Garden Design & Maintenance Certification
I’m Amy and I help beginner gardeners design impressively beautiful gardens that bring color to your landscape all four seasons, show off your personality and suit your lifestyle.

I have a diploma in Garden Design and Maintenance. I am also a professional graphic designer and (obviously) a garden lover. It didn’t take long for me to realize that all the design tricks I use at my job could also be used in my garden! So, I created my own unique system for beginner gardeners that easily combines gardening with design. It’s so much more fun than just plopping random plants in the ground and hoping for the best.

Sign up below for my free plant pairing guide and I’ll show you how it’s done.

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Here’s what others are saying about Pretty Purple Door

“Finally! A clear, concise and methodical (and friendly) resource for people who love gardening but don’t have landscape design degrees. I spent years searching online for usable information on plant bed design, plant selection, and plant placement. Everything else I’ve encountered has been complicated, confusing and/or incomplete. NOT HELPFUL! By not having a strategy, I not only suffered casualties and wasted money, but I wasted years I could otherwise spend enjoying a maturing landscape. Amy’s “chill” personality and teaching style and tools (clear and user-friendly) are excellent. The money you save by having thriving, healthy plants (instead of casualties) will more than compensate for the cost of tools and/or courses you purchase from Amy. Just remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish!” -Miyoko, Garden Planning 101 Course Student (Washington, Zone 8)

I’ve tried so hard to beautify my yard with a garden here and a garden there.  I have such grand dreams in my mind of what it will all look like when I’m done.  I picture myself sitting outside surrounded by gorgeous blooms, but the reality is pretty disappointingBefore this course I felt really overwhelmed with trying to create a cohesive and enjoyable garden. My gardening was very random, which sometimes worked out well (by accident) but oftentimes left me underwhelmed and frustrated with my garden areas. The step-by-step planning of a cohesive well-thought-out garden was exactly what I needed! Everything made sense once I put the knowledge I learned into practice. This course has given me confidence that I can create a beautiful space in my yard for any season of the year. I would definitely recommend this course to others, particularly those like me who might be struggling with the actual planning aspect of gardening. If you’re tired of wasting time randomly putting plants together in your garden that ultimately do not work or that do not work together, this course will give you tools to coordinate and PLAN your garden space. If you struggle with being a not-the-best-planner personality like me, if you fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants like me (with often lackluster and frustrating results) and are looking for a “magic formula” for planning a successful garden, I think this course is what you’re looking for! This course teaches some really great basics that you can use to build a uniquely-you garden that works.-Jaime T., 4-Season Garden Design Course Student (South Carolina, Zone 8)

We moved into our house 3 years ago and I’ve been struggling to get the landscaping to match the vision in my head. One problem is that I’ve been trying to make it work around things that were already there, but I don’t love a lot of them, so I think I’m ready to let them go and start from an almost blank slate. I’ve only gotten through the first few sections of the course, but I already feel like I have a more clear direction, so I’m really excited!” –April S., 4-Season Garden Design Course Student (North Carolina, Zone 8)

“Hi Amy!! I can’t thank you enough for your help, your hints, your hard work and research!! You have hit on every single thing I’ve always questioned but could find no clear answers. You break it down to basics which a newbie to landscaping needs!! I should know more but was busy raising [my] children and working …It’s now time to make it beautiful year round with manageable maintenance. I just want to thank you!!” Kaye C.

“I love your site…I’m a (or pretending to be a) Professional Self employed Gardener. I quit my cushy Union job to pursue my passion… Busy ever since!!! Now…I whistle while I work…I’m finally Happy!! I didn’t buy books..I didn’t go to school..I’m a closet artist…focused on manipulated beauty! You’re site..You..opened a door that I probably wouldn’t have found in a book….Thanks for that!! I look forward to putting you’re ideas into the ground…my clients are already Pleased with my work…I now have another card in my hand..Thanks Amy…Really!!” -Ron A.

