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  • FIRST POST
    • Nathaniel Essex
    • By Nathaniel Essex 7th Apr 18, 9:19 PM
    • 91Posts
    • 51Thanks
    Nathaniel Essex
    Does anyone else have trouble finding a gardener?
    • #1
    • 7th Apr 18, 9:19 PM
    Does anyone else have trouble finding a gardener? 7th Apr 18 at 9:19 PM
    I just have to rant. For almost 3 years I have been looking for a gardener. I have tried mobile apps, Facebook, RatedPeople and so on. The most recent attempt was an ad in a window and like the rest before them; responded in good time, arranged a meeting but failed to show up.
    I have been in contact with no less then 10 people and it's always the same.

    I am not even including those who I sent pictures to only to quote almost £100 to cut a small front garden and hedge.
Page 1
    • lr1277
    • By lr1277 7th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    • 548 Posts
    • 316 Thanks
    lr1277
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    When I rented a property, the letting agent recommended a very good and cheap gardener.
    But as a landlord, I asked my letting agent for a recommendation for an electrician and I used them but they were expensive, compared to the alternatives who I knew myself, but were unavailable.
    So you could ask nearby letting agents, who they use.

    In terms of the £100, that may be reasonable. In terms of the hedge cuttings, are they going to put it on your compost heap or in your waste bin?
    If not, they will remove the hedge stuff themselves and hopefully dispose of it at an authorised tip. These days this costs money for commercial outfits to dispose at the tip.

    HTH
    • outofworksch
    • By outofworksch 8th Apr 18, 9:04 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    outofworksch
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:04 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:04 AM
    Try your local garden centre, they get to know their customers fairly well and should know who are professional gardeners and who aren't.

    You could also ask if there is somewhere you could leave a card asking for help.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Apr 18, 9:13 AM
    • 38,390 Posts
    • 34,992 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:13 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:13 AM
    Do you know anyone else who uses a gardener? I'd say personal recommendation is the way to go.

    I found mine after asking several builders who were doing work for me if they knew anyone: they didn't. Then I needed a tree surgeon, and he said he might ... because his wife was a gardener, but he didn't know if she had capacity! Fortunately she likes to have plenty of clients, and she knew she was shortly losing one job (emigration), so she came to me. Now she does my neighbour too!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern on order...
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 8th Apr 18, 9:16 AM
    • 3,468 Posts
    • 5,946 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:16 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:16 AM
    One of the problems with gardeners is that any muppet can set themselves up as one and do a cheap job at a cheap price.

    This tends to make good gardeners rare and expensive.

    There are, of course, good and reasonably priced gardeners out there but they generally have more than enough work on to keep them happy.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • Nathaniel Essex
    • By Nathaniel Essex 8th Apr 18, 8:51 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Nathaniel Essex
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 18, 8:51 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 18, 8:51 PM
    Do you know anyone else who uses a gardener? I'd say personal recommendation is the way to go.

    I found mine after asking several builders who were doing work for me if they knew anyone: they didn't. Then I needed a tree surgeon, and he said he might ... because his wife was a gardener, but he didn't know if she had capacity! Fortunately she likes to have plenty of clients, and she knew she was shortly losing one job (emigration), so she came to me. Now she does my neighbour too!
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    Our neighbor across had one. When I found out I waited for him to show up on the weekend but unfortunately the neighbor passed that week.

    Thanks for the reply all. How much does a gardener usually charge? I am trying to find someone for no more than £20 an hour. The job initially should take no more than 1.5 hours and less than an hour for ongoing maintenance.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 8th Apr 18, 9:03 PM
    • 1,749 Posts
    • 2,509 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:03 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 18, 9:03 PM
    I don't think that's enough money. Anyone who's reasonably skilled deserves at least 50 quid for turning up and doing a job for you. We used to pay my gran's gardener 50 quid a visit. Sometimes he'd be an hour, sometimes two depending on what needed doing. That was back in 2011.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • 38,390 Posts
    • 34,992 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    Our neighbor across had one. When I found out I waited for him to show up on the weekend but unfortunately the neighbor passed that week.
    Originally posted by Nathaniel Essex
    Has the house sold since then? If not, I'd put a note through for whoever is dealing with the estate, just asking if they know who the gardener was. I know they might not, but if it's family dealing with it there's a fair chance.

