A regular professional gardener charges £15 to £40 per hour or £100 to £200 per day, depending on the complexities and requirements of the job. On the other hand, a landscape gardener charges £180 to £300 per day.
This usually adds up to about £30 to £150 for a regular garden maintenance visit or £250 to £2,500 for a landscaping job. If these rates seem high, remember that they will vary depending on the job. For example, the hourly rate for lawn maintenance will be lower than that of tree stump removal. At the same time, new turf will cost less than a pond.
So, it all depends on the type and scale of the service you need. This brings us to a question that I think we should cover before discussing costs.
That question is- “why should you pay that much for a gardening service?” Since you are looking up “gardener costs,” it is safe to assume that you have already discovered some of the reasons.
Maybe you realised that garden maintenance is tedious, labour-intensive and time-consuming. As a result, you can’t afford to commit the required amount of time and effort.
Maybe you realised that it’s a year-round task because even if plant growth slows down in winter, there is still almost always one garden project or another to execute.
Or maybe you have a particular gardening project that requires the expertise and equipment of professional gardeners, like a new patio installation or garden design.
There are lots of reasons to pay for professional gardening services. Only, I don’t think you are interested in them. I think you are more interested in the extensive skills and equipment in garden maintenance that comes with hiring a gardener.
So, for the rest of this article, I will arm you with enough information to find a qualified candidate and make the most of a relationship with any typical gardener and your garden in general. Let’s start with the average price of common gardening jobs.
How much does a gardener charge for standard garden services?
|Cost per hour (£)
|Estimated time scale
|Turf or artificial grass
|4- 8 hours
|1- 8 days
|Patio cleaning and maintenance
|Garden fence installation
|400-2,000 for the entire project
Even though most of the gardener prices in that table are given as cost per hour, this doesn’t apply to all. You might be charged a flat fee for the entire project on some jobs. Some gardeners may also ask for a minimum call-out charge. So, keep that in consideration.
You also need to know that some garden projects require more than one gardener. Such projects will likely cost more. But it will be faster and safer than having a single person on the job, no matter how well-trained or well-equipped the individual is. However, you won’t have to worry about this. Let the professionals decide how many gardeners are needed for each job.
Finally, the average gardening project will fall into two categories. It will either be a regular or occasional/one-off job. Both categories mean what the names connote. Regular gardening jobs need to be executed monthly, weekly or even multiple times a week. Regular garden maintenance is an example. Meanwhile, one-off gardening jobs are occasional. Garden redesign is an example of this.
For regular jobs, you can save money by keeping your gardener on retainer. Instead of paying for each visit separately, you can pay for annual or six-month plans. As a result, you can get better rates and be immune to fluctuations in gardener prices. The gardener also benefits from securing a long-term client.
With these kinds of plans, both you and the gardener will agree upon a designated number of hours. Then create a schedule that ensures your garden is properly cared for during the agreed-upon period. These relationships have a better chance of success if a written contract clearly states the terms and services included in the agreement.
The gardening prices we have discussed so far cover only labour and supplies. They don’t cover waste disposal. However, most gardeners will provide waste disposal services at extra cost. If they don’t, you can take care of it yourself. Either way, it should cost between £75 to £250.
However, it all depends on the nature and quantity of the waste. For example, organic wastes are easier to dispose of than toxic wastes. You may even use them as green manure. Likewise, a larger quantity of waste will cost more to dispose of.
What are the factors affecting the cost of hiring a gardener?
Even though this is a cost guide for hiring a gardener, I have to admit that there is a margin of error. Despite speaking to multiple professional gardeners, the best we can do is provide estimates.
However, the good news is that those should give you a good starting point. And once you understand the cost factors that affect gardening services, you will be better position to get the best value for your money. So, expect your gardener’s prices to deviate from our estimates because of the following.
The complexity of the task
This part is easy to understand. Some tasks are more complex than others. Therefore, they are more difficult to execute. So they will likely require a better-skilled gardener, more expensive equipment and supplies, and more labour and time. As a result, they will cost more.
For example, to keep your lawn healthy, all you have to do is buy or rent a lawn mower. Then you can do it yourself or pay the kid down the block a few pounds to take care of it. Either of these will be relatively cheap. However, even if you use a professional gardener, the lawn mowing service will still be cheaper than a turf installation service.
Even for the same kind of project, the choice of material, installation method etc., will lead to further price variations. It is an organic result of the differences in labour, skill, and equipment requirements. For example, real grass costs between £2 to £5 per square metre, while artificial turf costs between £10 to £35 per square metre.
