Gotta Have a Coach

Over the last four years or so, I’ve let my backyard get more than a little overgrown. One reason–an Amur Maple that we planted the first spring I lived here took a huge hit in an early snow storm. I wept over that tree the next morning when I found every branch either broken or split down the middle from the heavy snow on leaves that were just turning red-orange. Maple leaves in autumn

Losing that maple turned my shade garden into the sunniest part of the yard. I had to move the hostas, lungwort and other shade-lovers to the back where some trees had grown up. I admit to putting things in hastily so I could concentrate on the “public” part of the yard.

Tim and I spent three seasons moving rose bushes from the back to the front, finding a ginkgo tree and replacing a couple very old yews with a boxwood hedge. Last August I finally exhaled deeply and thought, “this is what I imagined it would look like.”

Through it all, my garden coach Anne Larson helped me along. She commiserated and encouraged when the maple died. She was available by phone as we shopped for the ginkgo. Just a couple weeks ago she nudged me to move a viburnum “just two feet” and that made all the difference in a grouping of shrubs along the east fence.

Anne helps me make my garden more beautiful and resilient, and even suggests ways to make it less work. Birdbath in ice stormChoosing plants that can withstand the extremes of Iowa winters and summers, wet and dry can make life much less stressful.

Last week when I said something about my garden coach to Eric “Only you would have a garden coach” was his reaction. But you know, my garden means a lot to me and it wouldn’t be nearly as great without my coach. We offer coaching services here at Next Step, and really it’s the very same thing as in the garden–encouragement, support, help with decision-making and problem-solving, communication.
Coaches are great. Get a coach. You’ll love it.

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One Reply to “Gotta Have a Coach”

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful blog, Martha! It’s a honor and pleasure being your “garden coach.”!

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