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How this landscape designer watches her clients’ gardens grow across the country

The founder and namesake of Carmen Johnston Gardens has been in love with gardening her entire life.

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Gardening is in Carmen Johnston’s blood. First, she fell in love with it as a child while spending time in the garden with her father, and later, she fell in love with a man whose family was in the greenhouse business and married him. Now, she runs Carmen Johnston Gardens, a landscape design firm about an hour outside Atlanta.

But her clientele isn’t limited to central Georgia. She uses Straight Talk Wireless’s nationwide coverage to text and video chat with clients everywhere. “Thanks to Straight Talk’s nationwide coverage, I’m able to design gardens for people all over the country,” she says. One of those clients is her friend Amber who’s about to get married and buy a house. In the video above, the landscape designer teaches Amber how to make what Johnston calls a “container garden” via video chat.

“I have a secret formula for making the perfect container garden. It’s called the Three Ts,” says Johnston. “A container garden is where you take your favorite plants, whether it’s in the sun or the shade, and you mix them all together. And you got to have three Ts: something tall, something thick, and something trailing. It’s something that greets your guests with style — whether you have it at the front door or on your back porch. It’s just that perfect little bite-size garden.”

Johnston loves following a client’s garden as it grows each year. “I always have this saying: The first year it sleeps. The second year it creeps. And the third year, it leaps. I can watch their garden grow through the video chat, the text,” says Johnston. “When you create something beautiful for yourself or someone else, it just makes you feel good.”

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