    Thanks for the reply all. How much does a gardener usually charge? I am trying to find someone for no more than £20 an hour. The job initially should take no more than 1.5 hours and less than an hour for ongoing maintenance.
    Originally posted by Nathaniel Essex
    I'd say it depends where you live, but definitely expect to pay for at least an hour a week even if the job takes less time than that.

    I don't think that's enough money. Anyone who's reasonably skilled deserves at least 50 quid for turning up and doing a job for you. We used to pay my gran's gardener 50 quid a visit. Sometimes he'd be an hour, sometimes two depending on what needed doing. That was back in 2011.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    that seems a lot to me. Mine only charges £15 per hour, but when she said that I practically bit her hand off as I was expecting to pay more ...

    OP is it skilled work or would a willing teenager be able to do it, under supervision? Do you have the tools? That would widen the pool, IMO, especially if you KNOW any teenagers ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern on order...
    • elsien
    • By elsien 8th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    • 16,190 Posts
    • 40,909 Thanks
    elsien
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    Parent struggled to find a proper gardener.
    It's easy enough to find someone to mow a lawn and do a bit of strimming, or someone to come in and do one off garden clearance, but finding someone to come regularly and do the weeding, pruning, digging up and moving etc. was nigh on impossible. She eventually tracked down a retired person who had time on his hands and only a small garden of his own. She only pays £10 an hour (she would happily pay more) as the person enjoys doing her garden and won't accept any more than that.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Apr 18, 10:17 PM
    • 38,390 Posts
    • 34,992 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Just wondering, is a garden share a possibility? eg Lend and Tend?
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern on order...
    • davemorton
    • By davemorton 8th Apr 18, 10:54 PM
    • 26,070 Posts
    • 317,184 Thanks
    davemorton
    I don't think that's enough money. Anyone who's reasonably skilled deserves at least 50 quid for turning up and doing a job for you. We used to pay my gran's gardener 50 quid a visit. Sometimes he'd be an hour, sometimes two depending on what needed doing. That was back in 2011.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    I think that is utterly ridiculous. Even working 30 hours a week for only 9 months of the year, that puts them on just under £60k a year.
    “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
    Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 8th Apr 18, 11:27 PM
    • 1,749 Posts
    • 2,509 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I think that is utterly ridiculous. Even working 30 hours a week for only 9 months of the year, that puts them on just under £60k a year.
    Originally posted by davemorton
    I don't know why people add up skilled self employed hourly rates like they're calculating an employee's salary. But if you're going to do it then be realistic.

    I didn't say 50/hour. Lets paint a rosy picture of 50 per job with three or four jobs a day, five days a week for nine months a year. That's 39K right at the top end before any of the considerable costs have been taken out. I'd say those figures are very optimistic.

    People really don't seem to value skilled labour.
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 9th Apr 18, 9:54 AM
    • 987 Posts
    • 618 Thanks
    dunroving
    I don't know why people add up skilled self employed hourly rates like they're calculating an employee's salary. But if you're going to do it then be realistic.

    I didn't say 50/hour. Lets paint a rosy picture of 50 per job with three or four jobs a day, five days a week for nine months a year. That's 39K right at the top end before any of the considerable costs have been taken out. I'd say those figures are very optimistic.

    People really don't seem to value skilled labour.
    Originally posted by shortcrust
    I do these sorts of calculations whenever I think a tradesperson's quote is high. I usually pretty quickly come to the conclusion that it is not.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 9th Apr 18, 5:13 PM
    • 1,180 Posts
    • 728 Thanks
    fishybusiness
    Tips for finding a gardener you will keep.....

    Don't expect a weekly visit, or even fortnightly unless you have a lot of work for them. Time is money, and travelling from job to job lowers potential earnings. Perhaps ask for a once a month visit and pay for 4 or 6 hours work, gardeners are much happier to take on larger lumps of work.