Number of services needed (i.e., the scale of the job)
Apart from being either regular or one-off, a gardening project can include single or multiple jobs. After all, full garden maintenance is a collection of several tasks such as grass cutting, hedge trimming, weed removal, watering, leaf blowing etc. Obviously, the more the number of services needed, the higher the total gardening costs.
However, it is not just about the total number of tasks. It is also about the cost of each task. So, don’t forget about this bit when asking how much local gardeners charge.
Size is one of the biggest cost factors of gardening costs. In the simplest term, “gardening costs will be higher for larger gardens.” By virtue of its bigger surface area, a large garden will require more working hours, supplies or maybe even equipment and more than one gardener.
Once again, let’s turn to garden maintenance as an example. Gardener cost(s) for larger gardens are closer to £150, while smaller gardens are closer to £50.
Location affects the cost of most projects, not just gardening work. For example, you will notice that projects often cost more in the southeast and big cities. It is a result of the higher standard of living in these areas. So, expect gardener cost(s) to vary according to this factor.
Gardening services may also cost more if you are out in the country with no local gardener near you. In such situations, gardeners from afar may request a minimum call-out charge.
Individual gardener prices
Most professionals, including gardeners, like to stay competitive with their rates. That’s why these rates are so similar. However, individual rates will still vary from one gardener to another. The two biggest reasons for such variations are qualifications and scale of service.
Better qualified gardeners will want to charge higher rates. Those with more extensive and better services will also want to charge higher. Finally, gardening companies will also likely charge higher than sole proprietors. And almost every gardener will cost more during peak gardening season.
Costlier doesn’t always mean better. But at least now you know what to expect.
Standard gardening services offered by professional gardeners
We have already listed and discussed the prices of the following gardener jobs. So, now, we will discuss what they entail and what to expect when hiring a gardener for each one.
Garden maintenance is any form of gardening work necessary for maintaining a healthy and well-groomed garden. Therefore, it includes many other tasks on this list, such as fertilising, watering, weeding, grass cutting, mowing, trimming and more. Anything that maintains the health of your plants and the aesthetic of your entire garden qualifies.
Most gardens need regular maintenance. The schedule will vary depending on the unique features of that garden and the season. But most regular garden maintenance schemes are weekly, bi-weekly or multiple days a week.
If you have your own tools and understand the required garden tasks, you can take care of this yourself, saving money. However, you can still hire a gardener to do the job at a low cost, especially if you enter a long-term agreement. Such agreements guarantee that the gardener regularly visits and cares for your garden.
When using professional garden maintenance services, expect to be charged hourly rates.
Essentially, it is just the process of clearing unwanted organic or inorganic waste from a garden. Garden waste can be anything, including dead weeds, fallen leaves, flowers, trees and trimmings, metal junks, broken furniture, and waste from building projects.
Garden clearance is often performed as preparation for a coming growing season. In such cases, the best time to clear your garden is early spring or late winter. You may also need garden clearance because you have just completed or are preparing for a big project, such as garden redesign, driveway, or pond installation.
Most people take care of this themselves or hire a cheap amateur. However, the result is always better when you use professional gardeners. Lawn mowing is a bit more complicated than most people know.
To do it right, you must get the perfect (or desired) grass height to do it right. Then mow regularly to maintain that desired height. However, once you understand this, the rest is pretty simple.
Another reason to pay for a lawn mowing service is that the professionals don’t just mow. Gardeners perform other tricks to ensure your lawn looks as healthy and good as possible. So you will get a much more extensive and effective lawn maintenance service.
Turf or artificial grass installation
These two materials differ in installation method and maintenance.
For natural grass, the process involves transplanting the grass or growing seeds. It should take about half a day or 2 to cover the entire garden, but the truth will need regular attention until settled. For artificial grass, the process involves laying a weed barrier and a subbase (hardcore and stones) before finally laying the grass. All of this could take up to one week.
In both cases, the gardener will first clear and prepare the ground, removing weeds, stones, existing turf or other items. You can pay for this service separately. It costs about £15 to £20 per hour.
Depending on the situation, most gardeners will use either herbicides or hand tools. A weed killer is an appropriate choice if the goal is to indiscriminately kill all the plants (weeds) in the area. However, uprooting and other selective means are best if the goal is to kill only specific weeds.
After using weed killers, the gardener usually has to come back a couple of days later to clear the garden.
Plant pruning and trimming are the cutting off and trimming of overgrown branches. The point is to make the plant look neater and encourage healthy growth. After hedge cutting, new branches will spring up. Without it, those overgrown branches may break and fall off, endangering life and property.
Besides keeping your garden safe and healthy, hedge trimming adds to the aesthetics. The scrubs and hedges can be trimmed into different patterns and designs.
