There is no such thing as a “finished” garden — every garden is a work in progress.
You might be looking at yours and thinking it could use a little design upgrade. We’ve been upgrading gardens for over 50 years. Mark wrote a book on the subject called “Canadian Garden Design.”
Here are our top seven tips for elevating the design of any new or existing garden:
1. Garden to your values. In gardening as in life, there is no faking it. We recommend that you focus on creating a garden that reflects what you care about. A vegetable or herb garden for the foodie, native shrubs and perennials for the bird and butterfly lover, tranquil space for those who seek it, and space to gather for those who enjoy entertaining.
2. Consider the calendar. It is one thing to have a bed of peonies surrounding your magnolia if you are only home in May to enjoy them, and for cottagers that might be the case. The rest of us live in our gardens all season long and if that’s you, make sure to choose a diverse collection of early, mid-season and late-blooming plants and flowers to maintain interest throughout the season.
To find a succession of blooming plants, appropriate for the exposure in your garden and your growing zone, go to markcullen.com and visit the library where our internal search engine will help you discover new design and plant ideas.
3. Structure is fair game. Where plant life ebbs and flows, a fence, bench, planter or sculpture provides a constant feature in the garden. Rather than try and hide your shed, consider making it part of the overall design. Window boxes full of colour, a fresh coat of paint, a chair outside the door all signal that your