“The best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener.”

(A popular gardening proverb.)


 

Welcome to…

Shadow Of The Gardener.

I offer 2 types of Gardening Styles…

 


My more subtle approach to Gardening :



Catering to Larger Private Gardens and Small Estates or Properties.

  • Providing Scheduled 4 Season – Annual Gardening Services.

Chocolate Box Village or Cottage Garden work a Speciality.

  • Bespoke Bonsai or Cloud styling & Training.

– For your Ornamental Trees and Shrubs or other Exotic Specimens & Features –


 

My less subtle approach to Gardening:



 

Heavy Duty or Larger Estate scaled Grass, Lawn or Hedge Cutting.

Village Greens & Verges care.

Enhancing Pub Gardens or Public Facing Displays.

In Bloom efforts.

Portfolio “dream work”.



I offer both these Styles to my Commercial & Domestic Clients and Customers.



“The best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener.”

(A popular gardening proverb.)


I welcome requests to view my;

  1. Portfolio.
  2. Insurance & Public Liability cover levels.
  3. My current C.V

They all reflect my previous experiences which are all transferable skills to my business and I show I have expertise in important areas.

 

Which is after all; why you are looking at a Professional Gardeners website.

Correct?

Shadow of the Gardener performs heavy duty, technical or risky work.

Requiring a high level of personal fitness and stamina to get High Quality Results.

While operating large and dangerous Machinery.


I firmly believe in customer satisfaction.

If you are not happy, then I am not happy.

I want value for money when I pay for a service;

So I deliver the same to my customers!

I am currently only taking on:
  1. Portfolio Quality Shrub/Tree/Vine Training: Works of interest for my Portfolio.
  2. Bonsai Collection Care and Cloud Training Projects also for my Portfolio.
  3. Long Term Garden Care Engagements ~ V.I.P Properties ~ Elite Private Clientele Gardens.
  4. Light & Heavy Duty Brush Cutting or Strimming Team Work.
  5. Large Area Grass Cutting Teamwork.

 

1, 2 & 3 are subject to the following required Booking Length:

  • 4 Hour Minimum Bookings Only.
  • – Single Day Rate from £250+ Based on Work Required.
  • £25 Per Hour Minimum Solo Rate.

 

4 & 5 are subject to the following Booking Length:

  • 8 Hour Minimum Bookings Only – Single Day “Cull and Clear” Package Deals.
  • 2 or 3 Man Team @ Competitive Team Rates.
  • Half Day Rate from £250+ Based on Work Required.

 

I am employed by people to:

Operate as a Gardener providing Gardening Services & maintenance for Select clientele in their Gardens.

Set in the beautiful countryside County of Rutland.


 

Tending their Long range needs to promote Health and Growth of established Private Gardens, Estates & Living Spaces.

4-8 Hours Per week Minimum Basic Booking Length.

Or a Minimum Total of 16 Hours Per Month spaced over a Month to suit the weather conditions and your property needs.

Payable by Cash, Monthly Invoiced Account or Direct Debit Payment Only.


Private Gardens?

Caring and Tending for mature, formal gardens, or long established gardens.

Requiring a bespoke level of Service and knowledge.

With the right tools and skills to bring out the best of what you have.

Then plan and Design the next stages of your dream garden.


 


V.IP or Elite Private Clientele Contracts?

I define these as:

A Private Property and Living Space that requires a 4 hour or more Booking Per Week as a minimum.

So that Garden or Property can be adequately cared for and tended while you are home or away.

An assured booking Year round and every week or fortnight to suit your garden size, needs and annual budget.

Allowing you to control the amount of hours and what jobs are prioritised to suit your needs or that of your families or tenants.

Also ensuring your garden is taken care for while you are away.


 

So your Plants are always watered and tended.

Ponds cared for and cleared; Stock fed and monitored.

The garden gets what it needs and more importantly; when it needs.

Also providing a scheduled regular site visit to check on Security & Storm Damage.


 

Starting in the early part of the year till clearing away for Winter.

