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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

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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Designing With Containers

Imagine that our dream gardens are now flourishing. Every plant, and flower, hardy in our Zone, is now in place. It looks exactly as we hoped it would. However....we look around and by comparison, the patio area of our back yard looks cold and hard.

An effective way to soften hard surfaces outdoors is to resort to container gardening. By strategically placing large flowerpots in such areas and by filling the pots with plants whose foliage or color scheme echoes a garden beyond, we are better able to integrate the hardscape with the landscape. Decks, patios, paths and stairways will look better. Containers help to create a visual flow that allows the eye to wander back and forth between the soft garden and the hard outdoor living areas. The composition in the above photo is the work of Johnson's Legacy Landscapes. Notice how the flowerpot unifies the garden by drawing the background landscape into the patio area in the foreground.

While I might know where to place containers of flowers, the filling and planting of them are not my specialty. If ever I should need to complete a landscape with flowerpots, I will consult those who know more about this subject than I do. One of them will be Brad Kemp. Container gardening is his field of expertise. He contacted me recently via e – mail and asked if I would agree to be interviewed for his site, Container Gardening for

I expected a few polite inquiries. What I got instead was a list of thoughtful and inspiring questions compiled by someone who took the time and trouble to get know me through my writing. That, in itself, is an undeniable talent. When I completed answering the questions, I realized that we had created a unique blog posting that could stand on its own. However, since they are Brad Kemp’s questions, that posting belongs to him alone. I invite you to click here, to read the interview.

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Reader Comments (2)

I really like the photo. Those flowers placed on the container is very beautiful. I really love to have them in my garden.

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramerican's gardening

Very nice post. Thanks for sharing this. I love having my own garden too.

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