Gardeners usually use shears or mechanised trimmers for the job. They may also need long-reach tools or elevated platforms to reach higher parts of a plant. Such complexities will affect the cost of a hedge trimming job.
For most tree removal projects, you can fell the tree alone and leave the stump in place. It is cheaper this way. Whatever option you choose, the cost of tree removal will depend on the size, accessibility and condition of the tree.
More importantly, if you need to cut down a tree for some reason, maybe for aesthetics or to keep your garden safe, now you know a gardener can do the job.
The term “landscaping” can be used to address various gardening projects. That includes garden design, installation, maintenance, repairs, building and more. Pretty much anything that can modify the structure of a garden space qualifies.
So you may hire a landscape gardener to install new features like a garden fence, shed, turf, patio slabs, driveway, water feature and more. Even the processes of creating flower beds and total garden redesign are not left out.
These are big projects, so landscape gardeners are often more skilled, equipped and expensive. Still, the prices will vary from one job to another. And since these projects usually take time, it is better to execute them before the growing season (late winter to early spring).
Patio cleaning and maintenance
Although this information is intended for patio maintenance, it applies to all buildings in and around the garden space. Most stone and cement structures near greenery will attract moss, algae and weed growth. These will make them slippery and unsightly.
To fix this, gardeners may first remove the interloping weeds. Then apply a cleaning agent, usually using a power washer. They may also do some repair work and add sealant.
Note that most typical gardeners don’t do major repairs and installations of building structures. For such cases, you need to reach out to a landscaper.
Garden fence installation
Fencing is a great way to delineate and improve the aesthetics of your garden. The wooden fence is the most popular, but many more options exist. Garden edgings can also serve a similar purpose if you don’t fancy fences.
Gardeners can help with installing, maintaining and repairing a garden fence.
Water feature (pond)
Ponds add an extra dimension and uniqueness to your garden. They can house ornamental fishes and attract insects and birds, thus creating an entire ecosystem. However, beware that they also complicate and increase the cost of garden maintenance. Pond maintenance alone will cost a few extra quids.
Still, water features are a great investment. Just make sure you find a qualified landscape gardener to handle the job. The following tips will help in that regard.
How to find qualified gardeners
The first step is to determine the type of gardener you need. This will depend on the type of gardening service you need. A regular gardener handles garden work that involves maintenance and cultivation, while landscape gardener jobs include designing, modifying and building gardens. You need to decide which of these two similar but different services will help you.
After this, you can start looking for someone. Start by asking family, friends, colleagues and trustworthy neighbours for recommendations. If that doesn’t work, you can check the internet or listings for local gardeners.
After finding someone, use the following tips to assess their suitability and reputability.
- Do they have enough gardening experience, especially with similar garden tasks?
- Do they belong to professional bodies for gardeners, such as The British Association of Landscape Industries or The Gardeners Guild?
- Do they have good and reliable references?
- Do they have public liability insurance?
After selecting the right candidate(s), ask for written quotes and a breakdown of their service to find out what it covers.
How to save money when hiring gardeners
The easiest way to save money is to do some or all of your garden work yourself. Most of these tasks don’t require high skill levels of specialist equipment. They are just time-consuming and labour-intensive. Behind every beautiful garden lies several hours of labour. So if you have the time and tools, you can DIY some garden tasks.
The second big tip for saving money is to build long-term relationships. We have discussed this earlier. It will position you for better rates. Plus, the gardener will have more time to develop a relationship with and understand your garden. Taking advantage of this, you can get more gardening ideas and tips from them.
Long-term gardening plans are great. Just make sure the schedule suits the unique needs of your garden.
- The cost of hiring a gardener will vary depending on the job, garden size, your location and the individual rates of the said gardener.
- Do your homework to find a qualified gardener.
- When hiring a gardener, ensure you get a breakdown of what the service entails.
- The needs of your garden will vary throughout the year, but it rarely stops. So even in winter, you could find yourself hiring a gardener.
- Focus on long-term plans. They are cheaper in the long run.
- Apart from executing the job, your gardener can also be a great source of many incredible gardening ideas. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to enjoy the full scale of every gardener’s service.
How often does a garden need tending to?
It depends on the garden, its feature plants and the season. For example, a low-maintenance plant doesn’t require as much attention as a high-maintenance one. Most gardens will thrive with general maintenance once a week in spring, twice a week in the summer, once a week in spring and less frequently in winter.
When is the best time for big gardening jobs?
Late winter to early spring. This is the best time because the growing season is yet to start.
What is the difference between a regular and a landscape gardener?
A regular gardener does general garden maintenance and cultivation jobs while a landscape gardener designs and installs garden features. This is why the landscape gardeners charge more.