More about pricing
More about pricing.
The National UK average for the last fiscal year when I set this years pricing after Brexit and at the start of Covid-19 for a basic Gardener was/Is = £20 to £25 per Hour.
Anyone with a lawn mower and a small strimmer with a few hand tools can charge that and easily build up a steady business with some hard work on a whim and without insurances or experience. Why would you pay more?
Simple; you are wanting a lot more done than a basic mower and strimmer will be capable of. The professional tools and kit to operate those more efficient tools require hefty financial investment and years of working with to operate properly as well as safely. That machine cost and the constant costs to run them and keep them running properly eats into my basic hourly rate and leaves me with the other costs of insurances to cover their use also factored into that hourly charge. Leaves me with in and around National minimum wages or less if I charged what the average is.
Why would I or should I operate at labourer rates; when I have give or take 10 years experience in and around gardening; with half of that at professional levels and operating daily with £20,000 worth of vehicle and equipment?
I’m work hard doing what I love and getting great results for my Long Term Clients.
Who now benefit from all the upgrades and tools I now carry with me or have available to use.
You want basic or average; you’ll get what you pay for 99 out of 100 times…
(In all honesty and fairness; I have gained work and kept that work based on previous gardeners not being up to the task or people that have chanced their arm with a few power tools from B&Q and no experience growing and sewing through to tree felling with chainsaws not nearly big enough to cut the trees they are being used for. Then unable to compensate the garden owner for the damage caused by felling a tree into the shed or killing of hedges or lawns by simply lacking the knowledge of what to do and when.)
I’ve never been described as or labelled an average or basic gardener.
Simply because average isn’t what I do day in and day out; nor are the gardens I am asked to work on or currently do work on.
More so that the gardens they employed me to care for are thriving, behaving better over time and visible positive differences can now be seen or experienced in those gardens and private spaces Shadow of the Gardener has worked on over the last 5 years.
Due to the care and time I have spent in those client gardens and living spaces; you can see they are looking lush and well loved; because they are.
I work faster because I invested most if not all my turnover; back into my Company and the efficiency and level of service it provides by doing so.
So I can do the job Right, to a High Quality and within Tolerances and thresholds of the Garden or plants I am asked to work on or care for.
This is why I now only seek Long Term or Multi Seasonal Specific work.
So I can carry on further Tool and gear upgrades and range.
Low drag, smooth and steady is eventually faster than quick and unfocused.
You expect bespoke services to take longer and cost more initially.
Later on it pays for itself.
Shadow of the Gardener.
Making the world a better place; One garden at a time.
Bespoke Gardening Services for private Gardens.
Only available in Stunning Rutland.
Advanced Bookings for Seasonal Tasks to ensure your Yearly seasonal work is booked in for Peak work are taken up to 10 years in advance.
Due to the fact those booking slots require high labour and intensive work; so demand weather blocks are set aside for VIP Contract Work and Estate Management.
Close to Seasonal Task commencement – Slots that are free or cancelled bookings incur a late booking or out of booking season charge or Premium as it is out of schedule.
For that or subsequent Quote and Work agreements:
I offer Bespoke Levels of Quality Gardening Services:
Based in and around Rutland in the United Kingdom.
My basic Hourly rate or Day Rates is set according to the level of
- Professional Level Trade Tools + Insurances/Public Liability my Job requires.
- + Bespoke Gardening Services I provide.
- + My range of Abilities, Skills and Garden Equipment; I carry or have in Stock.
- Close to a Decade of experience doing what I do and more importantly doing what I love…
I studied Gardening at one of the smallest levels you can start learning about Gardening.
Because I started Gardening when I took up keeping Bonsai Trees.
I knew I had a problem when I had nearly 100 Bonsai…
- Shadow of the Gardener is a Small Local Company.
- Operating as a Limited Company registered with Companies House.
- Shadow of the Gardener is a Registered Green Waste Carrier.
- Shadow of the Gardener is Owned and Operated by:
- An Enhanced CRB Check-able.
- [UK Armed Forces Veteran – – Infantryman 1st Class]
“Proud to have served my country and been granted the Freedom of my Home City for doing so.”
l offer a discounted hourly rate for Private Regular Clients or for Contract work.
The more complex, demanding or intensive the work; the higher my Hourly Rate.
