Introducing P. Allen Smith

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I have great news for the readers of Tobi’s Blog!  The amazing talents of P. Allen Smith are becoming a regular feature here.  Allen will be our resident gardening guest blogger.  Each month he will bring you exciting and creative ways to make the outside of your home look as fabulous as the inside.  Please join me in extending a great welcome to P. Allen Smith!

I love visiting Italy!  I never met anyone who doesn’t.  Have you?  My first trip was when I lived in England as a student.  Since then I’ve been many times and I am always struck by how successfully they use containers in their gardens and outdoor living spaces.

This is where I learned the value of clustering containers together for bold, visual impact.  This is something even a first time gardener can do.  The rule ‘more is better’ really applies here.

Using larger rather than smaller containers is also helpful.  I like to group them (with saucers under them…..cuts down on watering!) in odd numbers of 5 or 7 together. When you get to choosing plants….we’ll my advice is to keep it simple.  Stay within a single color family.  Try all shades of pink for instance.  Keeping the plant choices to just (3) varieties also helps set up the ‘wow factor’!

Another way to amplify the visual experience is to fill each container with a single variety.  Like that outrageous ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Pink’!

And while we all love flowers make sure at least one of those containers has a foliage plant in it like a canna, heuchera, sedum or even a simple, classic, green boxwood.  The contrast of bloom and foliage help make the entire composition visually more interesting but at the same time harmonic.  The idea here is for it to ‘sing’.  And if you get all of these elements in place, you will find it will look like it is ready to break out into song!       Allen

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3 Responses to Introducing P. Allen Smith

  1. terrific post! what a great combo, love that Allen will be a regular contributor.

  2. Rosemary says:

    So exciting! What a great team you two make!

  3. Emily Ruddo says:

    Tobi – I love that you are featuring a gardening expert!! Fantastic photos Allen and can’t wait to get more tips from you. I adore Italy’s inspirational gardens as well and just can’t get enough of them :).