WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS l CULTIVATE CONTAINER GARDENS
If you find yourself wandering around the city of South Haven, you just might see some eye-catching garden designs created by Lauren Cook, owner of Cultivate Container Gardens & Design.
Cook is in her seventh season designing landscapes and planting colorful beauty around homes and public spaces along Michigan’s Sunset Coast. With her creative splashes of color and an obvious talent for combining interesting flora of varying textures, shapes, sizes, and colors, she is leaving her mark everywhere you look.
During her college years, Cook worked tending the many gardens at the Morton Arboretum, west of Chicago. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science, specializing in landscape horticulture. Since graduation, she hasn’t looked back. She has been a landscape designer since launching her business in 2011, when she and her husband moved to South Haven.
Known for her love of creating landscape designs “old style,” Cook hand draws and color renders 99% of her creations. She says that her clients appreciate the skill and true artistic beauty of her designs; some have even gone so far as to frame them for posterity.
Running the business gives Cook the perfect mix of working in the office to create her designs and digging in the dirt outdoors. She enjoys creating intriguing, eye-catching designs for homes of all sizes, in the woods and on the beach, as well as producing creative container plantings and public space gardens exactly to her client’s vision.
From complete landscape renovation to new construction, Cook truly loves the challenge. She can take a photo of a home or landscape and create a conceptual look that she then overlays on the photo. This is a wonderful way to help the property owner picture the end result she has envisioned for them.
An exciting development for Cultivate is the new office space in downtown South Haven where client meetings will take place. Cook will have product samples and layouts to share, and ideas can blossom.
Trends Cook sees taking over this year? Coral! She believes it will be a hot color for 2018 and plans to use it often. She said, “It’s a versatile color that is easy to use in subtle yet striking plantings. Or combine it with hot fuschia and magenta shades to create a tropical look and feel.” Another trend she sees are monochromatic plantings in which varying shades of the same color are used to create spectacular displays. “It sounds boring, but it’s not, when done right.” A great example, she says, are moonlight plantings. Mixing white flowers and silver foliage creates a planting that shimmers in the moonlight and looks especially stunning around a campfire or beach gathering area.
Cultivate Container Gardens and Design 418 Broadway Street, South Haven, MI 49090 l 269-487-6281 l CultivateSouthHaven.com