I love plants and good landscapes but am not a gardener. There is a large sloped bed that is visible from my living room. Over the years a number of the shrubs have died off, leaving big gaps that were inviting to weeds. When I met with Ellen Covner of Custom Gardens, LLC I told her that I wanted something that would give color, fill in the space, and be low maintenance. I said that I did not want high-end plants, but something that would be attractive and hardy. 

Ellen asked about colors and fragrances that I like or dislike. I likes purples, reds, and yellows. She sent me several suggestions for plants and combinations, and explained that the shrubs have root systems that work well on a slope. I chose Aucuba, Gold Dust which is evergreen and has yellow sprinkled on the foliage, and Callicarpa which has white flowers in the spring and purple berries in the fall. They go beautifully with shrubs already in the bed, which Ellen identified as Itea, Little Henry.

The crew worked quickly and effectively and were very professional.

Anita Zippert,

We love a beautiful landscape but neither my husband or I are interested or skilled in doing our own gardening. The plants in the front of our house had become badly overgrown and there were weeds growing around the plants. We also had some plants that looked really awful. We wanted a cleanup and new plants that would not require lots of tending. Ellen Covner of Custom Gardens, LLC met with me and understood our dilemma. Her crew cleaned up the beds, pruned the overgrown shrubs, and got rid of the dead stuff. She knew that I liked color and suggested lavender reblooming azaleas. We love them!

Kathleen Delaney,
Chadds Ford

We live in China right now, so having upgrades to our landscaping has a degree of difficulty beyond the ordinary. We needed a landscaper who could work with bad soil and only partial plantings, some of which needed corrective pruning or other care. Our goal was to finish the landscape with plants that would blend well with those on site and be low maintenance. Ellen didn’t flinch at the prospect of helping us. She is such an effective and thorough communicator that we knew our options, the costs, prices, truly everything we needed to know to make our decisions. She delivered as promised and is a very efficient and dependable landscaper. From the pictures she has sent us her work looks quite beautiful and achieved our goals. She also helped us find a good arborist and irrigation supplier, so we could easily work with the team and not need to pay a general contractor. Her prices are fair, her work is outstanding. If you are looking for a gardener landscape company that is easy to work with and dependable, I highly recommend Custom Gardens, LLC.


Ellen worked with me to rethink and to update my garden. She recommended replacements for some flowering trees which had sustained winter damage, and she suggested perennials that would provide multi season color in a unified pink/blue/white color scheme. She and her team also moved some existing plants to better locations within the garden. From start to finish, Ellen was thoughtful, professional and highly responsive to ideas and requests for the garden. She listened closely to my ideas, and offered wonderful choices for plants and flowering trees. Her team were terrific–very hard working, pleasant, and considerate. I really appreciate her using existing plants as well as adding new ones to create a more unified, peaceful and beautiful garden–which is just what I had hoped for!

Jerilynn Radcliffe,
Bryn Mawr

“We were not happy with the appearance of the landscaping in the front of our house. Ellen suggested that she and her Custom Gardens crew could rearrange our existing plants for a more coherent appearance that would better show off our home. We were thrilled with the new arrangement. The plantings look lovely. Custom Gardens will be working with us to add some new plants to give our landscaping an even more beautiful finished look!”

Carol Cinotti
Principal, Carol Tracy Designs

“I enjoy the landscaping every single day. I am so thrilled with the work Custom Gardens has done. I look back at my house as I drive up the street, and gaze at it when I come home. I sit on the deck and enjoy the back as well. The property has never looked so spectacular. I noticed neighbors standing out in front of the house, pointing and talking, as if they were going to try to incorporate some of your ideas.”

Malvern, PA

“I have a long, 3-tiered perennial garden that encompasses sun and shade. Over the years, it had gotten out of control and I needed help to rejuvenate it. I wanted someone who would listen to my ideas and after reading about Custom Gardens I called for a consultation. Ellen asked about the colors and plants that I like and made many suggestions for improving the design. She re-worked the existing plants that we found under the weeds and added to them for sweeps of color, tolerance for sun and shade, and deer resistance. Many of the plants work as groundcovers and will help keep down the weeds so I have more to enjoy and less to maintain.”

Pat Mapps
West Chester, PA

“This past year a client of mine passed away from Cancer. Ellen created a beautiful indoor condolence garden that now sits on his wife’s desk at work. Having recently suffered the loss of her husband, I was happy to be able to give her a gift that would live on long after the funeral flowers had died. Ellen’s care for her clients and her plants is obvious in her special “care instructions” that come with each indoor garden giving specific directions for how to care for the plants chosen. Personally, I could kill a fake plant but would have been able to follow the instructions that came with the garden. I am very grateful to have Ellen’s name and number at hand and to use or recommend for any of my own or my clients’, family, or friends’ custom gardening needs. Thank you Ellen!!”

Lara Eschbach

“I want to take the time to thank you and your staff for the outstanding job you did on our property in Merion Station. We needed the help of an expert. We found that in you, and your excellent team. Custom Gardens was in charge of getting the landscaping in shape, in order to sell our house. This after 8 years of neglect. Custom Gardens did great work on the first project, and that led us to hire you and your team for 3 more projects. The attention to detail, and the timely manner in which all of our objectives were met, was second to none. I am more than willing to provide verbal references to anyone that might need it. Again, thanks for the great work.”

Jeff Elias
Merion Station, PA

“When we first met Ellen Covner of Custom Gardens last April, little did we know what a transformation she would make to our yard. Our property could have been a before and after picture of HGTV’s Curb Appeal. Ellen spent considerable time with us learning our likes and dislikes in plants, flowers, and colors in order to come up with a landscape design for us. She was able to use many of our existing plants and shrubs, planting them in a more appropriate location. We think the results look great and our neighbors agree.”

Lois and Lisa
Havertown, PA

“As a realtor, I see houses in all kinds of conditions. I recommend Custom Gardens to my clients who need their house to have curb appeal. I know they will work quickly and effectively. I have used Custom Gardens for my own house and was delighted by they way they rearranged existing plants in my front yard to maximize their effectiveness and add color and texture throughout the front.”

John Brogan
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, Bryn Mawr, PA

“With a very limited palette of fall plantings available, Custom Gardens created a colorful, hardy, and imaginative series of plantings at key areas of our buildings. We had waves of colors and different heights and textures so that our residents could enjoy them whether standing up or in wheelchairs. They provided a warm welcome to visitors and staff. It was a pleasure to work with Custom Gardens.”

Linda Sterthous
CEO Martins Run Senior Residential Community, PA

“Ellen, you met with me, answered my questions and worked with me to create a garden landscape that I am proud of. You definitely exceeded my expectations. My new garden is flourishing. Thank you.”

John Lemonick
Esq. Ardmore, PA

“It was a pleasure working with Ellen and her Custom Gardens crew – a breath of fresh air – compared with others I have worked with. They were very professional and courteous. Ellen listened and helped me with exactly what I wanted to accomplish in a timely manner. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Penelope Malish
Malish & Pagonis (web and graphic design) Malvern, PA