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Mary Frost is a gifted gardening mentor, coach and champion. I first met Mary when I attended her horticulture class at Santa Rosa Junior College. From there I enlisted her support with one-on-one sessions at my home. From the first meeting I felt renewed enthusiasm for and pleasure from my yard.
Other specific outcomes I experienced were:

  • Rekindled excitement about working in my yard
  • A new way of seeing possibilities in my landscaping, giving me newfound anticipation and energy to dive into gardening projects that previously felt overwhelming or those that I just didn't know how to address before my tutoring sessions.
  • Discovery of a how to build a relationship with my plants - I am learning how have a conversation with my plants to guide them and encourage them to be healthy, thriving plants with good natural shape.
  • Knowledge and skills about gardening and, especially, pruning to give me personal confidence in my own gardening abilities

If you want to experience the gardening and personal outcomes I did after working with Mary, I highly recommend her for consultations, coaching, and support for your own nature environment.

Tina H.
Santa Rosa, CA

“After my husband and I moved into a new home about a year ago, we had a professional landscaper design and create a beautiful new yard for us. Over time, we noticed that some of the plants were not thriving. Also, I was confused as to how to correctly prune and care for specific plants. We decided to consult with a gardening expert who could teach us proper gardening techniques. We feel so fortunate that we contacted Mary Frost of The Gardening Tutor. She is knowledgeable, friendly, talented, and magical with plants. Aside from educating me about pruning techniques, proper soil amendments, and watering issues, she taught me how to use my controller; something I was thus far unable to understand.

A teacher at heart, she will gently and patiently educate you in whatever you need to know to improve and maintain your garden. I am so grateful to her."

Paula Girolo

“It has been over a year since Mary, the Gardening Tutor/Angel has given her loving attention to our garden. We have a large garden in the Montecito Heights area of Santa Rosa and it is filled with boulders, ivy, deer and a multitude of design challenges. I had a number of "small gardens" and wanted some continuity and calmness and wanted to reduce water and maintenance.

Mary has an excellent eye for design, color and knows hundreds of plants and what conditions they thrive in. I visited her amazing garden and she "tutored" me as to what would work in ours. She did research and sent me pictures so our decisions would be well thought out and plantings would be be successful. She has a number of connections with local nurseries and checks every single pot she purchases (at a discount) so it is 100% healthy when she plants it.
Whether it is watering methods and irrigation, pruning, pinching back new roses, the importance of mulching, any question regarding critters and bugs . . . she has a whole lot of information stored in that energetic brain of hers. She passes it on in a way that is easily understood, Mary is an exceptional tutor.

We have had Mary garden sit a number of times, especially in hot weather when new gardens and potted plants need extra attention.
Believe me, she has not been sitting, everything always looks wonderful and well tended upon our return.
Thanks to Miss Mary, my garden is thriving, I am making much better choices and have become a more knowledgeable gardener, but the best choice by far was meeting and hiring Mary. I call her "the icing on my garden's cake"

Jennifer C and Stephen E
Santa Rosa

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I hired Mary Frost, the Gardening Tutor, to help me with my front yard but I had a space that was very sad. Her instruction and help was beyond my expectations. I expected to be helped putting some plants in and learn a few things along the way. However, I learned to put in a drip system, transplant properly, plant properly and training on how to design a garden. There were many tips along the way to make a job easier or lots of information on plants and what they will do. I used to say that I don't have a green thumb and truly believed it. Now I really feel that I can design and put in a garden. Mary nudges you gently into having the confidence to feel that you can do it. The personal shopping she did to find plants I wanted and that were healthy contributed to the beauty of my garden. Mary's knowledge and professionalism were incredible. I highly recommend using her wonderful services.”

Jane G
Santa Rosa

“I spent most of the summer working with Mary in my front yard. She did a great job of guiding me in the design of the yard as well as teaching me how to pick out plants and the proper way to place, face and plant them. She took time to get to know what I liked and wanted in my yard. She knows so much about plants and where they grow best. She was very patient and worked hard to help me find plants I liked, that would survive in my yard. Mary has a great way of helping you discover what will look best without telling you what you should do. I learned so much over the past few months – about plants, soil, compost and irrigation. The whole process was very empowering and I thank Mary for helping me grow as a person and create a yard that I love!”

Dana K

“I first heard about Mary during the SCMAAF Garden Tour and just loved her garden. I asked her to tutor me in pruning several trees in my yard. It was such a great experience and I learned so much! Mary is very thorough and explains why you do something, which makes it so much more meaningful. She has such an enthusiasm for what she does - it's contagious. What a great sense of accomplishment I felt when I saw the transformation of my trees! I look forward to continuing to work with Mary and learn from her.”

Dana K

“I have always considered myself a “gardener”. My definition of a nice yard was one that was orderly, weed free, mowed lawn, and hedges kept trim with a sprinkling of annuals. I would see plants in the store I liked: bought them, brought them home and planted them wherever I thought they might look good. No plan. I also hired landscapers periodically to “fix” the garden. Let's say I made more bad choices than good ones on what I planted. Needless to say I never had a garden I was thrilled with. What a waste of time and money! My garden became a chore and not an enjoyment then I was referred to Mary Frost, The Gardening Tutor. I was intrigued with the concept. Initially I just wanted her to help me with a part of the yard that I was not happy with. I didn't realize how much I disliked my yard. We ended up ripping out both front and back and starting over with a clean slate. A daunting task, but: with a plan, encouragement, education on what we were doing, why, and where we were going we have created more than a landscaped yard, but a place that I am thrilled to spend time in. My garden has become my joy. I also understand so much more on what needs to happen to achieve a happy and healthy garden and keep it that way.