Including closing down the garden to carry out the off season job list.



Preparing your garden for “Uppingham in Bloom” or for Showing to private guests or Village Open Garden Events.


 


Contact Simon directly to discuss the Shadow of the Gardener Elite Care Package.


 

Larger or Lengthier Contracts considered but are subject to a Manpower requirements & Risk Assessment + Insurance costs.

I do not perform Tree Surgery, Lopping, Crowning or Aerial Cutting or Pruning requiring a Chainsaw.

I do however perform Shrub and Tree Training and apply Bonsai methods as well as other Topiary techniques to enhance Tree shapes or growth to suit your garden or aesthetic tastes.

I also provide scheduled and out of season emergency Orchard and Vine Care

As well as Ornamental Stock or procedural cultivation and crafting around buildings and small enclosures.

 

  • Specimen & Portfolio Shrub/Tree/Vine Training Work.
  • Bonsai and Cloud Training.
  • Hand Cultivated Yamadori work a speciality.

 

My minimum Hourly Rate only covers the costs of the van and tools I currently require to do my job & pay myself the Living Wage.

If the work requires upgraded insurances, specialist or upgraded equipment or tools; or extra staff to complete it:

I will inform you in person as we discuss the Task list for your Garden and options to cover those needs.


 

The hourly fees for the Technical or High risk Jobs will rise accordingly to cover those extra costs or equipment needs.

Your Monthly Invoice will reflect those costs and detail them for clarification.

This is to ensure your work is completed safely and on time; and to the standard required.


 

This also ensures you are being covered by the correct levels of insurance and with adequate financial security and peace of mind that correct amount of Public Liability Insurance covers Shadow of the Gardener while working on your Property or Land.


Unlike most other Gardeners or Gardening Companies:

  1. I do not take on too many bookings or Clients.
  2. I only require a few Clients.
  3. Who I enjoy working for; and they enjoy me working for them.
  4. I never overstretch myself and my services are personal and tailored to your needs.
  5. As well as your gardens requirements.
  6. I refuse to work 80 hour weeks during peak times.
  7. Because I cannot give my clients the time and effort they want.
  8. Or is required on their gardens.

It might sound odd, but I have other interests and things to do than work all the hours of sunlight in a day once my Clients are happy and their Gardens are Tended.

The main 2 are:

  1. My own Gardening projects and horticultural interests.

(I have a large Bonsai collection that needs constant attention!) and of course:

Secondly; My dog.

“Shadow” is a Border Collie cross (Kelpie) and was a Rescue.

He is my PTSD Therapy Dog,

He also provides Canine Therapy;

While I support people providing Horticultural Therapy.*

He’s High Energy and very loving and comes with me pretty much everywhere.

“Every day is take my dog to work day; and a large part of the reason I built the Shadow of the Gardener Business and Online presence.”

*As I also operate a 1-2-1 Horticultural Therapy business to promote Physical and Mental well being.


Neither of these can; nor will be neglected.

I bestow the same principle and ethics on your garden.

My passion is my business and my business is my passion!

I believe the Clients who have employed me concurrently over the seasons will happily reference me and those will state Shadow of the Gardeners Garden Care Services are High Quality and good value for money.


Company Details:

Please read the following to ensure you understand what Services I Provide or do not Provide.

As well as why my Rates are priced accordingly.

Shadow of the Gardener is Owned and Operated by Simon.

IOSH certified risk assessor with Public Liability Insurance.

SOTG is a Registered Green Waste Carrier.

I’ve also worked for many years with Enhanced CRB-DBS & worked As a Security Force Member serving as an Infantry Soldier.

I am Enhanced DBS checkable if required & at your own cost.

(Any SOTG Staff will also be DBS Clear or Checkable at your own cost, for your peace of mind.)

You allow SOTG to work in your personal spaces and places so you should be able to trust myself and anyone working alongside me.


Shadow of the Gardener respects your privacy and personal spaces.

You invite us in to tend to your Garden Space needs, we will do so as unobtrusively as possible and leave discreetly.

