The Gardening Companion
Services
We offer a variety of packages to help you to develop and manage your space.
Garden Care
How to maintain your own garden
A Gardening Coach (or Gardening Tutor) is a ‘personal trainer’ for you and your garden. You will find this service invaluable if you want to look after your garden yourself but are either a complete gardening novice or would like to improve your existing skills for better results.

Each visit will be tailored to your needs and may consist of a general introduction to gardening techniques (for beginners), or be focused on specific themes or tasks, such as pruning, weeding, mulching etc depending on what you would like more confidence in tackling in the garden. You may choose a single session, or a series of lessons devised to focus on your garden and your own level of skill and knowledge.

Perhaps you have a project in mind, where you need practical guidance and want to learn more.

The range of possibilities is endless (as gardens just don’t stop!) –

  • get to know your new garden after a house move
  • choose and buy the most suitable plants for your garden
  • propagate and grow your own plants
  • plant up tubs and hanging baskets
  • carry out winter and autumn pruning, summer trimming of shrubs or hedges and maintenance of roses and climbers
  • improve your soil, make compost and leaf mould from organic material
  • identify weeds common to your garden
  • choose and plant a hedge
  • grow your own food – in containers or in a larger vegetable plot

Whether you need just a single session or a series of lessons, you will learn what to do, when, and how. An introduction to the necessary tools for you to use, and specific techniques, can give you greater confidence to help get the results you desire. As your knowledge and confidence grows, you will soon be well on the way to having your perfect garden with the satisfaction of having made it with your own hands!

Life Coaching
How does life coaching work?
Life Coaching is a process for change. By using a series of simple questions and activities there is an opportunity for you to explore your own inner thoughts and desires for how you are living your life at present and how you want to live it. It is about finding out what is really important in your life and creating achievable goals and steps to help you begin the process of change. The idea that there is a ‘quick fix’ is often refuted by many, but the ‘quick fix’ part of Life Coaching occurs once you realise what it is that has been holding you back from achieving what you want, and creating  the steps you need to make to move forward towards realizing your goals.

Working in a garden is generally relaxing and the mind feels more free to explore areas which are usually compressed by every day duties and worries. Whilst working and chatting you will find the ideas which were previously ‘stuck’ will have an opportunity to come to light and can then be observed for their helpful or hindering qualities. Traditional Life Coaching takes place in a room where there is a client/coach discussion taking place – in a garden both of us are working towards a common goal. A set of ‘homework’ tasks will be agreed with an agreed time frame – these may be simply to do with the garden or may spill into the areas you have chosen to focus on in other parts of your life. These tasks are as important as part of the process as the coaching session is – they are the movement towards your future goals.

Garden Design
Maximising your space
The Gardening Companion can offer you a bespoke service which is tailored specifically to you and your garden, at a fraction of the cost of other designers.

Our knowledge and creativity inspires you to look at your garden with a new set of eyes and to be able to see the real potential you have with the space in front of you. Offering practical advice about how to use the different areas of your garden to meet your needs and to make it the place you wish to be in, we work with you to make the most of your space and time.

Our key questions to you are:

  1. a) What do you want or need in your garden?
  2. b) How would you use your new space?
  3. c) What is your realistic budget?
  4. d) What do you love?

From here we put together a draft plan and a sketch board of ideas to show you how your garden can look and how you can utilize your space for maximum effect. We then share our ideas and collaborate with you for any next steps you need to do.

Schools Projects
School Gardening Projects

The Gardening Companion is in the process of creating bespoke gardening projects for both rural and inner city schools, in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland. The aim of these projects is to fully support teachers and support staff in setting up their own class or school garden. With expert knowledge of gardening and a background in teaching, The Gardening Companion can offer schools effective management strategies for creating and maintaining fruitful gardens, where children can be inspired to grow and cultivate their own plots!

Having worked across the world in different gardens and environments Alison and her team are enthusiastic about creating natural outdoor spaces where children can thrive and learning can be fun.  Based in Leicestershire, born in New Zealand, and having travelled around the globe, Alison decided to change from her 20 year teaching career and follow her life-long passion for gardening in 2017. Throughout her time as a classroom teacher, Alison developed a wide experience of outdoor learning opportunities for her students; over the past 5 years in primary education she created and supported gardening projects within the schools she worked in. Every child in her care had the opportunity to be inspired from the initial concept of designing the garden, to growing from seed, planting up and then harvesting the fruits of their own labours. Making personalised paper bags to carry their produce home was the ultimate end to the cycle of hard work.

Understanding the issues of time constraints on teaching staff, curriculum constraints on delivery, and the overall management problems associated with a class garden has inspired Alison to develop a bespoke service for local schools.

Using mainly recycled resources, she can help you to create a sustainable and manageable garden for your class or school. She can deliver expert training on what plants you really could be growing, how to maintain and harvest the crops- with an aim to every child experiencing the pleasure of growing their own food.

Having a design for your garden is important for successful management – Alison can deliver this simple training for teachers so that the children are ‘hands-on’ and from there they can take responsibility for what happens in their garden. Lesson plans can be delivered to make the whole process easy. If you answer ‘yes ‘ to these questions, then The Gardening Companion can help you out:

  • Do you sigh at the thought of another year of ‘gardening chaos’?
  • Do you feel that you have NO time in your school day to manage your school/class garden?
  • When spring comes do you frantically sow seeds which then wilt and die on the windowsill of your classroom?
  • Do you plant loads of one or two crops such as tomatoes and lettuces which then run wild and never seem to ripen?
  • Is your knowledge of gardening limited?
  • Do you wish you could create a space for a class or school garden but feel that you ‘just haven’t got the room or right place for it’?

Let us come in and deliver the training and support that YOUR school needs. This is not a generic package , it will be specific to YOUR staff, environment and children.

Testimonials

What People Are Saying

I can’t recommend Alison at the Gardening Companion enough! I was so pleased to win the competition and the advice, guidance, plans and new ideas for the garden have been invaluable! Cressida, Leicestershire

Garden Consultation

” Thank you for helping me to realise my goals – I now feel confident with the new launch of my Youtube channel…” Hareet, Leicester

Life and Performance Coaching

“Oh, wow Alison. I am SO THRILLED. I didn’t think our patch could look so good. Big stars! thank you so much – how did you do that much in just one morning?.” Sue, Leicester

Garden Consultation

“Thank you for your hard work, you have done a great job. The garden looks a hundred times better.” Lesley, Leicester

Garden Maintenance