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New Native Gardens Creates Living Art Through Plant Styling

The family business specializes in plant design, installations and weekly maintenance

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Gone are the days of filling indoor and outdoor spaces with basic pots and boring greenery. There’s a new team in town — New Native Gardens — specializing in custom plant designs, carefully conducted installations and weekly maintenance plans.

New Native Gardens brings world-class planters with striking plant combinations to Austin homes and businesses, bringing life to the spaces. Whether flanking the front door, adorning the interior foyer, or framing the pool, potted plants should never be an afterthought. They are the final layer of all exceptional spaces and deserve the same attention as art or furniture pieces. With equal expertise in interior and exterior plant needs for residential and commercial spaces, New Native Gardens approaches each project with individualized attention based on the needs of the environment and the client, and the final product becomes itself a piece of living art.

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Co-founders Jackson Giles and Matt McKenna.

The interior design brand was started in 2020 by brothers-in-law Jackson Giles and Matt McKenna. As Lead Designer, Matt, the ‘New’ in New Native, brings 18 years of experience as the former Creative Director of Garden Design at New England’s famed Winston Flowers. Jackson, a native Austinite, handles the business operations and marries local knowledge with his entrepreneurial experience, having graduated from Austin’s own Acton School of Business. They’d been dreaming for years about merging their skills into a family business and are thrilled to now be bringing life to Austin spaces together.

What makes New Native Gardens different from other garden design teams? Their specialty is planters: no traditional landscaping or in-ground plants for this crew. By focusing on container plantings, their care and intention with each proposal shows. They’re experts in what they do, seeking the best products possible.

Each planter selected by New Native Gardens is chosen for its durability, longevity and artistry. Currently, the favored manufacturer is Belgian pot maker Domani. These artisans handcraft their terracotta pots to showcase their exceptional skill, from the brush strokes of the glaze to the hand-applied patina finishes. Much like heirloom furniture, these pots evoke a feeling of timelessness while displaying a past anchored in decades of craftsmanship.

Your experience with New Native Gardens begins with setting up a design consultation where the team will speak with you about your desires for your design and any recommendations unique to your project. They work both independently with home and business owners and with esteemed local designers (Kimberly Renner and Rachel Mast, to name a few) to ensure that the styling is perfect for your unique environment.

Following the consultation, you will receive a detailed proposal outlining all the proposed containers, expertly recommended plant varieties and the project’s costs. Once the design has been approved, the team then becomes your personal plant shoppers, scouring the local area to find the absolute best-looking plants possible. The team provides detailed care plans for your plants or inquire about their weekly maintenance service.

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A newer but rapidly growing business, New Native Gardens still holds true to some old-school values — transparency, honesty and trust. “Our relationships with our clients are everything, and by having an open dialogue with them through the process, our goal is that they feel that we care and listen,” says Jackson.

Matt still gets excited about new projects and new plant-pot combos, even after all these years in the field, and it shows in each consultation, as well as in the final result: “The best part of the process is seeing the vision between myself and the client come to life. It’s so fun to see and so fulfilling to establish that trust.”

Spring is around the corner, Austin. Let these guys bring some life to your space too.