Innovation That Matters

Marketplace for local gardening help

Work & Lifestyle

Much the way BookOfCooks connects amateur chefs with consumers seeking a home-cooked meal, Plant Concierge is a new site that helps those in need of gardening advice find local experts who can help. Whereas most directories list just professional gardeners, Plant Concierge includes experienced amateurs who may just be available for a few hours per week, for example, but who can still provide the expertise that’s needed. Professionals and amateurs alike can register on the site, creating a profile with the geographical area they’re willing to serve, photos of their past projects and the types of services they can provide. (Registration is currently free, but ultimately there will be a charge, Plant Concierge says; retail stores can list themselves as well.) Consumers in need of help, meanwhile, can conduct a search on Plant Concierge based on where they live, the type of help they need (advice, maintenance, design or installation) and the types of plants involved—edibles, for example, or lawns and hedges. Profiles and reviews can help consumers choose the gardener they’d like to help them, and all arrangements and payments are negotiated directly by the consumer and the gardener. With growing interest in all things green—and, in particular, urban farming and hyperlocally grown food—there’s little doubt there will be plenty of demand from consumers lacking the expertise or time to handle all the gardening themselves. For talented amateur gardeners, meanwhile, it’s a golden opportunity to jump on board the sellsumer train and earn a little extra cash. Then, of course, there are sites like Plant Concierge, which stand to win by making this win-win possible. Currently Netherlands-based Plant Concierge serves the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; one to partner with or emulate in other parts of the world…? (Related: More homegrown vegetables, without the sweatBoosting suburban farms.)



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