1. Don’t Make an Expensive Mistake – If it’s a small garden job, it might be enjoyable to carry out yourself. If you trust yourself to do the job, what better way to spend your weekends? However, if it’s a bigger job, hiring a gardener may prevent you from making expensive mistakes. If the project is a too complicated or intricate, there’s a chance you may attempt it unsuccessfully and have to spend a whole lot of cash and time fixing it. If you think the project is too difficult for you, it is definitely worth consulting a professional.
2. The Standard Checks – When hiring a gardener, you need to perform all the standard checks that you would with any person hired to work in your home. Insurance, contracts, recommendations… most of it is covered in our handyman post – so have a quick read for the basics.
3. Quotes – Smaller jobs should have a simple pricing plan, some gardeners might charge by the hour, but larger jobs may be more complicated. One thing is for sure – a sign of a good gardener is that they know all the right questions to ask and they make sure to get all the details before submitting a final quote.
4. Assess What’s Already There – A good gardener should be checking for and working around things like gutters, drain fields and, if digging deep, any underground council lines that may run through your property. If you are aware of any hidden features that could be in the way, it’s best to give your gardener heads up.
5. Taking Out the Trash – Does your gardener include waste disposal in their price? It might be something you don’t want to be lumbered with at the end, or something you may not want to pay for if your council already provides it for free, so it’s best to agree before the start of the job.
6. Local and Wild – Check what types of plants and flowers your gardener recommends planting. Local flowers will flourish with ease as they are already in the right climate and have the right soil and wild flowers will be easy to take care of. The main point is: you don’t want to be stuck with a high maintenance garden that will wither as soon as your gardener leaves.
7. Priorities – If your garden is a big project, you will need to make a specific plan to get the most out of your gardener’s time. Know exactly what you want done, organise the plan into stages and then to smaller jobs within each stage. Prioritise tasks based on stages, importance and difficulty. You might be able to perform smaller jobs and save yourself some money, while leaving the more important and difficult jobs to the professionals.
8. Seasonal Blooms – If you don’t want your garden to look wooden and bare in the winter, make sure your gardener chooses a mixture of evergreen and seasonal plants and flowers.
9. Substance and Texture – It’s not all about plants – stones, wooden or metal structures, bird baths or garden seating can all help to add to your garden, so don’t forget to incorporate some of these features before you make your plan for the ideal garden. Have a look here for inspiration.
10. Hire Someone You Like – Your gardener will do a better job if there is a mutual understanding between both of you. If you get along, it won’t be a chore to have a chat over a cup of tea on a sunny morning – you want to still be able to enjoy your garden when your gardener is visiting.