Unusually Clever People

Garden coaches—the über-gardeners?

Susan’s experience with her landscape designer was influential to her coaching career.

Check out this interview with Ranter Susan Harris about her burgeoning coaching career. It’s by Robin Wedewer of Examiner.com.

To be honest, I’ve never thought of hiring either a garden coach or a garden designer. Except for our pond guy, no other person than me or my husband has ever imposed their aesthetic on our garden. But … maybe they should? Was Susan too kind to point out the glaring deficiencies that must have been so obvious to her when visiting last summer? Should I bring her back? I wonder. I am sure we could all use, as she says in this quote from the Examiner article, a “second pair of eyes,”

There’s also a nice sprinkling of experienced gardeners who hire me because, they say, they want a second pair of eyes on their whole garden and all the plants in it. Secretly they’re often looking for permission to get rid of some large plant that’s looked terrible for a long time and are SO relieved when I tell them that I sure would if it were my garden. (And that’s my style—not, “You should,” but “I would.”)

Sometimes, I get too involved in the present problems of plants that won’t thrive, plants I need to find space for, and, well, just plain plants. I know I spend so much time thinking about plants that I rarely consider the look of the garden as a whole. That’s where people like Susan come in. Gardeners like us, but equipped with that helpful second pair of eyes.

Posted by on June 25, 2008 at 5:00 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.
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9 responses to “Garden coaches—the über-gardeners?”

  1. susan harris says:

    Thanks for the nice plug! And I LOVED your garden – jammed pack with great-looking, healthy plants. And its design is all in the pond and the hardscape; all you have to do is plug in the plants you love, which you’ve done. A full garden can hardly go wrong, in my book.
    Here’s the post about landscape architect Holt Jordan, a friend and neighbor: http://www.gardenrant.com/my_weblog/2006/10/the_plan_that_s.html

  2. Having knowledgeable, experienced gardeners in my yard scares the crap out of me. You can’t imagine how nervous I was to have Susan, Amy, you and Michele in my yard last year – on top of that were a few local master gardeners, Terry Ettinger of Syracuse and the editor of Canadian Gardening magazine. I just know everyone was silently critiquing.

  3. eliz says:

    That’s why drinks were there. I ALWAYS try if possible to make sure everyone who sees my garden is well-plied.

  4. Thanks Eliz for the shout out. I’m thinking that I’ll invite Susan out to see my garden. She is kind enough not to laugh at some of my silly mistakes. And I trust her not to talk about me with the other garden writers. Probably in the code of ethics…


  5. susan harris says:

    Jim, your garden looked fabulous! Great food and booze, too. Only thing missing was the dance floor and DJ. S

  6. More drinks. That’s what I’m missing, a full bar. Hmmm….

  7. greg draiss says:

    Gardening drunk is fun…….

  8. Eilish says:

    You know, at first, having a gardening coach seems a little like having a life coach, that is, somewhat ridiculous. But when I thought about it, I have tons of gardening coaches in my friends and especially my mother and grandmothers and brother and uncle, who have given me tons of advice on many things over the years. I guess if you were new to gardening and didn’t know a lot of people who gardened, that would be a great thing to have if you could afford it.

  9. DJ Monet says:

    In the old days, your job would have been “consultant.” Coach is certainly more friendly. But the reality is, many people like to have a more experienced opinion and set of eyes to bounce ideas off of. Gardening has many variances in it- styles, methods, ideas, and techniques that even someone who has been gardening for years might appreciate. Hell, Susan, maybe I’ll have to hire you out! Will work for fine red wine?