    Expect to pay £20 per hour plus if you want someone you can trust to prune your shrubs, deal with weeds, know what to cut when and generally get on with it.

    Waste costs vary around the country but expect to pay £5 to £10 for a metre cubed bag of waste, removal and disposal - commercial disposal rates plus time to and from disposal can add up and your gardener still has to earn a living.

    Look after your gardener and he/ she will always come back.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 9th Apr 18, 7:01 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Discussions like these are valuable. Sadly there are still a lot of (generally older) people who think a gardener should be lucky to have the priveledge of working for them and £15/hr is a good rate!

    Consider this... a gardener may cost £10/hr to run as a business. They are often onky able to work 9-10months a year, there is no holiday pay, no employers pension contributions or sick pay, and any professional running a business deserves to make £30k. Now start crunching numbers.

    A gardener has to have PL insurance. They have to pay themselves for training courses for chainsaws, pesticides, machinery use, as well as spend a lot of time learning on the job.

    Gardeners have to deal with some members of the public trying to cancel their visits at arrival when it rains. Dog poo in lawns which flies all over your face when strimming.

    Expecting someone to drive to your house and do skilled work with (typically) £4000-worth of equipment for £20 is a joke. It's an archaic mindset that will hopefully die out with the dinosaurs eventually.

    As a pr0fessional gardener in the trade 9 years so far, and one who still has a number of original clients, it definitely takes two to tango. If you struggle to keep a good quality gardener maybe you're giving off bad vibes!
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 9th Apr 18, 7:04 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Tips for finding a gardener you will keep.....

    Don't expect a weekly visit, or even fortnightly unless you have a lot of work for them. Time is money, and travelling from job to job lowers potential earnings. Perhaps ask for a once a month visit and pay for 4 or 6 hours work, gardeners are much happier to take on larger lumps of work.

    Expect to pay £20 per hour plus if you want someone you can trust to prune your shrubs, deal with weeds, know what to cut when and generally get on with it.

    Waste costs vary around the country but expect to pay £5 to £10 for a metre cubed bag of waste, removal and disposal - commercial disposal rates plus time to and from disposal can add up and your gardener still has to earn a living.

    Look after your gardener and he/ she will always come back.
    Originally posted by fishybusiness
    I refuse to do monthly work! And i prefer to do short visits as I can utilise my experience and efficiency to make a better living that way.

    I've not charged "per hour" since my first summer, and I've been fully booked March to December ever since.

    This winter I was also fully booked right through.
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 9th Apr 18, 7:23 PM
    • 1,180 Posts
    • 728 Thanks
    fishybusiness
    Each to their own I suppose, we dropped short visits long ago, just not enough money in it for us.

    Perhaps depends on location, we have plenty of full day work in larger properties, less travel, less invoicing and we can still hold our rate.

    So will juggle the half days, don't do less than that now.

    The hourly rate I mentioned is a guide for someone looking for a gardener when working out what the work might cost - we are fixed rate for everything too.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 9th Apr 18, 7:46 PM
    • 2,857 Posts
    • 3,202 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    Each to their own I suppose, we dropped short visits long ago, just not enough money in it for us.

    Perhaps depends on location, we have plenty of full day work in larger properties, less travel, less invoicing and we can still hold our rate.

    So will juggle the half days, don't do less than that now.

    The hourly rate I mentioned is a guide for someone looking for a gardener when working out what the work might cost - we are fixed rate for everything too.
    Originally posted by fishybusiness
    I can see that with a van with 2-3 in it. I dropped employing when my first born arrived and work on my own now hence I can get between jobs quickly and £/min rates work out much better when you're on a min job price doing 15 minute visits.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 10th Apr 18, 12:44 AM
    • 1,084 Posts
    • 386 Thanks
    sevenhills
    I do a little gardening. I just charge a small fee, I try to keep it to people that I know.
    I do any jobs that make me and the dog feel welcome. I don't think people know where to look for gardeners, its no longer the newspaper, but its now facebook and social media.

    • halogen
    • By halogen 10th Apr 18, 1:59 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    halogen
    If finding a gardener is anything like finding a cleaner, i feel your pain!
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