Who do you call on Long Island to help you with your gardens? The garden therapist at Plant With Me.
I’m not really a therapist but I feel like one every time I arrive on someone’s property and they want me to tell them what they should do with this plant, that space or how to fix what they have. I think, because of how intimate I am with most of my client’s and their gardens I become the landscape therapist. It could be between me and the man, me and the women, me and the husband and wife or just me and the existing spaces to be fixed, managed and or designed. Most people don’t expect what they get when I arrive at the door and it has nothing to do with my appearance (well I hope that’s not all it is).
I ask lots of questions of the people who choose to meet with me. Just like a therapist I ask questions and then listen to people talk about their garden needs, based on current wants molded by previous landscape experiences. Experiences through travel, friends homes and especially their own home and garden journey. I get personal with people asking them everything I can think of that might give me a greater understanding of how to begin to meet their expectations. It is at this point that the therapist becomes the teacher. Even the experienced gardener becomes the student with me as I probe into what they have done and how things have worked out for them and their gardens. I most enjoy the possibility of learning something new along the way. Seeing the landscape and gardens through someone else’s eyes.
My job, which enriches my life every day, centers around getting to know people and then surrounding them with plant life which makes them feel at home. You may be thinking how that sounds crazy and how is it possible that anyone would open themselves up to someone, especially a stranger, just to fix their gardens. Well if you have ever sat under a tree and looked up in amazement, walked through a forrest of hundred year old trees in awe, strolled along a river bed wishing you could be that floating leaf canoeing with abandonment, sat in the middle of a large (or even small) field at peace with the universe, even if for just a brief moment, your that much closer to understanding how I feel every day in and around the landscapes of Long Island. Some people and their landscapes need lots of help while others just need a push in a different direction. The common theme is everyones need to have greater control and order. I always find that interesting in an environment that obviously wants to fly free and run wild.
So I (Michael Rosenberg) arrive at the home of an individual that needs some guidance and I begin my quest to know them. Most of my appointments run between one and a half and three hours (all depending on my days commitments). Walking and talking and talking and walking, many times people loose track of time and don’t know how to end the meeting. My all time favorite line from a client was “can’t you just live with me and take care of my gardens as if they where your own”. This idea is one that is shared by many of the people I meet and then work with and is a great compliment which I truly appreciate. Fortunately for me I have my own home and gardens I am continually caring for. A process and journey that never seems to be finished. This is where I tell you that even I get caught up in life and let things go wild at times. The difference between my clients/prospects and me is I recognize as things are getting out of control and have the knowledge and experience to know how to manage it (even if at 2am in the middle of the night with flood lights around my property).
I titled this article specifically, so that people who know, that I want to be the one everyone can talk to about their garden and landscape desires. I pride myself in being able to translate the conversations I have with people into working ideas that will meet their needs. There are times when one meeting isn’t enough and that is perfectly fine. In the end it is all about relationship building. Making a connection with a therapist can be scary, revealing and vulnerable, and honestly I approach this part of the business very seriously. People choose to take me into their homes and around their properties so that I can help them find a greater balance. My job is difficult, demanding and requires me to see things beyond what the average landscaper, architect and designer makes the effort to see. You will not get cookie cutter from me and if that is what is desired I am not the individual you should call. Dynamic, intuitive, eccentric, wide open, attentive, challenging and unafraid would be a few of the ways in which I would describe myself and my approach to garden and landscape design. If this is what you need TELL PLANT WITH ME WHAT YOU WANT, so that I can help you continue or begin your garden journey.
Know that a pathway begins with a single step forward. Nothing else is needed to define the direction you want to go in. Just don’t hesitate to recognize that you have begun to move.