Many people have never heard of garden coaching. I don’t even know if it’s a common term in all areas. Some people may refer to it as a garden consultation. I consider them the same thing.
Not everyone needs a full 3D landscape design for their yard, but they do need help in identifying plants, knowing what to do to properly care for the plants and even help with particular areas they are not happy with or that don’t feel finished with.
For example, a new home purchase can be stressful and overwhelming. There is often so much to do upon moving in that the outside get put on the back burner. Not an issue if you move during the cold Michigan months. However, if it’s June and the garden is in full swing, it can get away from you fast. A Garden Coaching session can help you identify plants, learn about the care needed and even give you ideas to improve certain areas of the landscape. Maybe you just need to know what the bare minimum is you need to do for this summer, so that other things that my have a higher priority can be addressed.
A garden consultation or coaching session should include a walkthrough the gardens, discussion about the pants you have and the things you like and don’t like. Learning your comfort level with garden care is critical at this stage as well so that the plants in the garden are things, you’re comfortable caring for. Ultimately a written report of some type that you can refer back to over time should be included. The care instructions should include what needs to be done at different times of the growing season, what to use for fertilization if you desire this, how to check for watering needs and any other site-specific things that could affect the success of your plants.
I happen to be a hands-on learner, so there are times that I prefer to have help to show me tasks such as pruning, dividing, etc. Scheduling a time to work in the landscape together can benefit you if this works best for your learning style. Pruning specifically works great with this option. I often schedule time to work in the yard with a client, we will target the tasks that often need more technical attention such as pruning. Trees, shrubs and even perennials can benefit from a good pruning, or division in the case of perennials. We will clip, dig, cut and replat as needed, so that you are doing these tasks together and will become comfortable enough to be willing to dive in the in the future on your own.
Sometimes you just need to be shown what plant is what, and then you’re willing to care for it from there. We will walk around the area and identify the plants, letting you know what to expect from the plant and what type of care they need. Sometimes the plant just doesn’t ‘fit’ with the look you’re going for. Is it worth keeping, moving, or giving away.
Not every plant will grow and perform its best in all areas around your home/yard. Soul conditions, exposure to water whether by rain or irrigation, sun exposure and many factors go into good plant outcomes. Right Plant, Right Place! This is a common saying for the landscape industry. The reason for this is that while many plants may grow well in a specific area, they might not lower the way you hope or expect. For example, a lilac may be shaped wonderfully, and have a nice amount of foliage that looks very healthy, but it doesn’t get many flowers and the ones it does get are week looking. Is it getting enough sun? Perhaps when it was planted the tree now shading it, was small and not an issue. What can we do now to keep both the tree and the Lila and et the Lilac to flower? Is it worth moving the lilac: Is the sentimental, maybe Grandma planted and you don’t want to just toss it out. Many factors play into this, and we will have a discussion to see the best route to follow. These are types of things that require a conversation on the site to determine the best solutions.