Portland Oregon Garden Design — Specializing in urban, low-maintenance, beautiful gardens that everybody can enjoy.

Kate McMillan of Cultiverity Garden Design in Portland
About Kate McMillan of Cultiverity

In December of 2008 I moved to Portland, Oregon. Up to that point, the extent of my gardening experience had been to tend a tiny piece of the front garden of my childhood home, followed by keeping various houseplants and patio plants over the years while I moved from large city to large city.

Then, one early January day in 2009, soon after purchasing my first home, I stood, shovel in hand & covered in mud, in the falling snow as dusk approached and I experienced one of those moments that you realize in retrospect has changed your life. Creating gardens was something I’d been searching for without even knowing it. I dove in head first, and haven’t looked back.

In the years since, I’ve learned a great deal about gardening & horticulture, throwing myself into practical experimentation in my own garden, attending classes, meeting like-minded folks through the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, and also reading the numerous books and blogs by those who share my passion.

When people started asking me for advice based on seeing my own garden or hearing about my exploits, I was more than happy to give it, and I love talking with people who stop me as I work on my home garden to ask about it.

My web design business, Outbox Online, has taught me so much about running a successful business & working with clients to get what they want through goal-oriented design. But that career often keeps me cooped up in my office for hours on end with only my computer for company.

I wanted a way to spend some of my working time outside, with other people, creating spaces they love … so I started Cultiverity. A new business as of 2014, Cultiverity lets me create beautiful outdoor spaces for others using my design skills in a whole new way.

I design whole gardens, help with garden renovations, and also create container plantings. Stay tuned for photos from my garden design projects as they are implemented.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

Audrey Hepburn

A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.

Michael Pollan

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

Thomas Jefferson

If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk; If you want to be happy for three days, get married; If you want to be happy forever, make a garden.

Chinese Proverb

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.

David Hobson