Why You Should Hire a Garden Designer

I had spent hours in the garden, and I hated it. I didn’t want to go out and work a single minute more. I no longer cared if my plants lived or died (and many plants were on their way to dead).  I even considered selling the house so I didn’t have to worry about the garden again. 

This was me. I was a self-professed garden lover, with a degree in horticulture, and I hated my garden. I had spent hours helping others understand their gardens, designing beautiful, functional places that I currently envied. But in my own garden, I was stuck, overwhelmed and doing a better job of growing weeds than creating a garden.

So I decided to hire myself. Instead of worrying about all the work I had to do, I took a step back and approached my problems from the perspective of a garden designer and coach.

With a couple of weeks, I had a better landscape design, steps to take to combat my problems, and a fresh perspective. I knew what I wanted my landscape to be, and I knew how to get there. The garden was no longer a chore that I hated. I went to work, happily, ripping out some misguided projects that didn’t work, and starting over on a landscape plant that was effective and doable. I started to love to garden again.

Everyone can love their landscape and love gardening. The main hurdle is simply gaining the knowledge and formulating the correct design to create gardens that are beautiful, functional and sustainable.

Here are ten specific reasons why you should hire a garden coach or designer:

1)Plant recommendations that work for your space

That azalea might look lovely at the store, but a garden designer will be quick to tell you if it will continue to look that way in your garden. (If you are in my climate, it’ll quickly die.) Many ugly or hidden plants at the garden center end up being  the jewels of a garden. Other lovely plants are horrible choices. Plant selection is key to getting a good garden, and can cost quite a bit of money. Get a head start by using the recommendation of a garden designer who knows what will succeed in your particular garden.


2)Avoid mistakes that you will regret later

Many common gardening practices are either a waste of time or money or will lead to problems down the road. Find out when to use weed fabric, how to properly stake a tree without killing it down the road, how to take care of a plant so it doesn’t die and more.

3)Create strong shapes that define your garden

Gardens often lack the strong shapes that can only be achieved with a well thought out garden design. While treating the garden as a cohesive whole and integrating or separating use areas, strong shapes are created. Strong shapes make the difference between stunning and lackluster gardens.


4)Find out how to reduce maintenance

A garden designer can tell you what you can do now to get less maintenance later. A well-designed garden will be a joy to work in: with tasks of picking flowers and harvesting produce instead of never-ending weeds. Garden designers have many tricks and advice that will greatly reduce the frustration of maintaining a garden.

5)Customized information for your garden and your climate

Every garden is different: generalized information only goes so far. A garden designer can analyze the site and address the micro-climates and topography of your garden. The resulting specific advice will help avoid potential problems, instead creating unique, lush gardens.

freeze fog (8)

6)A goal and plan to work toward

Gardens and landscapes require a lot of effort. Without a plan, the effort can be wasted as gardens are reworked. A plan ensures that what you spend your effort on will work together to create a cohesive garden, even if it takes years to complete.

7)Understand your soil and climate

Every garden is different and must be customized to the soil and climate. A garden coach can help you gain an overview of the climate you live in and the condition of the soil. Then you can know what specific tasks to take to improve your soil and work within the constraints of the climate.

teaching garden

8)Get perspective

Every garden can use the input of another set of eyes. By hiring a garden designer, you can know if your ideas are destined to work or fail before putting the effort in. You can gain new ideas that will bring about the least change for the greatest effect.

9)Create a cohesive whole, not jumbled spaces

Most landscapes are created as jumbled spaces, as random plants are added, or as new areas are developed. A garden design will help create a cohesive garden that flows from one area to another.


10)Plants die for a reason and you can find out why

Many people believe they just have a black thumb. But anyone can learn how to properly care for plants and avoid pests and diseases. A garden coach can identify the problems with unhealthy plants and the steps to take to get them healthy again.