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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:

- 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 and can, to a large extent, cherry pick the best customers.

- Some people inadvertently or purposefully hire labourers/handy helpers instead of professional, qualified gardeners. Cheap amateur labourers have little incentive to be regular or reliable and might prove to be fair weather 'gardeners' only.

- Gardening is seasonal. 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.

A gardener may advertise for work even if they are '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.