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Good gardeners are busy gardeners

People often say that it is hard to find a good gardener - and they are right!

The following may help you understand why:

- Gardeners may not respond immediately to a telephone call. They may be driving, up a ladder or using noisy tools. They may get a number of phone calls during the day but not have their diary to hand. They may have a number of voicemails to check at the end of the day but not be able to return those calls until the next day or two due to long working hours or other committments. Sending the gardener an email can help them manage their enquiries better.

- A good gardener is a busy gardener. As a result, they often don't need to advertise and can be hard to find. Our research shows that gardeners often work within a 10 mile radius and gain most of their work through recommendations.

- A gardeners work is mostly regular, repeat work. Once they are busy they tend to stay busy. This is especially true during the growing season.

- Gardeners are in-demand but there is a finite number of hours in the day. A busy gardener will likely prioritise the best customers.

- Gardeners are extra busy during the growing season. Our research shows that gardeners are unlikely to take a holiday between February and July because of the busy growing season. A gardeners diary will quickly fill up during this time. Gardeners are most likely to take holiday during August (school holidays) or September/October. This is when the growing season is slowing and gardeners are burnt-out from working long hours in the sun and need a break! Do not be surprised if it is hard to find a gardener during this time. However, after their holidays, gardeners return ready to schedule work for the autumn and winter seasons.

- Members are self employed and may choose not to answer their phones at evenings or weekends. It is best to try and contact gardeners during working hours. Emailing a gardener may be best. A gardeners diary is often booked up at least 1 month in advance so try to plan ahead where possible.

A gardener may advertise for work even if their schedule is 'full'. Why?

- They may have space in their diary but not as much space as you are asking for. This can vary by season.

- They may be taking advance bookings for winter pruning but are full for the current season.

- It is difficult to be reliable if you have over committed. A gardener may limit the amount of time they spend on regular maintenance to 80% of their diary. As a result, they may only have space for one-off work.

- They may only accept regular customers who want regular maintenance all year round rather than just during the summer.

- Being 'full' can vary with the weather. Existing customers get priority and the weather may cause planning uncertainty that makes it hard to commit to new appointments.

Find your local qualified gardener in our national Member Register of Qualified Gardeners.


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