Why Garden Coaches are Popular

Landscape Plans, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

Newsweek’s Tip Sheet blog has a post this week about the growing popularity of garden coaches. These are people who offer advice and answer questions about landscaping. Their rate and scope of service is less than that of traditional landscape designers.

It seems like garden coaches may be replacing a service that plant nurseries used to and should still offer their customers.

This winter I started overhauling my front landscape, and before finalizing the plan I sat down for a consultation with a “grow coach” at North Haven Gardens. A one-hour sit-down session costs $50, but then at the end of the session you get a $50 gift card, so it’s a wash. I came prepared with photos and sketches. I left with some good advice that ultimately changed some pretty big elements of my original design.

The plants at North Haven seem more expensive than average, so the price of that advice is built in to what you buy. It seems they have just formalized the value relationship of sales and service.

Initially I asked for similar advice about my plans at Rohde’s and Calloway’s. I would have been happy to spend my $50-plus there, but each of them passed me off.

I am curious about other people’s experiences with premium nursery service. Is it in decline? Am I really better off at Home Depot?

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3 responses to “Why Garden Coaches are Popular

  1. Hey there Erin,
    Per your request for comments, I wanted to say that I look at your blog(s) weekly and truly enjoy them. I, too, recently turned 30. (remember how our b-days were only two weeks apart?) Anyway, I got my first pair of cowboy boots at age 30. I figured it was time, and my dissertation is about the West so . . . I hope all is well.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN!!! I have been subscribed to your feed but apparently have not been getting the updates recently – I’ll have to look into that. Anyway, I will be joining you in about 7 days, an official 30-something…yikes! Hope all is well!

  3. I have a friend who does landscaping and sent him a link to the article. I wonder if he’s also done coaching. We’ll see… Happy birthday, btw. I can’t share in the sentiment of recent 30 turning as two years falls just a little too far outside the realm of recent.

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