I Need a Garden Coach

I don’t need a gardener — I am the gardener. What I need is a Coach or maybe a Cheerleader.


A Garden Coach would not let me start pruning boxwoods and leave them for later — starts of where things are to be sheared so that I notice and come back when the sun isn’t so hot, or there’s not more pressing duties.  I’ll bet she’d make me drive stakes and pull strings to keep everything even instead of just eyeballing my lines, too. Wait! Would a Garden Coach let me shear boxwoods into rectangles and orbs? I know of at least one who disdains meatballs. She might faint at my plans for some that will become columns.

A Garden Coach would make me remove the small rooted Camellia suckers that failed to make the winter. Two of four are in good shape, putting on new growth. Two have brown leaves. The wood is still green. Is there hope? A Garden Coach would not let me watch and wait with sticks blocking the view of some glorious Daffodils just behind. Come to think of it, she would have insisted that I go to the nursery and buy fully grown Camellias for those spots rather than playing with suckers and seedlings. I know my seedlings are not show quality blooms, but who knows from a distance?


A Garden Coach would send me out to a nursery to get enough Iberis to finish the edging along the Greenhouse bed where there are two cuttings and two good plants brought from elsewhere. She would make me move the purple iris that came up with the white iris intended for an all-white garden. I guess the pink Gerbera Daisy will have to go too, huh, Coach? She probably wouldn’t let me play with seedlings — back to the nursery for Hybrid Gerberas, all stiff and gaudy and big and $4.99 each at Walmart rather than my precious species.  I guess the sweet little wild Veronica will have to go, too.

The roses that have passed their prime would have to go too, wouldn’t they? Never mind our history together.  Despite my protests, she would probably want me to have already pruned Knockout Roses by a third instead of waiting for first blooms and taking great bouquets which worked out well last year.

She’d prod me until I did the pruning to the bottom limbs of  big Loropetalums that turned out 20 foot trees instead of the little shrubs everybody expected.  The seedlings that await new home may have to go, too. There’s at least one white — disdained by the famous hort professor when Loropetalums first came on the scene.  They haven’t really caught on yet. I’ll hide it somewhere.

Would a Garden Coach know the botanical names or even the common names of all my weeds? Will she know which will quickly die out when the hot sun hits, which are actually beneficial native plants, which are just fun? Will she let me move Black Eyed Susan plants from the paths to the beds, knowing that they are annuals here and bloom ahead of more desirable annuals which reseed later?  I’m pretty good at pulling them when they’re done except for a few for birds to feed on. Will she even let me depend on scattered seeds instead of nursery plants?

Moulin Rouge Tulip

A Garden Coach would not let me plant tulips, knowing that they are not suitable for Deep South Gardens, despite my chilling for weeks, even months. She’d probably insist that future Daffodils be Carlton, suggested by experts for the south. Never mind those trumpets I’m sporting while past years’ Carlton is a rare spotty sight.


Yep, I too could have a glorious garden with direction from  a Garden Coach. I looked online. The only Georgia Garden Coaches I saw were a woman who writes about red clay — I wonder what she’d do to my loamy sandpile?  The other was a man who says’ he’ll travel the state. Does he know that the Georgia Native Plant Society gave over my area to Florida because the natives here rarely grow in Metro Atlanta? I don’t think he would approve of my methods.