Build a directory and they will come


by Susan
In June of ’07 the New York Times ran the first article in history about garden coaches and started a
firestorm of media attention, the first hint of which was CBS calling the very morning the story hit the stands.  So I impulsively created a little directory of garden coaches, starting with the four included in the Times story, and promoted the directory here and elsewhere.

Since then, reporters doing stories about coaches have found the directory, contacted coaches near them for interviews, and further promoted the new endeavor while connecting coaches to coachees. 

As for the listees, some are adding coaching to the services they currently offer, others popping up to say they’ve been doing it for years under another name.  Master Gardeners are starting new part-time careers in their retirement.  A recent hort-degree grad is looking for a different business model and likes the coaching concept.  A few of them have picked my brain for ideas and it’s fun to get in on their career schemes.

The big news is that as of today the The Worldwide Directory of Garden Coaches has grown from 4 to – drumroll, please – 89 coaches, and counting.  We also have our Gardening Coach Blog, with several contributors.  (Gotta love team blogs.)

On a roll and being a big fan of regionality in gardening, I created Gardenblogs by Region and blogs are being added almost daily.  And they’re teaching me something about geography – no, Rhode Island is NOT in the Mid-Atlantic  region (it’s SO easy to confuse it with that other tiny state, Delaware!) and honestly, I have very little notion of the Plains and Mountain and Central and all those big geometrically shaped states. 

To get listed just comment on this post or shoot me an email.

Another directory that’s small and slower to grow is the Regional Garden Gurus, launched in February of this year.  We’re looking for a few large, content-heavy sites, the more regional, the better, and it turns out that not all regions have them.  Or in the case of Texas there IS one, but he doesn’t respond to emails OR phone messages to his "assistant" – clearly not the partnering type.

But where’s the gardening website for the Southwest, for Southern California, for those big geometrically shaped states?  The good news is I’ve been contacted by garden writers in several guru-less regions, telling me the Guru website was just the motivation they needed to create a regional gardening site, and they’re working hard to get it launched so they can join us. 

So gardeners in guru-less regions, stay tuned.

Photos from GardenBlogs by Region, via


  1. Susan, the publicity and the garden coach directory have benefited my new business. Thank you so much for all the work you put into getting the word out!

  2. I never thought about the concept of garden coaches. Being a newbie I get most of my information from books and blogs. If I need more specific help I can usually get the answer from one of the ladies at our local nursery (the added bonus being they are familiar with what will grow in the area). Beyond that I’ve been interested in taking a couple gardening classes or seminars. Having a coach is an interesting idea and as the ranks of gardeners grow it will probably be a profitable business.

  3. I would be interested in doing it for the Southeast region. I was hesitant at first since I feel I’m still learning a lot myself–but then I went and read the description….seems like it’s a good way for everyone to learn. Send me an email. It sounds like a good way to help each other out.

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