As every job or garden has different levels of Risk:
What you’d like doing or need done also differs greatly between; Clients & their Gardens needs.
What increases my Basic Hourly Rate.
- Heavy Duty, High risk or Technical work.
- Lone Working with Power Tools / Operating in Dangerous surroundings / Working at Height.
- Prolonged use of Vibrating/Loud Powered Tools & Machinery.
Please do not confuse Hourly Rate with consumable Invoiced Agreed Project Materials Purchase, Pre Charges and Sundry Charges such as Materials or Fuel and oils costs etc for prolonged power tool use jobs; over the course of a Monthly Contract.
Unless you supply the fuel and appropriate lubes or oils and a cover charge for sharpening costs in line with property boundaries or Project Acre coverage with Power tools Stipend at end of season for maintenance or Upgrade or Replacement.
What reduces my Basic Hourly Rate?
Discounts during Trial Periods are available if you have;
- An MOD90
- Defence Service Discount Card.
- Blue Light Scheme Membership.
- You have a job I would like to do for my Portfolio.
- If I have a new Tool or piece of equipment I need to try out or review.
- Direct Debit or Annual Account Customers.
- Following and Liking Shadow of the Gardener.
My Relevant Experience and Trade Qualifications.
Close to 10 years essential Garden Taming and training experience.
- Reclaiming abandoned garden space and taming perimeters and hedging.
- Lawn and Pond Care.
- Ornamental Plants and Tree Planting and upkeep.
- Veg and Fruit growing and sowing.
- Soft Landscaping and small Hard Landscaping work.
- Project management and Design of Garden Spaces.
- Exotic & Tropical Plant Care & Cultivation.
- Micro Species Care & Tending.
- Micro Irrigation and Hydration Management.
- Indoor & Under Lighting plant management.
- Plant requirements and feeding.
- Beds, border and path upkeep and planting.
- Weed Control and Pest management.
- Hand and Power tool use.
Later I worked as a Horticultural Therapist twice per week with Vulnerable Adults in a Supported Living domestic Private garden.
On 1-2-1 Basis and in Groups with multiple Service Users; supporting Service Users to take care of their own Living Space and grow their own Fruit & Veg; as well as flower stock and ground keeping throughout the year in all seasons.
I later worked on the much bigger Machines and tools when I provided grass cutting services at the more advanced and professional level while also much larger scale operations for ISS; One of the largest providers in the UK for this service and others & who at the time held most of the MOD contracts and is locally one of the biggest tasks for a dedicated grass keeping & cutting crew.
I operated as full time member of the team in charge of the upkeep of the Army Camp and associated Officers Quarters and Mess as well as the Married Quarters of both the Officers and Enlisted Soldiers housed around a large complex of Military Camps and Enclosures or Training Areas and Ranges.
This involved months of High Volume and a quick turnover periods of Heavy Duty Culling and Clearing of Living spaces to meet tight deadlines.
Which required hour after hour of intense technical strimming in very hot Summer conditions or other seasonal weather conditions making it a hostile workplace and job that was extremely physically and mentally demanding.
It also involved a lot of wide open space or Managed Wildlife and Copse tending as well as miles of Pathway clearing and Roadside strimming in Public Areas – which is very high insurance premium level work in very technical and secure working conditions as well as Public Facing working conditions.
So I know how far a stone can be thrown by a strimmer at full revs, what damage it can do and how much of an insurance premium rate that level of risk carries and costs me to perform; do you?
High Risk and Security sensitive work while exposed to the risk of working close to the Public and Open Highways with High Speed Traffic comes at a PREMIUM as it is dangerous, it is risky and it is very technical to do if you are doing it right. I Only take work of this nature if it is done Right and to a High standard; I charge accordingly for this Premium Bespoke Service.
Ensuring access in all season and weather to the sensitive Military Assets and needs of working around Weapon System Training Machines and Large Scale logistic equipment of a sensitive nature or cargo contained within. While also taking into account the close proximity of pedestrians and volumes of traffic on a busy Army Camp. Was high intensity training and skill honing hour after hour and day after day for weeks on end. That requires zen like focus and concentration and high physical loads and demands while having the endurance to work all day in heat.