We operate in Vehicles that either carry Company Markings, Signwriting or Livery or will have some form of Company clothing or Logo on to show who we are and why we are at a residence.


I manage my Client bookings with the weather each week.

To .ensure the maximum time spent on site;

Is spent working and getting things done.

Rather than mowing a lawn when it’s soaking wet from the rain an hour earlier or while I’m there because I will only take a weekly appointment set in stone regardless of rain, hail or snow.


I will work in wet weather, if I have jobs suited for the weather conditions.

Pruning and other typical tasks can be performed in Wet weather.

The tasks that are not; there is little point performing them or will cause damage or harm.

Or will not provide Optimal or Healthy growth so are Bad Practices & Discouraged.

Some Clients would rather not have their garden tended in the wet or poor weather conditions.

I will come clear your drive or path of snow or storm damage if I can get to you and it was arranged prior that you want that service.

(Also as an Emergency Call Out at Emergency Rates.)

Call out time will be based on your Emergency level, Risk and Weather + Availability.

Priority Response & Emergency Fee based on Risk Assessment on site + Fast Responder Call out charges.

If you are in Mortal Danger; or your home is at serious risk or life threatening Danger.

  1. Get yourself and your Family Safe.
  2. Call 999!
  3. Stay Safe till Emergency the Services Arrive.

While I may have to juggle bookings around, this is part and parcel of being a busy gardener with select Clientele who want and are happy with the services I provide and why I do not overbook myself.  Customer Satisfaction is the backbone of my business and my day to day work and efforts.  I worked hard to get the reputation I have; and intend for it to stay that way.


OK, that’s covered the why I do what I do as well as the “why I do it; how I do it.”

Here is a rough guide to what I do…

I spend my week working for Private Clients in their Garden and Living Spaces.

My usual Booking is 4-6 Hours long and during that time I rarely take a break other than to take on fluid or fuel machines up.

Tending the Garden and Grounds as the Season and Weather demands; as well as working down Clients Task or To do lists.

A large part of my time is spent operating a range of Heavy Duty professional:

  • Lawn and Hedge care Machinery.
  • High Powered Cleaning and Washing Systems.
  • Petrol and Electrical powered Technical Horticultural Equipment.

To provide complete care packages for:

  • Small and well established Private gardens.
  • Through to larger Estate sized Living Spaces.
  • Driveways and Tennis Court Cleaning.
  • Orchard Training and management.
  • Ornamental Tree, Shrub or Specimen Training.
  • Seasonal and Formal Pruning.
  • Pre and Post Season Feeding and Supplemental Tasks.
  • Holiday Water and Care Cover.
  • Seasonal and Emergency Call Out.

I only Invoice for work I have carried out and did to specification or requirements.

Or charge for Fuel or sundries, Feed or Seeds used for your Project and will produce evidence or receipts to verify my billing.


Does Shadow of the Gardener work in the Off Season?

Yes.  🙂

My whole year runs around my Bonsai schedule; so my peak times are seasonal and based on Tree training requirements and also watering a large number of small trees under intense technical cultivation and using technical micro horticultural methods.  So I get insanely busy at certain peak season times,   After those are done I have more time free to then clear my clients seasonal needs and jobs.

That is what I consider my “Off season” if you will.  This is the time I have to stay in physical shape and also keep up my annual prep and next stages of learning to carry on my personal development and goal setting for personal and professional enhancement.

To stay in shape I require physical effort and while I have use of large tracts of land for personal reasons and projects.  It still is not enough to keep someone of a busy mind and a craving for large quantities of physical effort also otherwise I get itchy feet and cabin fever over Winter and into Spring.  So I use the Winter Period to stay out doors and tend Tree and Headlines and prepare them for next years growth and training.  Or prepare domestic plots of land for planting and veg plots.


Other General Services offered:

I also specialise in growing the stock you want; and taking care of the stock you already have.

 

Plantsman.

