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The key to designing a beautiful garden

Candace Mallette, founder of her namesake business Candace Mallette Landscape & Garden Design, is an Orléans-based landscape designer helping blooming home gardeners beautify their outdoor spaces. 

Before growing her business, Candace “knew absolutely nothing about tending a garden.” In 2006, an expecting Candace moved to a home with an established garden.  After her son was born, Candace explored this space during his daily naps, and started researching the ins and outs of landscape design. “It excited me. I started dreaming about trees and plant combos — it almost became an obsession. But it was relaxing. Having your hands in the dirt and creating with mother nature is therapeutic.”

It didn’t take long for Candace’s practice to turn into a full-fledged business. Impressed by her garden transformation and eager to improve their own, neighbours quickly asked to hire her. “I didn’t feel 100% confident, so I took courses in horticulture at the University of Guelph. I loved it. I’m Type A, so when I do something, I want to learn everything.”

With this keen eye to detail, Candace built her niche in horticulture, “creating lush garden oases with beautiful planters and welcoming entryways.” But this vision won’t look the same for everyone, and it’s in guiding clients to realize the best design for their needs that Candace’s expertise shines. “You’re designing your garden and home with the whole family in mind. Who’s using it? Young kids are better off with unfussy, soft open spaces to play in. Consider the view from your window. You want to see something beautiful. In Canada, we design for all seasons. In the winter, you don’t want to see only cedar fences or chain links; you want layers, color and texture — just like in your house, with pillows and blankets. We’re doing that with natural elements outside.”

For Candace, the key to designing a beautiful garden is the same as designing a beautiful life. “Simplify. You don’t need thirty different plants. If you have a color you love, let it shine throughout your home. Have fun with your space. It should serve you and your family throughout every stage of your life.”

Through the pandemic, Candace’s business operations have remained largely the same. Her greatest challenge? Juggling responsibilities as a mother and business owner. What keeps her going are the resilient business women in the Heart of Orléans. “I’m so impressed by creative women who run their own businesses while caring for their families. Lynette who owns Stone Blossom Gallery is inspirational. Margaret Greenlaw, who works with me, is an incredible creative. These women are doing so much.” 

With an eye to the future, Candace is eager to welcome more designers to her team, to help more people create gardens that will grow with them. “The people I work with are very personable and know how to offer the best designs for our clients. Gardens bring people joy, and we want to continue making that experience as positive as we can.”