FOTO064

Mike’s first bike trailer November 1976

 

I found this picture and decided to share it for throw back Thursday. It really only feels like yesterday but this shot was taken in 1975 or 1976. This was my first trailer that I built and I can say with confidence that it was the first one in Guelph. It was designed to hold the 72 Saturday Stars that I delivered(40 weekly). I was 15.

I have included some later shots of trailers and three wheel bikes which were used for Schepers Property Maintenance and, for a few years, as our only form of transportation. There are some I have missed including shots of when we ran the Dickie Dee business in Guelph.

Things have of course progressed. Trailers are inefficient in winter, (in the shot above I am actually working at putting skis on the trailer) they are dangerous and there is no way I could still be doing what I did then. Ideas and overcoming, industry and the simple joy of accomplishment are never old though and this is what I remembered most on finding this picture.  

Master Servant Bike

The Master Servant Bike Christmas parade 1986 (old Dickie Dee Bike)

Master Servant Bike

Master Servant Bike on Vacation 1986

130722 bike 2

2013

130510 bike

 



Today we talked another customer into being a customer. There was no drawing or plan costs. I walked around the property and showed him what could be done with site lines, how to easily create more privacy and how to make the entrance stand out.

Once when my wife wanted furniture moved I went through the effort of making a scaled drawing for the room. Then each piece of furniture was cut out to scale so that so she could move them about. There was that piano involved after all and no one wants to move that twice. The irony is that the time it took to make the drawings was far longer than the time it would have taken to move the stuff. The piano was not a tough enough thing to move to justify all that planning and there was no way I could draw all the little nuances of the room anyway. How do you take into account light beams that land perfectly on ones head when having a Sunday afternoon nap or arrange three prints on the wall. These are not petty aspects of design.

Yes, I told this story as I discussed this man’s front entrance. Do you know how important it is to make sure that if there are three clumps of Lavender next to the entrance walk they MUST meet certain criteria. Please, they have to be pleasingly planted, symmetrical. They must be planted so that at maturity they brush against the edge of the walk but do not infringe. The two elements meet and hold hands. They do not stand aloof of each other with an awkward space and silence and they do not crowd each other. My suggestion regarding the front entrance was to give it wholly up to an artist, or in this case a gardener, and let them do it. It is cheaper to redo and rearrange than have a long conversation about it. Once we get a feel of what you want we are off.

There were those shrubs we talked about. The Korean Lilac that looked for all the world to be from North Korea. How you plant around fence lines makes all the difference in the world you know. It defines the reason for the fence and what could be a very positive effect on a property can become negative. Bad planting can change a beautiful wrought iron fence into a barbed wire fence. Fences are some of the most important lines your property has and it takes no effort to make them an enhancement instead of a stockade. Some fences (you know the kind and likely will know the specific one I refer to if you know me.) can be enhanced by going across the street and randomly shooting arrows at them. See how quickly the smile came to your face! It is true isn’t it. The trouble is that to make a fence serve all of the duties it can there is a lot of things to consider. I am officially calling this the art of Fence Sway. It could sway good or bad. Call me. (my price just went up ’cause now I have a fancy name to my method)

I will not go on any longer than this. Yes this is part of the interview for a new customer. If you needed to bring in 10 watermelons from your car and your gardener was there would you ask for help. If you wanted a plant moved would you tell us? Though we are experts and very cool people it is necessary to teach our customers how to hire a servant, not an expert. It takes conversation to determine where sunbeams land on the couch and at what time. Our customer will not make us happy if they put up with how the Lavender is slightly off in its placement. If you are willing to learn how to be a customer then I guess we can take you on.


Garden FrontLet 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).

Summary

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
      • Security
      • Winter Maintenance
      • Children and pets
      • Future uses
      • Privacy
    • 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.

 

 

 

Fiesta weed spray. There are certain things I trust about it. In fact it is transparent about what I can expect from it in the literature it provides and warnings it gives . Proper research makes it possible for people to make informed decisions. We can in fact trust that it only works on certain weeds, at certain stages, in certain seasons and in certain weather conditions… if applied at the prescribed dosage. When using this product I need to trust the things it says about its effectiveness.

So I would never spray in the fall, I would never give more than two applications a year and I would not raise people’s hopes. I would use this product only with other good lawn care practices. When a customer gets talked into an application of Fiesta in the fall I can say it will not work.

In the case of Nematodes the same logic applies. I have to trust there are bugs in the package, that there is a difference between tap water and Nematode infested water and trust that the way they say to store and apply them. We must believe that they are not leading me astray in the clear instructions given. If you had Nematodes sprayed on a dry lawn on a sunny day this application will not work. The time to apply is NOW.

Where are the grubs? Near the surface. What type are they? How many are there per square foot? What does the package stipulate for proper application and when? Nematodes are actually pretty effective if all the criteria are diligently followed. We are ready to spray now…ON THE NEXT RAIN DAY. If you know they are there then book now so you can get into the very limited number of spaces available.

 

PricE per 2500 sq ft of lawn $110.00.

Price of watering, overseeding and repairs are not included.

Lawn assessment included.

See Below…….

 

  1. This least expensive application is available on a first come first serve basis as space is limited.
    1. Hose must be out, accessible and turned on
    2. We will not water
    3. $110.00 (2017 pricing)
  2. The next option is for those with sprinklers or will take the responsibility for all watering.
    1. Price is the same
    2. this option takes up a lot of owners time and is not ideal
    3. Homeowner must be flexible with schedules.
    4. Schepers Property Maintenance recommends homeowner applies Nematodes
      1. supplies available at Nurseries.
    5. $110.00 (2017 Pricing)

We also do lawn repairs and full maintenance.  Phone for a quote for a complete service.  

 

519 820 6507

 

if you click here it is cheaper http://scheperspropertymaintenance.ca/edging-rock-walls/nematodes/