Using specialised equipment and cultivation methods I will grow the plants you want for your garden at a fraction of the cost of Nursery bought stock.

Also increasing the number of plants you can pick from as the plants are grown specifically for you.

More about personal stock cultivation.


Need a Gardener for Oakham, Uppingham and the surrounding villages in Rutland?  

I also provide general Gardening services, from basic Lawn Care and maintenance to weed control and general pruning.

Drive, Decking and Path cleaning with a High Pressure washer.

Weekly, Monthly, Seasonal Feeding/Treatments as you require, lawn, plants, trees.  Foliar and Root!

Taking care of your Garden and Stock from Root to tip, below and above.

Plants are expensive and costly to replace.

Better to treat them right than not have them thrive!

More about Jet Washing Services here.

I work with the Seasons and Weather; so perform tasks when the weather is correct or time is right to perform them.

Simply put; if you want a large area of ground turning over, turning up when it’s frozen solid or waterlogged will not enable me to do the job properly, so you won’t be getting value for money nor the end result you are expected to pay for.  I’d rather agree a day when the weather is suited for the task you want doing to get the job done and minimise wasted time and effort doing a below par job in the time you pay for.


Hourly rates available or block bookings for a morning, afternoon and full days if I have an available Booking slot.

Weekly and Monthly contracts currently available only by prior by arrangement and contract Agreement for time, level of service and prices.

If I can fit in the length of booking you require and work done in the available booking slot.

 


Does Shadow of the Gardener work in the Off Season?

Yes.  🙂

Some of the Seasonal jobs to be undertaken in Autumn and Winter or Early Spring:

  • leaf clearance.
  • Clearing paths or Driveways of Snow.
  • Spring/Autumn Lawn Scarification and Aeration.
  • Lawn Improvement and Repair.
  • Formative Pruning and Training.
  • Deciduous work.
  • Small Landscaping Projects.
  • Hard Landscaping Care.
  • Storm Damage clearing.

More about General Gardening Services.


Allotment Care.

If you are taking on an Allotment or have one already that is in need of some work, Shadow of the Gardener provides Allotment Care packages to assist you get your Plot up and running or back in shape with the machines to make the turn around quick and painless.

An average 5 x 25 Metre allotment can take weeks of backbreaking effort to fork over and prepare for planting.

Or it can be done in a few hours with a Rotavator and for much less than the cost and trouble of hiring one, transporting it and returning it.

Or if you just want your pathway clearing and mowing on a regular basis and do not have the machinery to do so.

More about Allotment Care Services.


Shadow of the Gardener Shop.

  • #SOTG #microbonsai #forsale #bonsai
  • #rutlandbonsai #rutlandbonsaiuk
  • #rutlandbonsaitherapy #bonsairutlanduk

June 2019 – NEW MICRO BONSAI RANGE NOW IN STOCK.

Micro Bonsai – Jade  – Glass Bonsai Pot – Hand made – Custom Crafted – Bonsai Art.

micro-jade-moneytree-luckybonsai.jpg

Including Tracked or Recorded Delivery.

Coming Soon!

Shadow Of The Gardener.uk will be offering other Cultivars, Strains or Varities of Locally Grown and Sourced Plants, Trees (Especially Bonsai Trees) and other Gardening Favourites and essential Sundries for Sale in the Shadow of the Gardener Online Shop.

A modest line of carefully cultivated stock is being prepared and will be on sale starting later in 2019.

The backbone of the Catalogue will be Bonsai Trees, grown from seed and cultivated using specialist methods to ensure healthy young stock that is inexpensive and suited as Pre-Bonsai material.

Yet also much superior to general Bonsai stock available in non specialist Bonsai Nurseries or on offer online elsewhere.

However, on offer will also be a selection of Flowers and other Garden Plants or Exotic Stock that have been raised from seed by SOTG. Locally grown and cared for here in Rutland.

Fully UK Hardy or For Under Glass.

Also hand crafted items and custom crafted items to order.


Pre Ordering Cultivated Yamadori or Bonsai.

