Need Help?

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

Entries in perennial flower compositions (2)


The Big Brown Fence

I removed a row of honeysuckle shrubs that ran along my property line and discovered that my neighbor had discreetly installed a brown mesh fence complete with privacy strips. Brown is not my preferred color. It clashes with the main color scheme of my garden. But that fence is a reality that I have to deal with it. What a great excuse to introduce new colors into my garden.

The photo above demonstrates how I have come to terms with a color that is not of my choosing. As you can see, the perennials have begun to camouflage parts of the fence and appear to neutralize whatever it is about the color brown that I dislike. In the picture from left to right, I have planted the scarlet red Lychnis chalcedonea, Anthemis tinctoria “Wargrave” with Nepata "Walker's Low" cascading in front over the rocks, followed by Lychnis coronaria, Achillea yellow something and Anthemis tinctoria “Kelwayi”.

This photo was shot prior to staking all of the yellow perennials. While they look rather elegant as they spread in all directions to bask in the sun, they are actually taking up valuable space that I need for my southern-exposure test garden. Now that I have digitally frozen the new color composition, I will begin to tidy up this part of the garden. There are new varieties of Gaillardia, Coreopsis, Helenium, Echinacea and Eupatorium that are waiting for their spot in the sun in order to grow.


Web Photos That I Like

One of the challenges associated with designing perennial gardens is photographing them after they are planted. Very few successful gardeners are able to transfer their talents to the camera. Somehow, gardens don’t like photographers. Pictures of perennial compositions are never as impressive as the image that we see with the naked eye. Perhaps that is why renowned photographers who garden choose to post close-up images of individual flowers instead.

Recently, I received a comment on my blog from a reader who accomplished the almost impossible. He has taken impressive photographs of a perennial garden. Above is one example of his work. Click on the image to see additional beautiful pictures.