Think twice before putting out a job offer sign such as this:
"Looking for someone to help get our garden under control & then maintain. Recommendation appreciated or message me to arrange quote."
Please note: This is hypothetical. This is ADVICE from my experience. This is NOT a job offer - it's a WARNING to those, like me, who would love this service.
A liter of Vinegar, and a cup each of salt and dish-washing detergent in a bucket of water and an old mop to apply it to plants or weeds you don't want. More reliable than the gardeners who don't turn up, or who take your money and then just stand and look at the garden, or who do work, but for $800. for a day's work and remove and take away your good plants. including a bird of paradise plant that would cost $200. to replace at that size, because they don't know a weed from a major feature plant, or maybe they did... I had to stop that one from pulling out meters of beautifully formed, flowering, ground cover roses which he claimed were just wild suckers off my standard roses. I wonder how much he would have sold those for at the local market where someone probably bought my large strelitzia reginae plant the week after it was removed by the so-called-gardener.
He also ripped out flowering poppies, Elysium and beautiful flowering larkspur that I'd grown from seed and I loved. He said they were weeds. :(. In the meantime, there were plenty of weeds he didn't bother removing, and would have had time to remove if ho wasn't removing good shrubs, perennials and annual flowers. THAT was one of the better gardeners I tried in this area. At least he worked. The previous one did next to nothing for a high hourly rate.
Get several references, from actual places where the gardener works, and maybe check if the garden is like yours in plant type or style.
Moral of the story is, if you want a backyard clean up then maybe a labourer or anyone calling themselves a gardener can do it. If you want a real garden maintenance, not just a clear the ground, check their credentials and don't take your eyes off them when they are in your precious garden. Oh, the idiot gardener I had last time, attempted to rake up my garden mulch that I'd paid a premium price for, and cart that away too. He probably took got paid to establish new gardens on the side and saw me as the source garden. That's why he never came back for the maintenance work. he wasn't brazen enough to show his face again.
I'm cheesed off, following my personal experience. I wanted a cleanup and long-term maintenance arrangement of once a week to once a month, at the gardener's preference too. we are elderly and need assistance with physical work, but that does not mean we are fair game for fitter people to see us as an easy target to rip off, which has happened with three, supposed reputable gardeners from the Shepparton district.
We are still willing to be contacted by an ethical and knowledgeable gardener, re, 'through the books,' (I did say ethical—if you would rip of the tax department it's a sure sign you'd rip off your client when they aren't looking too,) garden maintenance of a lovely garden that I take pride in. We would have a long-standing and good relationship with the right person. They don't even have to know about plants, because I do, as long as they would ask before removing things—in other words, treat their client with the respect they deserve.
Author Reg Upfield is a truth-seeker with decades of experience, a veteran of the 1960s and 1970s equal rights and peace movements.