Party Pals


Today Constance Casey posts on Slate about hiring out the making and maintaining of your vegetable garden. To me, this sounds like hiring a team to go to parties for you, or to eat delicious dinners for you, or to have laughs with your friends for you, just so you won’t have to bother.

Hiring a garden coach, on the other hand, is like paying somebody to go to the party with you for moral support, to tell you how nice you look and encourage you to chat up strangers.  Makes perfect sense for the diffident.  And this piece, like any piece on the subject, naturally features our own pioneering garden coach, Susan Harris.


  1. Yeah, I don’t get it myself, but I guess some people don’t have the time/energy or don’t like getting dirty, but still want to eat nice fresh veggies from their yard. Hey, that’s at least less space they’re getting someone to use a noisy leaf-blower on, right?!

  2. Hi,
    It seems this “new service” is getting quite a bit of publicity these days, even though it is an old service for me, ( and perhaps some other pros out there?) This happened with the “garden coach” blitz as well.

    My clients are not all into gardening but some have quite a bit of land and appreciate putting the land to work for them. One of my clients is a professional chef and doesn’t have time to garden but certainly enjoys having fresh herbs and vegetables for her cooking. For her, it beats going to the farmers market. I grow whatever she desires including hard to find varieties. Every week, she receives s a harvest basket from her garden.

    The vegetable gardens I tend to and design are some of the most rewarding projects I have!

  3. Been there , done that.

    Over the last couple centuries so has countless landscape architects, landscape construction contractors, garden designers, gardeners, horticulturists, farmers, estate slaves and now we can add garden coaches to the vegetable garden making mix.

    It’s an old idea and practice, circa the medieval period that has a new marketing spin on it.

    I suggest that Slate writer Constance Casey might enjoy a little landscape architectural history reading on the development of working gardens.
    The medieval gardens and adjoining library at the Cloisters in New York would offer a great place to start.
    There she might pick up the 1564 publication ” L’Agriculture et Maison Rustique ” by Charles Estienne and Jean Liebault which describes the making of modest sized potager, vegetable and orchard gardens for the ‘contemporary land owner’.

  4. Thanks for posting the link to the article. I just received an email from a prospective new client who found me through Susan’s directory, which she found through this article- great to know how folks are finding us!

  5. Michelle, you’re right. We’re all lacking historical perspective here. Great estates always had gardeners growing food for the big house. I suppose it’s a good thing that some moderately wealthy Americans of today want a similar arrangement. They’ll be eating better than they would if they just sent the housekeeper to Whole Foods, that’s for sure.

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