Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a garden coach?
Garden Mentors® coaches provide hand-in-hand gardening training to individuals seeking the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully plan, develop, manage and maintain their personal outdoor spaces. Those who hire garden coaches range from individuals and families who have zero experience working with plants to life-long gardeners looking for new ways to learn more. Anyone interested in knowing more about gardening will benefit from working with a qualified garden coach.
What is the difference between a consultation and garden coaching?
A garden consultation is where every Garden Mentors® client begins. For some, an initial consultation is enough to get them past a blocking issue. For others, additional services may be appropriate. For those who need more training in the garden, working with one of our consultants in on-going, hand-in-hand coaching sessions can make a world of difference.
Are you Master Gardeners?
We admire the Master Gardeners of the world, and in some cases, Garden Mentors® consultants may be Master Gardeners. However, each of us has surpassed the minimal scholastic, testing, industry-hours, and continuing education requirements for becoming a Master Gardener, based on the original program started at WSU in 1973.
Master Gardener study materials are only a small component of the larger, complete curriculum used in developing the CPH qualification testing, which many Garden Mentors® consultants have achieved.
What does “CPH” mean?
“CPH” stands for Certified Professional Horticulturist as defined by the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association To bear this designation an individual must complete rigorous testing in landscape design and various areas of horticulture including plant identification, soil science, pest management and more. Additionally, to become a CPH one must complete 2000 hours of employment in the industry and complete 15 credits of continuing education every three years.
Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
Are you landscape architects?
No. We are residential garden designers, horticulturists, garden consultants, garden coaches, and writers.
Do you offer weekend appointments?
We do offer Saturday sessions. These are very popular and fill up months in advance. Sorry, we take Sundays to be with our families.
How long will I need to wait to schedule an appointment?
We will try to schedule your first appointment for a mutually agreeable time shortly after we hear from you — usually within 7-14 days from the time you contact us. However, depending on the time of year, your location, your schedule, and our existing bookings it can take up to three weeks before we meet for the first time.
Following your first session, we will help you pre-schedule any further sessions so you won’t have to wait in the future.
How long do design projects take?
Not everyone requires a formal design. If you do, expect it to take a few months. It is important to carefully consider a number of aspects and options available as well as evaluate the space carefully. Some clients complete designs within several weeks; others may take several months.
Do you offer email and phone consultations?
Once we have met with you and know your garden spaces, we do offer on-going email and phone consultation programs. You are welcome to enjoy our on-going gardening articles on our blog for free at any time for great general gardening advice. However, until we know you and your landscape, we do not consult off-site.
How long will a session take?
Initial consultations and on-going coaching sessions are booked at a 2-hour minimum. Longer session times are available as well. If you wish to schedule a longer session, be sure to request this when making your appointment. Appointment times less than 2 hours usually do not provide sufficient time to dig in; more than two hours, particularly in the beginning, can be overwhelming.
What can I expect to pay?
Initial consultations and garden coaching sessions begin as low as $150. Additional travel fees may apply to some locations. Get in touch with your location and details, and we will be able to provide an estimate for the program that fits your needs.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Garden Mentors® accepts cash and check payments made out to Garden Mentors. Payment for initial consultation sessions is due at the end of the first session. All payments for services are due upon receipt of invoices. Invoices unpaid past 30 days may accrue late fees.
What should I be doing in the garden to get ready for my first meeting?
Try to avoid the urge to “clean up” your messy garden to get ready for your new coach. More often than not, you will end up wasting effort and doing more damage than good. Instead focus on gathering pictures and ideas of your dream garden. Gather up your tools to discuss and think about what it is you really want to learn in the garden.
What do you charge to mow lawns or do other garden maintenance?
We do not offer garden or lawn maintenance services (except for seasonal garden sitting services). Instead, we provide programs to empower homeowners to care for their gardens themselves. And, in some cases, after meeting with clients, we will help them find service providers to help them with specific aspects of garden care such as weeding, mulching, arboriculture needs, lawn care and more.