Mary continues to mentor me as I move forward. She is just an e mail away. I continue to learn so much from her. She is such a good teacher, and really knows what she is doing. She is very patient with me, particularly when I get frustrated with how slow the process can be.

Her initial visit was so important, because by getting to know you and what your goals are pays off. I told her I loved something in the garden always in bloom. The plant choices we made together has achieved this thanks to Mary's artistic eye for design and what plant thrives where. She has exceeded my expectations. My garden bloomed all winter, and continues to amaze and thrill me as we move into spring. I can't wait to go out into the garden and see what's blooming next. One happy customer!”

Cheryl Dudley
Santa Rosa

“Mary Frost, The Gardening Tutor, is fantastic. She has an ‘artist eye’, a flair for design and lots of knowledge about plants. She helped me transform my dull deck from mediocre containers into a lavish paradise. I'm so thrilled I feel like I have added and extra room to my home, where I can enjoy sitting outside with a good book and a glass of wine and feel like I'm living in luxury.

Indulge yourself and have the garden of your dreams for a very reasonable price.”

I love what you have done.

“We first contacted Mary Frost because our professionally installed landscape was overgrown and the plants were suffering. Our mow and blow service was doing a fine job on our lawn but were treating all of our plants the same. We wanted to learn how to prune and care for our plants ourselves. We started on our very mature citrus trees. When we were finished Mary had helped us to not only open up the center of the trees to better light and air circulation but we learned how to have more of an artist’s eye for sculpting the shape. We have been amazed with how much we learned in a short time. Mary went above and beyond our expectations. Her positive attitude, professionalism, and hard work ethic make her easy to work with.”

Jerry and Suzanne O'Brien

“I want to thank Mary, The Gardening Tutor, for reacquainting me with my garden. My garden is well established, but in need of some renovation due to plant size, sun or shade needs, and use changes.

Mary listens to your needs and patiently helps you achieve your goals. Her suggestions using her artistic sense of color and form help you create the garden you have in mind. Mary’s gardening knowledge gives you the confidence to care for your own garden. Mary is dependable and trustworthy. The Gardening Tutor is the gardening helper everyone needs.”

Rosalie Mack

“Since my husband and I retained the services of Mary Frost, The Gardening Tutor, our garden has become my new hobby and obsession, which is interesting because I used to not have much interest in gardening and paid others to do it for us. Feeling too busy as it is, the thought of learning something new was just too overwhelming. Working with Mary, however, has made the learning process fun and effortless. I don’t have to learn things the hard, frustrating and expensive way anymore, which means my efforts are far more productive and our plants, flowers and trees are flourishing. Mary comes to our home on a regular basis and we work together, with her educating me on plants, insects, fertilizer and everything in between. We even make “field trips” to the nursery and she advises on the pros and cons of ownership of each type of plant that I select for a given area in our yard.

I am truly grateful for this new hobby because, in the past, I had failed to recognize the therapeutic value of gardening. I have a very stressful job and I am astounded by the stress relief I feel after even just half an hour of tinkering in the garden. With all the new information I have acquired under Mary’s tutelage, I not only appreciate my own garden more, but those of others as well.

Last, but not least, working with Mary has saved us money, not only because we are no longer paying someone else to do our gardening for us, but because when we make a choice at the nursery, it’s a good one and not just another disappointing mistake that will have to be revised in the near future. ”

Michele Brulé
Barry N. Silberg, M.D.

“Mary has the wonderful ability of assisting students in a way that includes them and helps them to feel more comfortable with the material…she is a professional…kind, creative, and generous…”

Debbie Eakins
Coordinator Science Labs Agriculture Department
Santa Rosa Junior College

Organization, design, motivation, plant knowledge and excitement about the project are just a few of the things Mary brought with her when she came to help me with my back yard. All I knew about plants before hiring The Gardening Tutor was what you read on those little tabs in the pot. Mary helped me choose the plants I liked and knew which of these would do well in my yard with the varying sun and soil conditions. Although I could never remember the names of the plants it was fun going to the nurseries looking at the different varieties with someone who knew her way around there. It was alot of work transforming my backyard but well worth it. Thank you Mary for your enthusiasm, it really made me motivated to continue with the project.

Tim Gonsalves

I met Mary Frost when I passed by her home and admired her garden and left her a note to enquire who her gardener was. When I learned that she was a garden tutor, I was overjoyed! Working with Mary has been transformational as she works along side me and teaches me about plants, their orientation, how to best diplay their colors, and make them thrive. If Mary doesn't know the answer to a particular question, she researches it and sends me the answer. She is a pleasure to work with and my own garden is slowly blossoming. I highly recommend The Gardening Tutor!

Janice Flatto

What an absolute pleasure it was to have The Gardening Tutor out to see our home and to "help" us with our landscaping dilemmas. Having lived in our home for over 40 years and seeing our front and back yards go through many transformations, we were at a loss as to where to begin to tie the yard together in a pleasing landscape that suited us and our way of living. Not only did Mary have creative thoughts and suggestions about what we should do, but she listened to our thoughts and integrated them with hers to give us the easy flow we were looking for. Mary's follow-through was thorough as she delivered a well thought out plan for us with complete details on plant material and where we could purchase each item she described. Mary is knowledgeable, resourceful, creative, and possesses a personality that is positive and helpful. We would recommend her without hesitation for anyone looking for the perfect professional to help with any type of garden needs!

Jim and Jean Schettler

The Gardening Tutor
Hands-on, Individualized Gardening Instruction
And Consulting
in Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, California

Hands-On Individualized Gardening Instruction and Consulting in Sonoma County