Floratopia

November 8th, 2021

with landscape designer and author Jan Johnsen

In this week’s episode of Down the Garden Path, Matt and Joanne welcome landscape designer and author Jan Johnsen to learn more about her book Floratopia – 110 Flower Garden Ideas for Your Yard, Patio, or Balcony. Her latest book is packed with colourful photos exploring the many flower varieties for spaces of all sizes and addresses common gardening questions, with great tips for gardeners of all skill levels.

Jan Johnsen began her professional life in Japan in a landscape architecture office. She has been a principal in the landscape design firm Johnsen Landscapes and Pools, based in Westchester NY, for more than 30 years. Her natural design approach is evident in the landscapes that she shares in her books: Heaven is a Garden, The Spirit of Stone, and Gardentopia. And of course, the book we’re going to talk about today: Floratopia.

Don’t miss Joanne and Matt’s conversation with landscape designer and author Jan Johnsen.

Some of the questions and topics covered:

  • What inspired your latest book ‘Floratopia’?
  • The format change is different from your earlier books. Why is that?
  • Tell us about your other books.
  • Your book is filled with so many wonderful tips, one of them being the benefit of not cutting plant material back.
  • Does every design you do involve a pool?
  • The use of annuals in the landscape and the value they add to the garden
  • Dutch landscape designer Piet Ouldof’s garden design tips
  • Claude Monet designed the gardens he painted.
  • What are some of your favourite perennials to use in containers?
  • The power of umbel-shaped flowers.
  • When you do a design, do you spec annuals for a landscape?
  • Deer-resistant, not deer-proof, flower gardens and plants: what can we plant?
  • Jan is startig a new online course touring her gardens and sharing her knowledge in the spring of 2022.

Where to find Jan Johnsen online:


Each week on Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes.

As the owner of Down2Earth Landscape Design, Joanne Shaw has been designing beautiful gardens for homeowners east of Toronto for over a decade.

And Matthew Dressing is a horticulturist and landscape designer. He owns Natural Affinity Garden Design, a landscape design and garden maintenance firm servicing Toronto and the Eastern GTA. Together, Joanne and Matthew do their best to bring you interesting, relevant and helpful topics. Their goal is to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.

Don’t forget to check out Down the Garden Path on your favourite podcast app and subscribe!

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