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The joy of container gardening.

My first garden design client had a hillside landscape in almost complete shade that had been planted with ivy…! After several months of ripping out roots up to two inches thick, she commissioned me to install a container garden that would not be subject to invasion. Several hours of root pulling and chopping with the axe preceded our moving pottery containers of all sizes into place. This will ensure the plantings are more or less impervious to the twining green ropes, at least temporarily!

I created structure for the garden by using a combination of deciduous shrubs of various heights with four season interest, and several winter and spring blooming perennials, to give some color and interest until the spring planting season begins. I brought in several varieties of Hellebores, shade tolerant, winter-blooming specimen plants with wonderful leaf shape and fabulous colors on tall nodding flower bracts that will bloom for several months, till summer. I also featured Osmanthus “Nishiki”, a variety of Japanese holly, that features tiny frangrant flowers in fall. This lemon yellow variety was found planted on site, giving a lively and unusual profile to the winter garden.

Next will be to incorporate flowering annuals, and continue the circle of pots that surround the central area, which will be developed with boulders and rocks to create a streambed, with water flowing downhill and captured in a pool to be pumped back to the “spring” at the top if the rise. My client has big dreams– and this will resolve the problem of three large tree stumps which had to be left in place for erosion control. The final phase will be to create some large beds for summer flowering perennials in the lower part of the garden— the only area to receive direct sun in the summer months.

This challenging lot features stunning views of an arm of Puget Sound, and the homeowner has wisely created a long upstairs deck with a transparent roof from which to enjoy the expansive vista.