How to find a good gardener is a question for many busy households. Perhaps you are juggling work and parenting and really don’t have time to commit to keeping your garden in good order. This can be an issue as it stops you enjoying your garden to the full and neighbours may complain it is become overgrown and ugly. Many older people struggle as they age to keep up with a garden that is their pride and joy. Gardening is regular household expense if you choose to take someone on so it is important to choose your gardener carefully.
Finding the right gardener
Ask around to see if any of your family or friends can recommend a good gardener. Be really clear what you want the gardener to do. Some areas of gardening require really good levels of experience and training. Small jobs may just require a gardener who is fit and healthy without any specific expertise. You may feel more reassured for more complex jobs if your gardener can show you paper qualifications. Ask for references or testimonials so you are absolutely certain you have picked a gardener you can rely on. Check whether your gardener has a public liability insurance certificate, which would cover any damage they caused to your property. Safe contractor or CHAS accreditation and evidence of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are other good signs of a professional business.
Clarity on what you want to be done
Some gardeners are very enthusiastic and might try to persuade you to take on services that you really do not want or need. Before contacting potential gardeners be very clear on the garden service you want them to do for you. Remember you are the customer so you should be calling the shots. Having said that ask them to use their own tools or you could inadvertently end up in an employer and employee relationship which comes with legal requirements.
Set a firm budget
As with all situations where you take on a tradesperson be very clear on what you can afford. If you over-stretch in any area like this, that leads to stress at best and debt at worst. Get firm quotes having set out specifically what you need and want doing in your garden. Make sure the quote is confirmed in writing so you can refer back to it in case of dispute. Check how your gardener wishes to be paid and how often. Although saving money is good, be realistic and question particularly low quotes which may indicate a lack of expertise or other challenging issues. Quotes may be per hour or per job particularly in the case of larger gardening projects. Check that quotes include waste disposal charges too if you want them to take the garden waste away for you.
What tips do you have for engaging a gardener?