There’s a coach for everything else – sports, business, life – it would only follow there would be a coach for gardening.
Yea, you just took that job you longed for. Not only are you now working in a new city, you realize you will also be gardening with a new challenge – a whole zone difference. Back home, in your zone 8 garden, you were happy as a lark, comfortable with your knowledge of what to do when, what will do well, what wont. You may have hated that sand you had to work with, but at least you knew what to do with it. Now, faced with learning to garden in a new zone, you wonder where to begin. Now what? Can I grow Crepe Myrtles? What’s that worm eating my lettuce?
The concept of working with a gardening coach has been around for a very long time, it’s the term that’s new. A gardening coach will work with people at any level and for many reasons. From an initial consultation offering design suggestions to a full design with installation and everything in between, a gardening coach can help you become a better gardener.
It is still recommend involving yourself with your local community, to learn and to connect. That much remains the same. Visit local botanical gardens or arboreta and read the local garden column in the newspaper and regional publications and blogs. But to kick start your journey, and to save from making costly mistakes, working with a local gardening coach will get you up to speed fast.
Susan Harris has made this process of finding a gardening coach easier with her blog The Gardening Coach Blog the resource for and about gardening coaches. Here, she lists Worldwide Directory of Gardening Coaches (If you are a gardening coach and not listed, check out this blog and get in touch with Susan, she will list you in the directory.) Check out this listing, the coverage of the gardening coaches is inspiring.
As with working with most gardening coaches, a relationship is formed. From here, you can gauge what level you want to take on yourself and how much you want to rely on your gardening coach.
Over the years, many of my clients started out wanting me to do it all. But I find that when you’re talking about building a garden, as opposed to a landscape, the conversation changes. Most anyone can care for your landscape, but your garden has special needs. To this end, a gardening coach shines. They become part of your team creating your garden.
My desire when I started my business in 2001, was to have my client’s involvement. I believed they would “own” their garden if they participated in the care of it. This has proven true. Some took longer than others for this buy-in, but in the end, all are more active than they ever thought they would be or what they thought possible.
Below are some of the many reasons gardening coaches are called upon:
- To seek “permission” to do what they want to do. A second opinion – someone to bounce ideas off of
- Suggestions on how to reduce lawn size and where
- Understanding the garden that came with their new home
- Tidying up the garden to put the home on the market
- Adding seasonal interest such as planting spring bulbs in the fall, summer longevity, fabulous fallscapes, and winter blooming flowers
- New to the area and unfamiliar with the plants that will do well in the new zone
- To add a patio, water feature, paths, children’s play ground
- To draw a full plan to scale
- To draw a concept plan
- To share resources
- To buy plants with
There’s no reason to go it alone. Contact a gardening coach near you.
Written by Helen Yoest with Gardening With Confidence in Raleigh NC Gardening With Confidence