I have just written and deleted a very long post about my tales of woe about finding a gardener this year.
This is what I'm looking for:
Weekly visit Own equipment mowing 2 lawns - when needed trimming 2 hedges - when needed digging, creating, expanding and adding compost/manure to flower beds Planting plants Weeding
I believe the going rate for such a gardener is 15-16 pounds an hour where I live in Buckinghamshire which is fine. In fact I would pay more during the preparation of beds process.
What I would really like to ask gardeners on here is if anything on my list is unrealistic. I would be grateful for your advice.
My upstairs neighbour and I have tried and failed to find anyone. They either don't want to do anything except mow lawns or trim hedges for a vast fee, disappear for weeks at a time, then turn up to mow the lawn without saying they are coming, then disappearing again, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
I've had another gardener referred to me - she just called, she said she doesn't do lawns or hedges so back to square one and start looking again next Spring I guess.
My next door neighbour has had a lot of trouble finding someone as well.
I've told her I can do anything she needs/can't do herself, as I was getting frustrated at how one 'gardener' was trying to take advantage of her (he didn't realise that being elderly doesn't necessarily mean you don't know what's what. She out him straight quite quickly :-D).
I suppose part of the problem is what do gardeners do to make a living during the winter months when its difficult to do any gardening.
Being disabled it really maddens me that I can't do what's needed - I tried but trying to trim the front hedge fell backwards and was 8 weeks on traction in hospital last year so made things worse and won't be trying that again.
Well it looks like I'm not alone - I hope we all have better luck next year
Is there a horticultural college or gardening course near you? You could contact them and ask for volunteers who are looking to start up a business? Judging by other posts on here, £15-16 an hour is a good offer for the kind of help you are looking for (which all sounds completely reasonable, btw).