Coaching green thumbs

Gardening coach can help those with thumbs of any shade, be it green or be it black

Garden coach Harry Sumner was on hand to give out some advice at Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach.

Garden coach Harry Sumner was on hand to give out some advice at Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach.

If everyone was blessed with a bright green thumb, there wouldn’t be a lot of work for Harry Sumner.

Fortunately, at least for the Parksville garden coach, some people’s green thumbs are pretty pale, while others, regrettably are distinctly black.

It’s those people that Sumner has made a career out of helping.

“I’m someone who will help your average do-it-yourself amateur gardener to get the most out of their landscape dollars,” he said. “I go in and teach people at their own level, whatever gardening level they’re at. I’ll go into their yards and we’ll go through what’s there, what’s working and what isn’t working. We give them advice on how to change it and we work within their budgets and simplify some of their plans so they can phase them in over a period of time.”

Sumner knows what he’s talking about, having been in the business of helping gardeners get the best out of their land — inside, outside, big or small — for 45 years, 40 of them on Vancouver island.

“I deal with landscaping, vegetable gardens, greenhouses and the different kinds of composting,” he said. “I deal pretty much with anything that’s growing.”