A Gardener at Last

So I finally managed to hire a gardener. It took a lot longer than I expected to find a gardener who could handle hand-weeding some parts of the garden (and recognized actual plants) and could be kind of reasonable about the parts that need mechanical attention. It also took a long time to find somebody who could meet with me to discuss the garden outside of work hours, since I really can't take half a day off work to hire a gardener, seriously.

The availability thing was a big factor. Of the ten gardeners I contacted (!), I weeded out more than half because they would only meet with me between 8am and 5pm on a weekday, even just to give me an estimate. Maybe it's just me, but if my job is doing work for somebody who doesn't have time to do it themselves, I go out of my way to make it easy for them to meet with me and sign a contract, because that's my job. So I guess business must be really good for gardeners right now, or else I sounded like a nightmare client. Anyway, enough of my first-world problems. I have a gardener at long last.

So as soon as we work out the schedule (the recent rain knocked everybody's schedule out of whack), gardeners will show up and whip the front into shape, then work into the back, pruning the trees and driving the demons out of the larger bed in the orchard. And not a minute too late, since this is what it looks like right now:

The front garden before gardeners

It's not all weeds, but much of it is, especially in the upper part, where enormous weeds are growing all around the roses.

Right side

This in part because of the crazy winter weather, but a big part of this is in my court because I just left the dirt uncovered after we finished the retaining wall, and of course whatever was there just sprouted and grew. And then I didn't want to weed too much because the weeds were shading the Bermuda grass, not that that has ever stopped the stuff, as I should know.

Left side

We agreed that the gardeners would hand-weed the beds along the sidewalk, where there are a lot of wildflowers and a few bedding plants with a few weeds. In the upper part of the garden I'm actually OK with them mowing that stuff right down, since as much as I like California poppies, I'm not willing to pay for somebody to hand-weed that much area just to preserve them. I'll go get a load of mulch and the gardeners will spread it out up there for me, yay yay yay. Sometime in the future we're going to put a stone patio up there, but not this year.

Swath between the houses

They'll also be handling the area between the houses, weeding the oxalis and grass out and probably refreshing the mulch. I'm looking forward to having a pretty front garden without a week of ibuprofen and heat pads. I'm also really excited to be able to plant some of my spring plant orders without having to spend an entire weekend prepping the garden.

posted by ayse on 03/20/12

5 Comments

Best of luck with your gardeners!

That bottom picture is really lovely. Are those weeds?

The yellow flowers are oxalis, which is a weed (but a relatively pretty one). Most of the issues in that area are Bermuda grass.

Any chance you would share the gardener contact info? We're in Alameda too and in desperate need :)

The gardener is Earthly Sites (www.earthlysites.com), but that comes with the caveat that I haven't actually worked with them yet.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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