“Amy, Thank you for your email! I enjoyed reading it! It’s amazing because you could have been writing about ME! I felt the same way you did and asked for help from my neighbor. Now, I take great pride in my garden and look forward to each spring when I see my perennials coming up through the dark, desolate dirt to create a colorful array of “art”. Amy, your website inspired me!! Your ideas inspired me! …I am going straight to your design plans to brighten up the front of my house. Thanks for your inspiring ideas, Amy! -Michele J.

“I am enjoying your site and posts SO MUCH! It’s like ‘finally’! Someone that speaks my language. The first thing I could relate to was the picture of your hands. No professional gardener has a perfect manicure! Your hands look like mine, so instant comradery. LOL …I just want to thank you for your guides, and guidance, I’m avidly following.-Janine H.

“Omigoodness! Where to start! First of all thank you so incredibly much for that amazingly helpful video! I am renewed with inspiration on your ideas, and everyone LOVES your fire pit idea! What fantastic ideas, I love all your thoughts on breaking [the yard] into sections – brilliant! Cannot thank you enough for taking time to make that video it was seriously so helpful!!” -Nicole C.

When I bought my home in January 2012, I loved everything about it.

Ok, so you got me. My home was (and still is) adorable– but its certainly not perfect. But, I achieved my dream of being a homeowner before the age of 30. And I was single. And a girl. And it was a big, huge deal for me.

I was so freaking proud of my musty, cobweb-ridden investment that literally had insulation jammed into a hole in the wall where a window should have been. I didn’t care. It was mine. And to be honest when I look back at pictures I don’t really remember it looking like that. I think that in my eyes, my home always looked the way I dreamed it would look… not how it actually looked.
Pictures don’t lie… the brutal “insulation to fill the hole in the wall” window replacement saga
My proud dad. He refers to this as “the day the eagle died“.
My dad was proud, too. In fact, my dad is the reason that this whole blog started. For nearly a full year, he (and my mom, family and countless friends) helped me to fix my place up!

But, my dad was right there with me through it all that first year. And I’m not talking like… “oh he helped me paint the kitchen and it was a great day.” No. I’m talking “weekdays, weekends, up at 6 AM parging the foundation, climbing onto the roof to paint/clean out the chimney” type stuff.

I love to take pictures and while we worked on my house I was secretly taking pictures of dad. And that night I would sit down and write a blog post about what we did that day. He had no idea… and for nearly a year I documented our journey in a personal blog I called “Pretty Purple Door” — because he thought it was so stupid that I wanted to paint my door purple. Little did he know, this was the tip of the iceberg and I’d soon have him helping me make a floor using REAL pennies!! 🙂

And… on Christmas in 2012 after nearly a year of DIYing, I sat my dad down at the computer and showed him his gift. He started at the beginning and read every single post. And then he read them backwards. And from beginning to end… again… lol.

So, the “thank you” gift to my amazing dad was complete and my first year of home ownership (2012) came to an end. Although I had no intentions of continuing to write, I found myself referencing my blog to recall dates and materials more often than I care to reveal. One day, I opened an email from someone who was reading my blog and telling me how helpful its been to them.

To be honest, it was a bit curious/strange to me at first that someone was reading my dad’s “gift-blog”. But emails kept coming in from other home owners who were finding a lot of value in my documented journey. These emails really meant a lot to me… and to know that I was helping some other people navigate this home ownership stuff was enough reason for me to continue writing. So, here we are over 6 years later still on this journey. And it’s evolved into such a unique and special community that I had no freaking idea was ever possible. So, thank you for checking out my blog… and learning a little bit more about me. I’m really excited to hear about you, too! So if you’d like, you can email me directly at [email protected].

All my best,


Check out the updated photos!

It’s safe to say a lot has changed since I bought my home back in January, 2012. Why don’t you check out the photo gallery to see all of the updates!

What Blooms with What?

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

Powered by ConvertKit
Hey, since you're already signed up for my emails, you may be interested in my Free Gardening Secrets video training.