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Why design matters: April 2016 issue of Canadian Business Magazine

“Companies with good design outperform others by 219% yet it’s still seen as a frill. Inside are seven firms who found success with elegance. But maybe the best way to prove something is important is to take it away.” That’s all that is on the April 2016 issue of Canadian Business Magazine. The biggest omission? No front cover photo. Just plain white paper, making the point that design had been removed.

As soon as we saw it, we took a photo of the front cover and tweeted it out to Canadian Business editor James Cowan, who promptly retweeted it.

At, we’re part of the design movement. Professional and affordable garden design has not been sold to homeowners this way before. Traditionally, homeowners turned to landscapers who are predisposed to sell hardscaping (patios, decks, pools,) rather than trees and plants.

And so, we turned to page 30, as the cover suggested and found the introduction to the seven article special section on why design matters, written by Graham F. Scott. He writes: “The Design Value Index tracks a portfolio of publicly traded U.S. companies that excel at design, including Apple, Disney, Nike, and IBM. Over a 10-year period, this basket of 14 companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 219%.”

And then he quotes Carole Bilson, president of the Design Management Institute: “Design is the last differentiator.” Whether you’re selling men's suits, lunchboxes, Olympic merchandise, drones, the experience of going to the movies, Twitter, or children’s toys, great design is what makes customers coming back.

We couldn’t agree more. In garden design, we focus on the aesthetic and the functional, both hardscape and quality plant material. We focus on the organization of the available space to best advantage. Even a tiny garden can look fantastic when we apply garden design principles to it. Given a choice, homebuyers go for the house than has a well-designed garden with curb appeal rather than a yard that’s an eye sore. Yes, design does matter.


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