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Planting a flower box is fun

Photo credit: Montreal Gazette

New coleus cultivars can tolerate sunny conditions — make sure to match the site to your plants’ preferred growing conditions.

Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette

Container garden basics

by SUSAN SEMENAK, MONTREAL GAZETTE

Planting a flower box is fun, like creating a collage out of living elements. Here are a few helpful tips from the experts:

*Make sure to match the site with a plant’s preferred growing conditions. When pairing different plants in the same pot, be sure they have similar needs for light and water.

*Choose the largest pot possible. Small containers dry out too quickly.

*Pay attention to “architecture.” Will the pot be seen from just one angle, or from many points of view? If a container is to go against a wall, position the tallest plants at the rear of the pot; in the middle, if the pot will be seen from all angles. Then add plants in order of descending height.

Be sure to include plant varieties of different heights. Horticulturist Mireille Dubuc suggests one tall plant, one medium and one trailing for a pot with a draped effect. For a rounder sphere-like effect she surrounds a tall plant with a ring of medium-height plants.

*Have fun with colour, but beware of the “pizza effect” created when too many colours compete in one composition. Two different colours is sufficient. Three colours should be the maximum.

*Use complementary colours for harmony. Pair purple and yellow; red and green; orange and blue.

Read the full article: Montreal Gazette

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.