Garden handover guidance

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A CHANGE of gardeners often results in a lack of continuity in the development and maintenance of a carefully nurtured garden.

To avoid this try to ensure the outgoing and incoming gardeners meet on site in your garden for a handover. The following check list is useful for an effective changeover.

1. The extent to which the owner likes to be involved or whether they leave the gardener to do what they think is best.

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2. The most important owners likes and dislikes in respect of the garden.

3. The current agreed programme for development/improvement e.g. new terraces, flower beds, rockeries.

4. Any urgent jobs planned for the next months.

5. Recently planted plants and their needs until established.

6. Provisional planting plans for the next autumn/winter including cuttings required for propagation.

7. The regular programme of watering and feeding plants, trees and lawns.

8. The normal schedule of weeding, hoeing and weedkilling (if allowed), areas normally killed and with what.

9. The normal frequency and height for cutting the lawn.

10. The range of machinery (mower, strimmer, shredder, etc.) and tools available and servicing arrangements.

11. How the watering system works, normal seasonal settings, who to contact for problems with electronic controls on a complex system and the owner’s attitude to watering costs.

12. The normal programme for the winter clean up in January/February.

13. Facilities for disposal of garden waste e.g. compost heap, etc.

14. The owner’s policy re: organic/ecological versus inorganic manufactured fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides.

15. Programme for pruning, watering and feeding fruit trees.

16. If there are any vegetables planted that the gardener will be expected to look after.

17. Location and types of spring and summer bulbs to ensure they are not disturbed or damaged.

18. Owner’s desire, fancy, for displays of annuals in containers or beds.

19. Owner’s budget for new plants and agreed re: plantings.

20. Ownership of hedges and policy re: height and depth of hedges.

21. Owner’s pet plants and names.

22. Areas of terraces and paths regarded as gardener’s territory for sweeping up.

23. Is the garden eco or are chemicals still permitted?

24. Where tools and chemicals can be stored securely.

25. Who’s responsible for repair of steps, paths, terraces, walls, repainting of terrace walls, garden furniture, etc. Is there a regular handy man as well as a gardener?

Best of luck if you are involved.

© Dick Handscombe

June 2016.

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