Garden Tips from a Master Gardener with a Historic Mckinney Home Outdoor Tour with the McCabes

Welcome back, FHL family!

Today, we have an incredible garden tour lined up for you, featuring the stunning outdoor spaces of Doug and Kathy McCabe. Doug is not only a master gardener but also has spent years transforming their historic McKinney home into a beautiful oasis with his wife Kathy who is an amazing designer.

Join us as we explore their lush gardens, charming patios, and impressive potting sheds, while picking up some expert tips along the way.

The Journey Begins: From Nothing to a Garden Paradise

When Doug and Cathy moved into their home 13 years ago, the yard was a blank slate. “There was nothing here except the trees,” Doug recalls. Over the years, they’ve meticulously planned and developed each area, creating a harmonious balance between hard and soft landscaping. The structured hedges provide a timeless framework, while the soft hydrangeas and other perennials add seasonal color and interest.

Pro Tips from Doug:

  1. Start with a Vision: Focus on one area at a time and see it through to completion before moving on to the next.
  2. Mix Hard and Soft Landscaping: Use structured elements like hedges for a year-round backbone, and soften them with seasonal plants.
  3. Consider Light Conditions: Choose plants that will thrive in your garden’s unique light conditions.
  4. & Most of All — CHOOSE WHAT YOU LOVE!

Home Curb Appeal: Making a Great First Impression

The McCabe’s home boasts incredible curb appeal, thanks to thoughtful plantings and design elements that welcome visitors from the moment they arrive. From perfectly manicured hedges to charming flower beds, every detail is designed to impress.

Creating Year-Round Beauty

One of the secrets to Doug’s success is his ability to ensure the garden looks beautiful throughout the year. He strategically plants species that bloom in succession, ensuring there’s always something in bloom.

Pro Tips from Doug:

  1. Plan for Seasonal Interest: Include plants that bloom at different times to ensure continuous color.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: Gardening involves trial and error. If something doesn’t work, replace it and try again.

A Garden of Moments

Doug and Kathy’s garden is filled with charming “moments,” or small, beautifully designed areas that draw you in. From cozy benches surrounded by flowers to a peaceful fountain area, each space is thoughtfully crafted.

Not all of our tours include marriage tips, but when the homeowners have been married for 46 years, you know there are great takeaways. This amazing couple shared that Kathy has full range of the interior and Doug has full range of the exterior, but they are also clearly talented in collaborating together.

Transforming the Home: From Windows to Patios

When they first purchased the home these stunning patio spaces didn’t exist. They converted old windows into patio doors to create a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. This significant change added accessibility and charm to their home. Doug shared that this patio is where they often eat breakfast on Sundays!

Caring for the Giants: The Oldest Red Oak in McKinney

One of the garden’s highlights is a massive Red Oak, believed to be the oldest and largest in McKinney. Doug emphasizes the importance of caring for these old trees, feeding them twice a year and trimming them regularly to keep them healthy and strong. This tree trunk truly had the thickest circumference I’ve ever seen!

Potting Shed: A Functional and Beautiful Space

The McCabe’s potting shed started as a storage unit for Kathy’s store, My Favorite Room, but has evolved into a charming, functional space where they overwinter plants and keep garden supplies.

Even the bag of potting soil on the floor felt charming and added to the over all aesthetic. If you love this design style and are in the DFW Kathy’s store is most definitely for you!

Guest Cottage: A Cozy Retreat

Above the potting shed is a creatively designed guest cottage, complete with a kitchenette made from repurposed furniture. When I saw how they made this little kitchenette so discrete while still having all the function of a full kitchen, I was shocked and so impressed. This space offers a warm and welcoming environment for guests, showcasing Kathy’s impeccable design skills.

Kathy’s Office: A Creative Hub

Kathy’s office is also in a separate structure in the backyard. We didn’t get to share in our fire tour so I was thrilled to share this time.

It’s a space filled with creativity and inspiration. It serves as the command center for her design projects, reflecting her unique style and attention to detail.

Greenhouse: Nurturing Plants Year-Round

Doug’s greenhouse is a vital part of his gardening setup. It’s where he starts seeds, overwinter plants, and experiments with new species. This space is both practical and essential for maintaining the garden’s year-round beauty.

Outside the greenhouse are the most stunning hydrangeas. They continue in a giant grain trough that was once in Kathy’s store. This giant trough is such a statement! Doug says Proven Winners are your best bet for hydrangeas.

From Pool to Stunning Den

In a major transformation, Doug and Kathy removed their underutilized pool and replaced it with a stunning den. This new space offers a comfortable and inviting area for relaxation and entertaining, blending indoor and outdoor living seamlessly.

The BIGGEST Take Away: Do What You Love

Doug’s number one tip for aspiring gardeners? Do what you love. Whether it’s hydrangeas, irises, or a mix of everything, your passion will drive your success.

Thank you for joining us on this enchanting garden tour. We hope you found inspiration and practical tips to apply in your own garden. Remember, a beautiful garden is a labor of love, patience, and creativity.

Follow Doug and Kathy:

Instagram: My Favorite Room

Explore the Full Interior:

To view the full interior of the McCabe’s home, check out the home tour we shared earlier this year.

Until next time, happy gardening!

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