Let me tell you a secret. Garden maintenance and makeovers are our speciality. They are the best bang for your buck. It has in fact surprised me how gardens turn out to be less expensive to maintain than lawns but there you have it. Once a garden is established there are considerable savings. To do this takes planning and some initial investment but it is well worth it.
The first secret is NEVER LET A GARDEN GO. Putting off the key seasonal tasks in a garden will destroy it in no time. Neglect even for a short period exponentially increases the work you have to do and the money spent. One weed in a rose shrub or grasses growing at the base of shrubs take away from the beauty. It is what you and others will notice first. If you have just bought a new house with an existing garden or are called on to maintain a family home from a loved one, look after the shrub beds and plants first and right away. Look at the garden as an asset. Every plant costs money and time to purchase and establish. Contemplating through two or three key maintenance seasons could easily cost you this investment. Call a gardener right away. (YES CALL US)
[TIP If you have purchased a house that has a beautiful garden take every step to ensure maintenance is done by the current owner between the sale and the closing date. If they are unable to do it, or there is doubt as to whether they will, negotiate the price of maintenance off the cost of the house. It is that serious. If the closing date is winter then arrange a fall garden inspection to make sure it is done.]
If you have a garden with many weeds and grass encroaching on every border, Schepers Property Maintenance is still your best call. If your garden has gotten like this it is unavoidable that the costs will go up. It is also harder on the relationship between you and your gardener. A neglected garden will never get better with one weeding, it takes a process. The process for remaking a garden is not complicated but it takes a commitment of time and trust. We know what we are doing and know how to do it in a cost effective way but explaining everything we do takes a lot of time.
To get the most out of us, set a budget. (and trust us) We will stick to that budget and we will do more for that money than any other service in Guelph. Our detailed quote will include amendment products and all expected tasks for one year. The wisest customers do not change the goals of what the scope of work is but they may change how long it takes. Our favourite jobs and the ones that are the most effective for everyone are the ones that run over several seasons of care. One of our largest jobs Schepers Property Maintenance has done ended up costing half of what the neighbour paid for an “immediate” resolution. That figure of half included three years of maintenance whereas the neighbour still had maintenance costs on top of the landscaping bill.
Schepers Property Maintenance’s rate for garden maintenance can be kept lower than our competition partly because we are very careful to not invest in large equipment. We like the small garden makeovers in back yards where very often this equipment would do us no good anyway. Doing the larger jobs there are some amazing companies in Guelph to work with. These companies, like Schepers Property Maintenance, are specialists. They are THE experts on excavating and hardscape work. Why would we not introduce you to these people and let us get on with designing and working in a garden and helping out with minor repairs to the home (decks, fences and gates etc).
- Budget money.
- Do an inventory of your yard giving each plant a dollar figure. Add up what plants were lost or not suitable so you know the costs. A garden consultant can help you here.
- Mature plants are worth more than nursery stock. Do not underestimate the value of mature shrubs or perennials, especially if they are liked.
- Make a plan for your garden. Calculate the cost if you buy all plants in one year. Consider allowing time to split and divide and do your garden over stages. This also will give you a chance to see if you like the perennials.
- Trees should only be purchased after an on-site consult as placing these in the wrong place or planting wrong will make for serious disappointment.
- Budget time
- Think about budgeting hours and not tasks. We can help set priorities. By budgeting hours you will see improvements and it does not take long before you are enjoying your garden.
- Learn to prune and do tasks you are nervous about (yes we can help). By pruning shrubs properly you can keep them almost forever….think bonsai. Your investment will look better and worth more. Pruning is not hard.
- Be clear about how much time you want to spend maintaining your yard. Knowing how much time would be required to maintain your plan is critical. If what you design takes more time than you are prepared to give, then redesign.
- Assess use/purpose
- There are many things to consider here. This perhaps is where we help the most as coaches and designers. Have you considered the following
- Winter Maintenance
- Children and pets
- Future uses
- Define how you currently enjoy your yard and how you hope to enjoy it in the future. This may sound odd but it is the most important question. If you enjoy looking but seldom go out, that is a completely different yard than one in which you are always using the back yard. Your viewpoint should not be what you hope it will be but what it is.
- Set a budget for the change you hope for. If you have done very little gardening, do not buy 30 different perennials hoping you will change. Plan your garden in stages and work into it.