Garden Coaching at the Garden Hut in Fuquay-Varina

november-15-2008-013How it went from giving a garden coaching seminar with Carol Stein at the Garden Hut in Fuquay-Varina, to this is still unclear, but it happened none-the-less.

Carol asked if I’d be her guest designer for her November garden forum at the Garden Hut.   “Of course,” I said.  She had limited the class to 24 thinking only 10 would show.  When she realized all 24 seats were reserved, she asked for a little help.  Good thing too.  She would probably still be there.

It was great fun.  Homeowners brought in photos of a problem area in the garden they wanted addressed.  We saw everything from a bed around a patio or drive way, to whole front yards, some a blank slate, others a natural forest.  It was sort of like speed dating (or so I hear), this was  – speed gardening.  In about 10 minutes, we would found out their sun, water, soil, use, style.  Then we gave design suggestions. 

Ever since though, I keep thinging back on  a particular photo and wished I mentioned this or that.  When I do garden coaching for a client, I usually spend a couple of hours on site and do a summary to follow in about a week.  During this time, I’m milling over many new ideas for the site in my head.  This speed gardening approach didn’t allow for this.  However, we were able to give the homeowners things to think about.  Knowing what you want and what you have to work are very beneficial and should never be underestimated.

When Carol asked me to participate, she said, “Oh, by the way, we get paid in hugs.”  I told her no problem, I work hugs.  The reason I agreed to this freebee was because of the owner of the Garden Hut, Nelsa Cox.  

It wasn’t because Nelsa, is a plant nut, although she is very knowledgeable about plants.  Nelsa also has a very nice retail nursery.  I did it because of what Nelsa does for the community, Nelsa is an integral part of the Fuquay-Varina community, as well as, neighboring cities of Holly Springs, Cary, Raleigh, Garner, and Clayton.  She really cares.  I thought it was the least I could do for all she does.

While I was there, Nelsa greeted everyone with a friendly hello and knew most of her customers by name.  It comes easy to someone who really cares. 

As Carol and I were working our way through our dozen gardens, our friend Lisa Treadaway stopped by.  Lisa owns the Little Herb House up the street.  Lisa was there to give a how-to decorating class making a basket arrangement that also allowed participants to take home goodies to transform it from it’s Thanksgiving theme to a Christmas theme whenever they felt it appropriate.  She asked Carol and me to sit with the group and make our own creation.

Carol thought her creation would work as well as a hat as it would a center piece.  I think she was on to something.

When I was putting mine together, I saw a turkey.  I decided to go with it.  I wasn’t encouraged to do so; Lisa tried to gently guide me in a more traditional direction.  But hey, if Carol can wear hers as a hat, I can make mine into a turkey. 

Maybe Lisa was right, but I like my turkey and better yet, when I got it home my kids recognized it as one!

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


The Garden Hut is located at

1004 Old Honeycutt Road

Fuguay-Varina, NC



  1. tina said

    Sounds like lots of fun.

  2. Melissa said

    Wait until you see our December Party with Carol Stein on Saturday, Dec 13. Free, but reservations required. Check out the website for info and join us at the Garden Hut for yummy food created by Carol.

  3. Thanks for this info Melissa. I have it on my calendar and hope to see you there! Tina, come on down!

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