Recently, someone ask me about a garden clean up. She has been on my website and loved the work I do. I explained to her, I charge an hourly rate which includes one person and one truck. I do not charge for taking garden waste away and do not charge for truck time for picking up materials or supplies. I only charge for the hourly labour. I provide the tools, lawn mowers, fuel and anything else required for the job at no extra fee or cost.
She said her concern was the length of time it would take. She had been on my website and saw that some gardens seem to take months. Then I realized that she thought the garden jobs on my site had taken months to complete and she thought I had been working full-time at them. I said yes, some of them have taken months..but it is only part-time I work at them. Depending on the garden owner and their budget, the weather and my time constraints, some of them I work at part-time. If the garden owner has a large job and wants it done immediately, then I do try and accommodate that but usually a very large job is part-time and does take months.
I have regular clients that have me set days in their garden and I also take on what I call “one off” jobs where I am hired to plant or prune a hedge or re-design a small garden or do a one day clean up.
That being said I thought I should clarify for everyone on my site how my business operates.
Cheers! See you in the garden or the garden centre! 🙂
I took on this garden clean up in Saltair BC in July 2016. It is an ongoing job and is really shaping up nicely. When first I walked through this garden I realized its potential. I did not create this garden…it is 5 years old. I am blessed to work in such a beautiful place with so much potential. It is definitely a diamond in the rough! Everything was overgrown and needed pruning and trimming. Many of the ornamental grasses needed to be divided and moved. I am so happy with the progress so far and so are the garden owners!
I have planted, topped and pruned many cedar hedges this year for many customers. With each customer I give the same advice on caring for your cedar hedge. Although cedars are hardy and often seem easy to grow creating a beautiful privacy or back drop in your garden, they do need proper care to not only survive but thrive. Especially with the extreme environmental changes we have witnessed over the past five years. Yes, cedars do evolve and adapt to changes just as humans do but need time and a little helping hand to ensure they do it well. So with that in mind, here is a basic list of care to follow:
How to Care for your Cedar Trees
Cedar Trees – Types of Fertilizer
Newly planted cedars can benefit from a high phosphorous fertilizer. In many cases, adding a fertilizer with a balance similar to 5-15-5 into water and thoroughly watering the newly planted tree can help to reduce transplant shock. Subsequent fertilization should be with a balanced fertilizer or with a higher nitrogen fertilizer with a balance similar to 30-10-10. A good organic alternative organic fertilizer is a combination of blood meal and bone meal mixed with some organic compost from your composter or can be purchased at the local garden centre, like Dinter’s, Buckerfield’s,.
Giving your cedar more phosphorous at planting will help provide nutrients to the roots as the tree becomes established in the new location. Higher nitrogen levels after the tree is established will help produce more green growth on the tree or shrub. Organic fertilizers at either time will provide a more gentle fertilization that will help protect soil conditions for the life of the tree.
If your tree is showing signs of under-fertilization, such as yellow leaves, you may want to have the needles tested for nitrogen content. In some cases, soil pH problems, such as a soil that isn’t acidic enough, may appear to be a fertilization problem. If your leaves have enough nitrogen, the yellowing leaves may be caused by another problem.
When to Fertilize
Begin fertilizing either at planting or in the spring after the tree has begun to grow. Cedars may appear healthy in the winter, but are often dormant. Fertilizing in the winter can cause a buildup of fertilizer in the soil that may result in spring over fertilization. Stop fertilizing in the fall when deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves.
Today I worked on a 10 acre rural property, a weekly visit always rewarded by being a part of nature. Today, while I was trimming a cedar hedge along the wooded driveway, I look directly into the eyes of this beautiful spotted owl, which I should say…is an endangered species. He was quite curious about what I was doing, and sat for a long while watching. When he did leave, it was to capture a small bird in mid-flight as swift as he was quiet! What a wonderful day…and I get paid to be a part of this…yes folks its just part of my work day and I am so thankful to be a small part of it! 🙂
This holly tree was very overgrown and needed to be topped, pruned and trimmed. It was part of a complete yard clean up and make over. It took three of us to top it and do the clean up. The entire yard had 9 dump loads to clean up. The tree turned out beautiful and completely transformed the yard!
I have worked for these garden owners for two seasons now. And although I did not design or create these gardens, I am truly blessed to work for such lovely people in such beautiful gardens. The property backs on to Quennell Lake and has stunning views throughout the property which is a large acreage. The owners themselves designed and created this park like setting with a dry river bed running across the property complete with a bridge and a large fish pond at the back of the house complete with palm trees!
All of the shrubs, trees and gardens needed to be tended. This included weeding, feeding, pruning, trimming and general clean up throughout. What a wonderful project!
Recently a new garden owner ask me to have a look at his fruit tree. It was dropping fruit and he had no idea why. I stopped by and noticed immediately that there were branches that had been recently trimmed. When I spoke with him, he said yes, he had trimmed several branches because he felt he had not trimmed enough in early spring and the branches were weighed down with fruit. I explained to him that you cannot ever trim fruit trees after the fruit has set. This is the reason why there are so many apples on the ground, they are dropping because the tree is now stressed. The only time to trim off a branch is if it is dead or has been broken in a storm. Even then, often the tree will start dropping fruit. Always trim your fruit trees in early early spring…which here on the West coast of Canada can be as early as late January through until March. But never after it has flowered and the fruit has set. The tree will survive…that is not in question…he just won’t get much fruit this year! 🙁
This garden required a much needed re-design. Many of the plants were overgrown and others had just grown together. As the circular garden in the centre of a circular drive way, it is the first thing visitors and the garden owners see as they arrive.
The Garden Owner did not need to purchase any plants. There were more then enough in the garden, they just needed to be moved and re-designed so that there was a balance of space and depth and texture.
I purchased a 1/2 yard of organic soil, a full bale of peat moss and a container of bone meal. When you are in doubt as to soil preparation, this is easily prepped and the cost is worth it. Soil $25…Peat Moss $13.00…Bone Meal $11
I mixed equal amounts of soil and peat moss in a wheel barrow and added about 1/2 cup of bone meal per wheel barrow. Then I mixed it thoroughly with a pitch fork.
Each plant was then lifted and set aside as I turned the soil in the garden and dug a new plant hole. I placed the ornamental grasses together in the same area of the garden and added amended soil to each plant. I also added water to each hole before I placed the plants in their new home, to help minimize the plant shock. The larger plants and shrubs I placed in the centre to allow every plant its own limelight…nothing should be crowded or overshadowed by another.
Each shrub was trimmed and the balance of the amended soil left was worked around each plant and worked into the entire garden. Total time was 11 hrs…total cost was approximately…$400…labour and materials all in! What a wonderful experience to make a garden beautiful again…a sincere thank you to June for letting me have the pleasure of re-beautifying this garden! 🙂
Cheers…happy gardening…see you in the garden or the garden centre!!
Trimming and Pruning is a must for all plants, trees and shrubs. Trimming and Pruning allows you to shape the plant and it also stimulates growth. Never cut more then one third of the plant as it can stress it which could cause a weakened immune system which could result in disease or pests attacking it. Because this garden was so over grown I trimmed much off of the top and sides but did not take more then one third of the root system out. Look for the woody overgrown stalks and trim those to the ground. Keep the new and straight growth to allow the plant to re-generate itself. It is important for the plant to have as much light as possible and to allow the air to flow through the plant. This will help ensure the health of the plant as it minimizes the chance of pests and bugs to live within the shrub. Pests are attracted to weak and diseased plants as they are easy targets for food and shelter. After trimming, I added some organic matter and gave the area a good watering, helping to nurture it.