The first batch of Pre-Bonsai Stock grown by Shadow of the Gardener is being constantly being prepared.

Hand selected Yamadori of both Coniferous and Deciduous Species are being grown to Order.

Hand selected Yamadori Stock ready for first training/styling and wiring.

Stock sized from only 6 Inches tall to over 12 foot tall.

Starter Material, Advanced Stock and Cultivated Yamadori.

For something extra special.

Shadow of the Gardener Yamadori Bonsai Projects.

“Collect your own Yamadori” Stock is now available to Pre Order.

All stock is 3 years or older and is Hand raised and Cultivated Yamadori Stock.

The prices of which will be reflected based on the Age, Quality and Species/Format of tree.

Subject to Cultivation, Transplanting recovery and health.

+ Training Time + Skill Requirements.

All of this stock has been grown outside and exposed to the elements, so is fully UK Winter Hardy.

It was exposed to the long spell of no rain (For 7 weeks) during the long hot Summer of 2018, and was given water over that period; though was not pampered.  This made the trees tougher for hotter drier weather as they develop into Bonsai trees.

  1. Siberian Pea Shrub (Complicated with large sharp thorns this is Deciduous and very Cold Hardy species – Above average skills required – Rare.)
  2. Dawn Redwoods – Thirsty and Above average care levels required, but stunning as a single specimen or group planting.
  3. Japanese Pagoda Trees – Easy to care for, fast growing and pretty leaves, nice Green bark through Winter when it has shed its leaves.
  4. Scots Pine – Easy to care for and hardy – Slow growing initially & ideal for novice/beginner Pine Stock.
  5. Yew – Evergreen all year round colour and show.  Easy to keep and good practice stock for clipping and wiring.

This is Bespoke Stock grown Yamadori Style and for discerning Clients; not mass produced and poor quality merchandise.



 

More…

 

 

More flexible Bookings are available for preferred or VIP Clients; once an initial and agreed Trial Contract period is completed.

Or weekly hours can be performed as and when needed; so long as the garden stays within permitted specs PCM.

To ensure I have enough time in a session and over a month to get a decent amount of work done to your garden.

As weather permits or assists with – which is why I only take Long Term Client work.


 

About the Owner and Operator.

I’m a professional gardener with 8 years or more gardening experience starting from tiny & technical Bonsai Care and Training of over 40 Species or Cultivars at the height of my collection.  (Pun intended)

The full collection was around 100 different Bonsai in pots, around 400 saplings or seedlings being grown to become Bonsai or used as ornamental trees or stock.  & several thousand hours of study and practical learning which was very hands on.

Through to then working from scratch; or worse.

Taking charge of nightmare gardening situations and projects with several “New build house Garden transformation projects” as well as a lot of off the cuff Design or practical flare application and turning out 3 year long reclamation projects from recyclable materials.  Geared and aiming towards ecological applications while also pushing the technology and science; as well as traditional boundaries of Gardening and Horticulture.


 

I now operate on a more personal tailored schedule and workload.

Which allows me to learn my clients gardens and what they need; then provide the highest levels of care and tending of those established and seasoned garden spaces.

While also covering more specific Bespoke Levels of Gardening Service needs for my Clientele.


 

Including but not exclusively.

 

Practical planting and cultivation for Hard, Soft and Small to Larger Domestic landscaping projects.

Both around Domestic Homes and also Larger and Commercial Properties.

Full Yearly Seasonal cover or Tasks and Services.


I’ve previously provided Premise Officer and Concierge levels of Service and Cover to High Profile and Exclusive Celebrity list clientele.

Key Holder responsibilities for Schools and Academies or worked as a Carer and Senior in Supported Living Areas spaces requiring Enhanced CRB checks.  Providing Horticultural Therapy and Gardening Services while working 1-2-1 with Service Users or as part of Group Horticultural therapy sessions in Domestic spaces.

Large scale Professional Grass Cutting and Groundskeeping experience covering Military Installations and Military Areas for local residents and Enlisted families.  Tending and caring for Public facing areas in and around multiple Armed Forces Barracks & Messes or the more communal and residential Estate and Married Quarter areas located on the edge of Rutland Water.

