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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

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Monday
Feb162009

Where Do I Start? Gardening Advice from Fran Sorin

The best advice, for taking the first steps in gardening, is to be found in the book “Digging Deep” by Fran Sorin. With very minor adaptations of my own, here are her suggestions:

1] When the garden plan is final and you are ready to proceed, start with the big items such as patios, pathways and large structures, such as pergolas and trees.

2] Whenever you are unsure about the size or numbers of plants, always go larger and bolder than you originally think.

3] For small gardens, use no less than three of one perennial specimen. For very larger gardens, no less than five.

4] Work in odd numbers when planting perennials. Odd numbered configurations hit the eye better.

5] If the garden is large enough, plant bushes in groups of three or more unless you are using them as an architectural statement.

6] Always know what the spread and mature height of a tree will be before you plant it.

7] Plant in flowing, wavelike lines [not in straight rows, unless it’s a vegetable garden].There are no straight lines in nature.

8] Consider leaf texture, shape, size, and color when deciding which plants to put where.

9] Place largest plants at the back of the borders and garden beds; smaller plants in front.

10] Think ahead - try to incorporate different plants that will give your garden four seasons of growth

11] Always water your plants before putting them into the ground.

Visit Fran Sorin’s website; Buy her book “Digging Deep” at Amazon.com.

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