Do you have a gardener? Are you looking to hire one? More and more people are choosing to hire a gardener to maintain their property instead of doing it themselves and it is imperative that you choose wisely. What the wrong gardener can do in 10 minutes could take 10 months to rectify. One of my clients hired a gardener to trim her hedges. To her horror, when he finished she could barely tell she even had a hedge, the plants were trimmed back so much! By the time she called me in it had been 8 months and the hedges still had not grown back to their desired shape. Here are some important things to look for when hiring a gardener.
Before you give them the job
1. What is their appearance like? Have they dressed relatively nicely fora tradesman or are they scruffy and unkempt? Remember, you are hiring them to care for your plants. Do you want to hire someone who doesn’t care for their own appearance to care for the appearance of your garden?
2. Can they talk the talk? By this I mean, do they seem to understand what you are asking them to do. Many good gardeners won’t know everything but they should at least be able to follow your conversation and perhaps even suggest idea’s as you go. If they seem lost with what you are talking about, they are probably lost about what to do. This is no sure way to determine if they do know what to do, because it isn’t that hard to fake it, but if they can’t even fake it…do you want to trust your garden to them?
3. Do they mind you asking questions. A good gardener will not just see you as a means to making money but will see your garden as something they want to partner with you to improve. If they don’t seem to mind you asking questions they are probably going to be a better fit for you.
After they have been
4. How did they leave the place? Did they sweep up after themselves? Put everything back to its rightful place if they moved it? If they’ve taken care to leave your place well it is more likely they’ll have cared to do a good job. If they leave it messy, that often means they are a person who takes shortcuts that may not be beneficial to your garden.
5. Check the most obscure part of your garden, has it been touched? Are their any hidy-holes around your place? The best gardeners will take care of your property regardless of how visible it is. Sure, they might do a better job of the most prominent places because they will be seen the most, but even the unseen should be looked after. Check underneath bushes to see if they have bothered to remove any weeds that may be hiding. If they have been thorough here then chances are they are thorough in every way.
6. Are they clear and above board about payment? This might sound like a strange one but if your gardener is willing to turn a blind eye to things regarding payment, they may well have also turned a blind eye to other elements of plant care that could save them money. No one likes paying taxes but a gardener that shows integrity and treats your job above board is far more likely, in my experience, to do the very best job. Paying cash is fine but I myself would be wary of offering cash as an incentive to get it cheaper simply because it means that gardener is willing to cut corners. I will receive cash but it will always be above board.