I spent most of my time over the last 8 years studying Gardening and Horticulture in one shape or form constantly throughout those years.  All the time practicing my skills and honing my talents.

Not just on my own Garden space; but also local Public facing Gardens or Private Clients and Commercial Clients from Pub Beer Gardens to helping out with Village Community Projects or Gardening Club support for charitable causes.

In all that time I have raised thousands of trees and plants from seed, and changed my life as I have found what I need and love enough to build my own business around and do day to day being paid for my work and efforts or not.

Starting from humble beginnings and facing a huge learning curve; it’s been an epic and arduous journey but becoming a professional gardener has helped my mind, body and soul each and every day.

It is why I get out of bed to do my job; then come home and tend my own garden or plots.

Let alone keep as many Bonsai trees as I can get away with or have time to allow for their care and needs…

Even with those constraints; I have managed to build a business up from scratch and am now getting the recognition of many hours of hard work and lots of difficult work is now paying early dividends because of the long hard work I put in and long term results of what I did 12 months ago and carried on through the seasons is now blooming and starting to perform better.

In just over 12 months of Trading as a Sole Trader and starting off with only what I could carry and walk to my Clients Houses as I did not have access to a vehicle.  I Initially walked to my clients homes and carried out 4 or more hours of work then walked home again with my tools in a very large bag.

Often round trips of several miles and in early Spring Weather

So I think it’s fair to say I gardened my way to owning a Transit van sized Company.

Now it has a steady and well looked after; but select client list.

 


Improving their gardens and investing in my levels of service and standards with better machinery and skill range.

While increasing services offered or scalability for tasks or specifications.


 

As much as I enjoyed the months of hard work and miles walked to get to my daily bookings in fair weather and foul; I have grown as my company and clients needed.

So I invested heavily in my ability to get to Clients on a regular basis; subject to weather and their needs.


 

I invested in tools and upgrades to perform faster and more efficiently while giving superior results.

I’ve studied my clients gardens and made improvements where needed or suggested and grown stock to replace or enhance their own stock.

Turned Veg plots into lawn to extend the existing lawn and remove the no longer required long established veg plot.

Tamed unruly Pyracantha to nestle nicely around corners of houses and trained them to run flush at an angle without invading guttering.

Mostly though I have worked long hours over many season throughout my time since falling in love with Gardening nearly 10 years ago.

Clipped endless miles of Lawns or miles of Hedges or Tree Lines.

Loaded more spools of strimmer line than I care to count.


 

I’ve Spent thousands of pounds over those years and while doing the above; kitting up with high quality and capable tools and equipment to care for your garden.

While learning how to use them and care for or tend the areas I specialise and work in.

While they may just be a Lawn Mower or a Strimmer to you; to me they are my tools and facilitate amazing results.

I choose them wisely, they are not cheap but they get the jobs you want done; done.

I can operate and run any of those machine all day of required.

Those are the days I love.

Especially if it is hot and I can be left to get on with a big task using them.


 

I personally have 4 full sized allotment plots that I am happy to show potential Clients.

If my portfolio work interests you; or someone references or recommends me to you.

In a practical effort to showcase my hands on approach and abilities for Gardening and Bespoke levels of work and equality took on a neglected patch of land.  I have started turning it into a more productive and interesting space; while adding to local focus and beauty.  It is currently garnering interest from local and Uppingham in Bloom.

I have of course photographic and video evidence of the work that has gone into this personal space; and it does display the variety of skills and abilities I have and use daily on and off the clock.

Which is why I welcome prospective Clients to come view my efforts and chat with me about their Garden and what they wish done.


 

If you prove you have genuine reason and the minimum level of work required I am happy to pass on Client Reference details so my work ethic and quality levels can be vouched for.

By someone who knows and currently pays for my work or has done previously that is specific to what you want or require.

I work in a small Rural County and in a very personalised trade.