always been one of my personal faves, and as my sister Susan reminded me, it was our Dad’s favorite, too. As kids, he’d take us out “gleaning” in nature to find treasures to decorate the house for Fall. He taught us how to search along fence rows for bittersweet, wade just to the edge of ditches to reach some prime cattails, and pull miles of grapevines from trees and bushes (being careful not to grab the poison ivy, instead). Once we’d gathered all the ingredients, we went home to get creative. We’d form grapevine wreaths in an old washtub, decorate them with bittersweet and cattails, and deck the halls. Thanks Dad for this lovely memory.

In Ljubljana, Autumn is in its full glory. It looks a lot like home. Japanese Maples are burnished copper, Ash trees are golden yellow, Pokeweed is sporting royal purple clusters, and the Virginia Creeper (I bet they don’t call it that here) is covering houses in crimson blankets.

I spied some mystery plants that I don’t recognize, so I’m hoping you gardeners out there can help me identify these dainty white flowers and red berries gracing these branches.


57 thoughts on “Falling for Ljubljana

  1. The red berries are rose hips of the common dog rose ( that grows wild everywhere you go, and is used as a medicinal plant. You might have seed a marmalade or tea made from them – Šipek in Slovene.

    But the white flower is a mystery I’d love to crack. It’s most often seen in older gardens come october and comes in a light rose variety as well.

    • Thank you so much for the plant information. Is there a floral scent and flavor to the rose hip tea and marmalade?
      The little white flowers are a mystery to me, too. I’ve tried looking them up in plant encyclopedias with no luck. They’re probably one of those old-fashioned, heirloom plants our grandparent knew well. No matter what, they sure are pretty. 🙂 Thanks again, Terri

      • The tea has a nice fruity taste, lightly acidic due to its high vitamin C content, and a brilliant red colour. I drank it a few times in the past, especially during the flu season. The rose hip marmalade is a staple in Slovenian cuisine, most often used in baked sweets or just spread on a piece of bread. It’s not as sweet as a plum or apricot marmalade, but still a great marmalade. I like it with crepes in the summer.

        I finally identified the white flowers (thanks for the tip, Christie) – they are a type of japanese anemones: Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. Now to find where to get a plant for my mother’s garden. 🙂

      • You’re amazing, Swytla! I am now on a quest to find both the tea and the marmalade to sample. They sound delicious. And as for identifying the Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. – Thank You. I see that they live in North American Zones 4-8, so I should be able to grow it … but I’ve never seen one in the garden center. I hope you can find one for your mother’s garden. Wishing you all the best, Terri

  2. I have to admit to loving 3 seasons out of the 4, Terri, but I’m pretty sure I could get by without winter. 🙂 🙂 Lovely colours. Even in the Algarve there were signs of autumn.

    • I used to feel the same way about winter, Jo … but then I moved to Florida for a while. I realized that I truly missed both Autumn and Winter, so I’m back living in four seasons and I love it. Although I must admit that when the temperatures plummeted yesterday to 17 degrees (-8), I was reconsidering this stance! 🙂 ~Terri

  3. Surprisingly I too love all the seasons and cherush the changes, but when we lived in Chicago the winters were too cold and too long. Way too long. So now here in Sri Lanka it is eternal summer and luckily we got the joys of Spring by visiting family in May.

    What a wonderful gift your father passed down to his children.


    • Peta, I spent many of my teenage years living in Chicago, too!!! You’re right, winter was bitterly cold, and I can’t ever remember a snow day. The sidewalk snow blower would come by every morning, and then we’d walk to school in a white tunnel. Fortunately, we now live in Kentucky where all the seasons are generally mild and we only get a few snows … just enough to satisfy my seasonal craving. 🙂

      I can appreciate that Sri Lanka is eternal summer – we used to live in Florida. So glad you could visit your family and get a taste of Spring. And yes, my Dad did give us a wonderful gift – I’m hunting for cattails today! 🙂 ~Terri

    • Thanks so much, Laura. I’m so glad to hear that you got your RV repaired and are back on the road again. You may already be in Florida. I’m sure you were glad to avoid winter in Alaska. Enjoy that Florida sun! 🙂 ~Terri

  4. What a perfect combo – one of my favorite little cities and the glowing beauty of fall. I love this part of fall – the colors, the smells, the change into sweaters and boots for the first time in months – but as late fall arrives, and the trees go bare, I want to go backward! Like you (Terri) and Peta, I spent many a (very much too long) winter in Chicago, and now that I’m warming my bones in Texas, I will happily enjoy winter as a visitor only!

    No idea about the little white flowers, but your memories of outdoor gathering with your dad remind me of my nature-loving parents and our outdoor forays. Very sweet.

    • Lexie, I didn’t know you lived in the Windy City! Small world, huh? I also weathered many an ice storm when living in Dallas, so I know you’re not totally spared the bite of winter. I was just reveling in wearing my first sweater this morning. Like you, I’m not crazy about the bare trees (unless they’re covered in snow), so I plant all the evergreen plants I can get my hands on. It helps balance out the bareness.

      So, your parents were nature lovers, too. Did you do a lot of camping as a kid? ~Terri

      • We were in Chicago for 26 years – raised our kids there – and just moved to Houston in 2017. We traveled and hiked a lot as a family but never really camped together. We all got sent to traditional outdoor camps, though, so those two things along with a big back yard bordering a woods in Pennsylvania meant we got lots of nature time!