It also shows I can go the distance and work larger projects where otherwise a team might be required. If I am given enough time to do the task and carry out at my personal level of efficiency granted the correct working conditions.
I thrive when doing what I love and being left alone to get it done.
That’s when I get to go above and beyond and do my best work.
You get the best deal and job done.
I welcome all clients to watch me work from a distance; please don’t disturb me when I am working intensely or concentrating on a demanding task.
Please take into consideration I may have been working with Powered tools so my hearing has been desensitised or I am wearing Hearing Protection.
Or I am focused on where my hands and tools are cutting or localised dangers.
- I do a lot of intricate work with sharp tools or dangerous toys.
- A lot of it is delicate and with living material.
- It’s artistic and Artisan.
Some of the material I work with is slow growing or difficult to work with.
Please allow me time to stop what task I am doing; so I can safely and step away from the tools I am using and remove my ear protection.
Then give my ears a moment to allow me to hear you correctly.
What did you do to get started as a Professional Gardener?
I’ve spent large chunks of time working Domestic Gardens for Private home owners, Pub Beer Gardens, Public Facing grass work and care of planting schemes and beds or borders on a large scale and for public show.
Through to the really big toys and the large spaces they can clear in a matter of hours if in the right hands.
I now operate and thrive working in the middle ground of all those transferable skills and abilities.
Shadow of the Gardener mainly deals with larger gardens requiring larger tools; thus the minimum price levels for my experience and tools + the skill and experience I use them with to get the results I do season after season for my long term clients.
I am an IOSH certified Risk Assessor and will perform a basic common sense Risk Assess of your Project during the initial visit.
- A complete & detailed Risk Assessment and cost breakdown can be provided if required before starting a project.
- An invoice will be sent to you for that Risk Assessment Report.
The initial basic common sense Risk Assessment I perform on viewing your Garden or Project for the first time is for my own safety; and Free Of Charge if I carry out work for you.
How to book an Initial Meeting, Viewing of your Garden; or Project:
By Appointment & Booking Only.
I will need to view the Garden or Project to view your intended work areas and allow you to explain or show me what you want doing and tell me the details or job specifications before I can offer a quote or a start date or any other details or financial discussions.
Also to view the technical requirements so I have the correct Insurance Coverage and capability of doing the work being asked.
While also locating potential risks or problem hot spots such as; Mainly:
- Lone working,
- Height allowance for Ladders.
I also verify I have the right tools and sized tools for the tasks and if not:
What I will need to purchase or have supplied to do the work you want done.
I then need to ensure Safe working practices and correct equipment and it’s required PPE is in stock and enough of it is in the van to complete the task..
Team Support Required Jobs;
I may require lead time to secure the booking slots required for the size of the work you need with the right Team Members.
To perform the Tasks where I might require an assistant to provide Footing of Ladders, Safety Overwatch and clear up.
What does Shadow of the Gardener mainly do?
- I provide bespoke Gardening Services for Private Clients Gardens and Living Space Care.
- Public Facing Contracts also accepted.
- Shadow of the Gardener offers flexible packages and varying levels of service.
I define Private Regular Clients as:
- Regular and steady work every week during the growing season.
- 2-4 hours or more per week.
- Or an agreed amount of hours over a Month to allow for weather.
- (8 hours per month minimum + Paid by Monthly Invoice/Direct Debit.)
How long are Shadow of the Gardener Contracts?
- Spring through to the end of Autumn till your garden is closed down for the year.
- Or November till April – Off Season Work.
My regular Private Clients Gardens and Living Spaces & Contract Work always get priority service.
During Peak Season I have a 4-6 week waiting list for Bookings or Cancellations.
This is my Bread and Butter work and my schedule is usually fully booked from the start of the season till the end.
If I do have a free Booking, will it really cost me £35 per Hour?
Gardening work is very dependent on what you as the Client want done, the level you want it done at and what is required to do the job or jobs you want done. Some clients just want things keeping tidy, others want pristine. Both require different levels of skill, tools or machinery and time factors.
Some jobs require power tools to do them effectively and also properly; as doing them manually would take too long so wouldn’t be cost nor time effective and be back-breaking work. So working with power tools requires expensive tools in the first place, Fuel, Oil, Lubricants and machines servicing and sharpening regularly. Plus safety equipment and the increase in Public Liability and Insurance.
