Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plant Coaches

I spent the day yesterday at the Shady Sisters Gardens. Earlier in the year, Linda invited me to come on Saturdays of their sale weekends to help them sell plants. In return, I’d get to take home a few plants for my day’s labor! Who could say no to that?!

I felt a little intimidated at first, because in addition to the plants I knew, there were just as many plants I was unfamiliar with—like the Japanese Butterbur plant, the root beer plant, and Angelica herb—not to mention hundreds of hosta varieties. But, the sisters are knowledgeable and helped me learn about the plants and how to talk about them. Now, I’m comfortable enough with all the plants to help people decide if the plant is right for their particular situation.

I enjoy my days at the sisters’ gardens. I’m learning and teaching—or coaching as one woman put it yesterday. “You’re plant coaches,” she told us. “You know, like ‘life coaches’, only for plants.” Gail and I both laughed, but the more I thought about it, I think “plant coach” is a really good description. We can tell people about a plant’s growth habit, light preferences, and moisture requirements, and they decide whether to take the plant home with them – even though their conditions might not be ideal for the plant.

We’ve got only one more sale left this summer – in August – which seems like an eternity from now. But, I’m sure there will be other opportunities for coaching (and for being coached) between now and then.

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