    • Thanks Michelle and Lars! Looks like you were on the same track as Christie and Swytla (above and below) thinking that the white flower is a Japanese anemone. Swytla identified it as Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. It looks so old-fashioned and pretty. ~Terri

  5. I’ve never heard of a Dog Rose so I must look that up on Google. The small white flowers look like those of berries such as the blackberry or the strawberry, both of which are low growers, so this plant may be an Old Rose variety. Sorry I’m not helpful here! but I did enjoy all that charming Virginia Creeper covering the walls of the building, and the pokeweed close-up photo. Earlier this fall I wrote about pokeweed on my blog at Invitation to the Garden.

    • I always fall for Virginia Creeper covering a building or wall. And I’m glad I’m not the only one stumped by the flowers. I saw your beautiful post on pokeweed – which I often confuse with Beautyberry. 🙂 ~Terri

  6. Lovely photos! Autumn is a favourite season in Canada too, so many beautiful colours!
    I think the white flower is one of the many Anemone x hybrid, or at least it looks like:)
    The red berries are rosehips, they are found in all herbal tea mixtures, very rich in vitamin C. I was looking myself for a Rosa Canina plant, but I guess they are not very popular in North America, at least in Canada LOL
    Happy travels! Christie

    • You’re a wizard, Christie! 🙂 It looks like you cracked the mystery of the white flowers, and thanks to your clue, Swytla (up above) identified it as Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. I see it was originally from Verdun, France. Now if I can just find one to try in my garden I’ll be thrilled. Thanks for the great info. All the best, Terri

      • Ha, ha, you’re funny Terri! Not at all a wizard, but very glad that Swytla was able to identify it. Hope you can find one for your garden, it looks really pretty! Christie

  7. ROSA CANINA found on Google: “Rosa canina, commonly known as the dog rose, is a variable climbing, wild rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa, and western Asia. It is a deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1–5 metres, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees.” Wikipedia

    Rosa Canina bears pink blossom fading into white toward the center, open-face like the white ones in your photograph, so these blossoms and berries are not the same plant, as you may already have surmised. It’s called “Dog Rose” because, in the 18th century, it was used to treat dogs with rabies. Shakespeare called it “Eglantine” and that variety I do know! Still doesn’t tell us what the white flower is, does it?

    • How fascinating! Thanks a bunch. I’m so curious about the treatment of rabies in dogs. Do you know if it had any impact?

      And as for the little white flowers, some folks identified them as a type of Japanese Anemome … Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ to be specific. Now if I can just find one in the garden center! 🙂 Thanks for all your help. ~Terri

    • Leslie, I’m a cold-weather wimp, so I’m with you there. But, having said that, it’s nice to live in a place that has 4 distinct seasons, none of which are severe. I’ve lived in a few places that basically have one hot and one cool season, and it gets boring. ~ James

  8. What a lovely memory of your father, Terri. Fall can be so pretty and decorating the house with foliage you found would certainly make it extra special. Ljubljana in the fall looks so wonderful.

    • Thank you, Darlene. My Dad certainly instilled my love of nature and the changing of the seasons. We just had our first snow this morning here in Lexington, Ky, and I celebrated by standing outside catching snowflakes on my tongue … just the way he taught me. 🙂 ~Terri

    • Many thanks, Gilda. I remember Dorset well, and know that it’s gorgeous any time of the year

      You’re right about my Dad – he always surprised me with his creativity. He was great at assembling a bunch of “stuff” and figuring out what he could make from it. James says it rubbed off on me because I like to take whatever is in the fridge and whip up a meal. 🙂 ~Terri

  9. I’m a two seasons kinda gal but we can’t get to my favorite two without enduring both winter and summer which means I tolerate those. Lovely fall photos, you have a wonderful eye for the shots.

    • The key for me is that none of our four-season weather is severe. For years we lived in places with very long, hot summers and no significant winter, and it really gets boring after a while. When we lived in Sudan, we went for one entire year and didn’t see one drop of rain. Since then, I have a new perspective on rainy weather. ~James

  10. Like you, I have fond memories of playing with my dead in the colorful leaves every fall when growing up. Fall is a beautiful season, for sure. But, it didn’t keep me from preferring to travel and live in the tropics, or the warmer parts of the US. “I can always go back and visit my husband’s family in New England or my own family in Belgium, if I want to experience fall,” I thought. Yet, this year, fall started early up north, as we seem to have followed it all the way down from Vancouver Island to Southern California. Three months of fall already. And, I have your beautiful Ljubljana photos to reminiscence even more. Now, let summer be back soon! I hate being cold. 🙂

    • Liesbet, it sounds like we have similar stories. I grew up and spent much of my life in four-season places. But, I also spent lots of time in hot … to very hot, two season places. I complain, but truth be told, I prefer four seasons. Luckily, where we live in Kentucky, none of our seasons are too long or very harsh, so the changes make it nice. But, having said that, like you, I hate being cold. I’ve finally decided that it’s just a matter of more layers and a warm comforter in every room. 🙂 ~James

  11. I love your pictures and description. Dog rose is very common here in England. I have some in my garden but leave the hips for the birds. People used to give rose hip syrup to babies for the vitamin C.

    • Anne, I’m reading an interesting series of post-apocalyptic novels by James Kunstler (“World Made by Hand” series) in which everyone sorely misses their black tea. They’ve come up with some substitutes and one of the most popular and widely available teas after armageddeon is rose hip. ~James

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