To think £50 is a bit steep for an hours gardening work?

(68 Posts)
FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 19:19:24

Ok, so there was two of them so £25 per man hour - but this still seems a bit over the top cost wise to me. I am quite prepared to be told I am being unreasonable though as I really have no idea what the going rate for a gardener is!

I have always wanted to have a lovely well maintained garden and really tried to keep on top of it myself. It's been a difficult few years and working on the garden has been low on my priority list. This year I thought, sod it, I'm going to treat myself (and the family) to a bit of help in the garden, despite having to make cut backs to afford it.

We agreed on a price of £50 per visit to maintain the garden every two weeks for the next few months. It's a fairly large garden so I thought fair enough, it's probably going to take them a while to get through everything - loads of mature shrubs, bushes etc. However, they arrived for the first time this morning at around 8 am and they were gone by the time I got back from the school run at 9. I was a bit put out if I'm honest because for £50 quid I was expecting a good couple of hours at least. I wouldn't mind so much if the whole garden had been sorted, but only the left side was tended to.

WIBU to send the guy an email saying I'm not happy about the cost or is £25 per hour not unreasonable for a gardener in the London suburbs? I'm also very aware that we did agree on a price for the job and not a by the hour tariff (silly me!). I can't work out if I'm being a total skinflint or not. They don't have any formal qualifications as far as I know BTW

MrsWinnibago Tue 10-Jun-14 19:21:35

YANBU. What did they actually do?? Can you see a difference?

MrsWinnibago Tue 10-Jun-14 19:22:08

25 an hour for normal gardening is steep. I would expect to pay abuot 15 an hour....if they were skilled and experienced.

LiberalLibertine Tue 10-Jun-14 19:24:44

Wha?! I'm in the wrong game YANBU

EmilyByrdStarr Tue 10-Jun-14 19:24:45

We pay £10 hour here in the South East and our gardener is great.

clam Tue 10-Jun-14 19:26:37

I would pay £15pp/ph tops.
Although remember that 2 men doing an hour each (8 'til 9) is actually 2 hours.
Still think they were taking the piss though.

thebodylovesspring Tue 10-Jun-14 19:26:59

They are taking the piss because you didn't set the ground rules. Cheeky buggers.

Round here it's £10 per hour.

FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 19:28:44

Thanks for your reply Mrs W.

I can see a difference but possibly not £50 worth!

The garden looks good but not perfectly manicured (which actually I wouldn't want anyway as I don't think that look would suit the garden). They are a family outfit, rather than a larger maintenance company, which I do like, but it just seems so much money for an hours work!

MrsChickPea Tue 10-Jun-14 19:31:37

In South East. My dad has a gardener/cleaner (a man) - he get's paid £10 an hour whether for cleaning or gardening. I think you may have proper professional gardeners in, but that sounds expensive (a bit like the cleaners Molly Maid who charged me £45 for 2 cleaners to clean most of my house but not all - who were here for a total of 20 minutes). I cancelled that contract!

FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 19:34:37

Ok great, thanks for all your replies. I am draughting an email as we speak!

I'm so relieved Im not just being a total cheapskate!

FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 19:35:41

Wow Mrs CP that takes rip off to a whole new level!

Madlizzy Tue 10-Jun-14 19:36:36

DH is a gardener and for £50, he'd spend around 4 hours gardening. We're in the NW, but even for London prices, that's steep.

thegreylady Tue 10-Jun-14 19:37:44

We pay £20 for one man for two hours. He weeds, cuts grass, trims hedges and anything else he thinks needs doing. He does a lot of gardens in our village and his rate is £10 an hour smile

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Jun-14 19:37:52

Did they take waste away with them? Branches/grass etc? Waste disposal costs a fortune. It may be worth asking them for a breakdown of the costs before going in all guns blazing. That £50 has to cover their wages/insurance/tools/transport/expertise...

Bowlersarm Tue 10-Jun-14 19:39:13

£12 per hour here. One person.

Notfootball Tue 10-Jun-14 19:44:50

I'm just outside London and my (professional) gardener charges £15 an hour, so even if he brought his brother it would still only be £30 an hour. My garden is large and in 3 hours (£45) he can pretty much complete it. I don't get him to mow it though, just to tend extensive trees and shrubs.

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 10-Jun-14 19:51:15

I was desperate for a gardener so employed one for £15 ph. I thought it was steep but couldn't find anyone else. West Berkshire. This year he knocked at the door and I said, "Sorry I can't manage it this year."

I'm physically better at it now so have time to find someone else.

FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 19:52:54

ItsAllGoing - Yes they do take waste with them although there was very little to take today as my husband mows the lawn and the shrubs didn't need much pruning on the left side of the garden. I will ask for a breakdown of costs, thank you for the suggestion.

londonrach Tue 10-Jun-14 19:53:37

Wow I'm in the wrong job...

I guess it depends on the gardener. Is he driving a signwritten or newish vehicle? Which presumably he needs to tax, mot, insure and put fuel into.

Does he have public liability insurance?

Does he use his own tools? And if so does he use a petrol mower/strimmer? Would they be expensive to buy initially then replace if they got broken or damaged?

Is he legit, and paying his taxes?

I guess all of those overheads would be hard to cover on £10 per hour...

Lucyccfc Tue 10-Jun-14 20:05:40

Mine charges £10 and as we have a small back garden and medium size front, I am very happy with it. It takes him about 45 minutes and he comes every 2 weeks. He removes all the cuttings and weeds after and sweeps the path. He's putting all my new wood chips down this weekend.

I am in the NW, so would expect it to be cheaper than the South.

FlamingGalar Tue 10-Jun-14 20:08:39

The van is a fairly oldish with no sign writing etc. They use hand tools rather than petrol driven - apart from the lawn mower obviously!

I really like the guy that owns the company. He's a very gentle guy that seems to enjoy his work and the company is a family set up which I really like. I've sent him an email asking to renegotiate terms. Of course I understand the job entails significant overheads. I'm not looking for cheap labour - just value for money!

I'm pretty sure he is legit as I found him through rated people.com.

MyCatIsAStupidBastard Tue 10-Jun-14 20:08:58

DH is a gardener and he charges £15 ph. We are in the south west for comparison. £25 seems pretty steep to be honest.

GrendelsMinim Tue 10-Jun-14 20:10:39

What qualifications do they have? If they're experienced and well qualified professionals, then £25 / hour sounds perfectly reasonable - but, without meaning any insult, they then may be better than you need for your garden.

On the other hand, if they are unqualified, then £25 / hour sounds steep to me. Though of course, they still have to cover insurance, petrol, machinery, disposal of materials, etc.

Joysmum Tue 10-Jun-14 20:31:43

If they are disposing of waste then it'll be more. My gardener charges either £10 for light gardening or £15 for more manual labour. He doesn't dispose of waste, not did the previous chap.

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