It’d be a false economy for you as the Client and myself as the Gardener to cut a large lawn with scissors by hand to save money by not using a quality and correct sized Lawn Mower for the job. My biggest costs are the insurance for the Tools and equipment I need to do my job. Investing in those tools to do the job and use them often to learn how to do the job right and quickly. The van and running costs to get to you and also have the size and space needed to clear up after.
Tool wear and tear means they need replacing or looking after; this is costly.
I only take on New Clients or Book in non regular work:
That fits around my Client Roster & Contract work Requirements.
Why have I seen someone paid less per hour for some work you did elsewhere?
Here is why…
If I state I charged £15 per hour and you just want your lawn mowing (Even if it is a big lawn) you might also expect a 5 Metre high Leylandii cutting for the same price, and the 2 jobs have a very different practical, technical and machinery requirement.
If I state I charged £20 per hour and you just want general weeding and your borders keeping tidy you’d be put off but your garden and borders might be more weeds than flower stock, so it would be very intensive work and require a lot of attention to detail which I have to factor in while you perhaps don’t see that.
I’m also bound by Health and safety laws as well as good working practice to not take on a job I cannot handle or do. Or I am not experienced in, trained or qualified to do! I also have to work to specifics set by my insurance and public liability.
I offer general Gardening Services, and certain select specialised ones.
(Especially if you have Bonsai trees!)
I charge a fair rate for the hard work I put into my Clients and Contract work.
I am happy to provide References from Clients on request.
I will also happily provide Portfolio viewing to showcase my previous relevant work.
If you just want a single job doing then I will quote for that job, be it lawn mowing, pruning all your shrubs, or clipping your hedges. Each quote will be based on what time it takes, what skill is required, how intensive the work is and what machines or tools are required. Subject to an initial Hourly Rate trial period to prepare your Garden space to a standard agreed is to be set as the required level.
- Based on averages easily looked up Online, you get what you pay for essentially.
- & that will be factored on what you want or need.
Lawn mowing only can be from around £10 per hour through to £50 per hour, depending on your lawn and how well you want it kept.
Hedges cutting will vary from £30 upwards to £60 or more per hour depending on the height and density of the Hedge + length and if the clippings are to be removed and disposed of by the cutter.
This is why I really don’t want to place a set Price Per Hour, because what you want done and how you want it done will be different from perhaps your neighbour would want.
Again, I point out “This is standard practice for most gardeners.”
To understand why if you so wish, here is the longer reason…
You have a small lawn you want cutting twice a week during peak growing times for the full year, so twice per week from roughly April through to November.
You only want it cutting so it’s kept manageable, so its basic Lawn maintenance, not required to be pristine so you could play Cricket on it or to have a Crown Green Lawn Bowling quality lawn.
Given the time it takes me to cut it and remove the clippings, I would perhaps charge you £10 per week for that.
If you wished it to be pristine, that would mean a lot more time and effort required each visit + scarifying for moss and thatch removal, treating it and caring for it with the correct fertilisation/feeds and ensuring its continual health and growth. As well as having the machinery capable of cutting it and striping it properly; let alone scarifying it and feeding it. It wouldn’t be fair nor practical for me to say well it’s still £10 per week, would it? Let alone for the client to expect it to still only cost £10 per hour.
You want your bedding, borders and rockery kept clear of weeds and flourishing throughout the year. This might mean several hours per week spent on my hands and knees weeding, and fertilising, replacing stock as well as watering and ensuring any other problems are taken care of. Far more labour intensive than just using a lawn mower but perhaps not as costly as no machinery/power tools are generally required. The hourly rate would be different based on the fact I’ll be on my hands and knees for those hours and it is physically demanding and the size of the borders or rockery etc will be a large factor in what the rate would be.
While it may only be a hand tool only job usually, it’s still hard work, which is why you want a gardener to come and do it for you usually. I couldn’t justify charging the same as I would for cutting your lawn because the level of work and skill required is vastly different.
You want your small patio Pressure washing, it’s not overly soiled or moss laden. I charge you the same price as your neighbour who’s patio is heavily soiled and stained and takes 5 times the effort and cleaning product to clean.
I doubt you’d be happy you were charged the same price as they were when your Patio wasn’t in the same state.