There are people who coach people in sports, business and many other activities. Garden coaches help people become better gardeners. A coach is an extra tool for people who like to garden, but need some expert guidance to help them make the most of their landscape. Coaching is a collaborative process with personalized advice and hands-on training.
How is a garden coach different from a landscaper?
Coaches teach homeowners how to care for their gardens; landscapers are hired by homeowners to actually do the work in the garden.
Who hires a coach?
Anyone with a garden who likes to garden and has questions! Coaching is especially helpful for:
• New homeowners who need to know what’s growing in their garden and how to care for it.
• Experienced gardeners who want feedback on new garden projects they’re planning to undertake.
• People hoping to take on more of their own gardening, but don’t have the extensive knowledge or skills and need some one-on-one advice.
A garden coach—or mentor or tutor—points you in the right direction and shows you how to get started. Think of a visit from a garden coach as a horticultural house call.
What to look for in a good garden coach?
You want an experienced gardener who knows a lot about plants and their care. Look for someone who has studied horticulture and landscape design or is a Master Gardener. Coaches need to be good communicators, too.
How does it work?
The coach will arrange a convenient time to visit you in your garden. They will answer your questions, offer specific suggestions for problem areas and advise you with anything else you need help with. For instance, you may want offer tips on how to make your garden more low maintenance, more visually interesting, more environmentally responsible. The coach should prepare a report as a record of what was discussed, including specific plant care information, a pruning timetable, soil improvement recommendations—basically, a customized schedule with useful information to help you keep your garden on track.
To get the most out of a coaching session, think in advance about your gardening goals, particular challenges, how much time you want to devote to gardening and any particular design or plant questions prior to the visit.