Stories from the Garden: The Mow and Blow

Friday, September 23, 2011

Advertisement for: «The "INVINCIBLE"...Image via WikipediaOne of my garden pet peeves involves gardeners.  I'm talking about the people you hire to do a weekly lawn and garden service.  In my experience, getting them to do what you want them to do can be a real headache.

If I wasn't a sick chick living with chronic pain and fatigue, I would do much of the garden maintenance myself.  After all, I have many of the tools I would need to get the job done: a push lawn mower, an electric hedge trimmer, a weed whacker, a lawn edger and an assortment of clippers.

Alas, my health problems prevent me from using these tools with any consistency.  Not to mention what a workout garden maintenance would be for me.

So, like many of you, I hire someone to take care of my front and back yards.

Whenever I start with someone new, which has happened a lot recently, I take the time to walk around my small property and point out all the things I'd like them to do.  These things fall into three categories: mow the lawn, trim the hedges and pull the weeds.

Seems pretty simple, right?

So why is it I have to keep pointing out work that isn't getting done?  Or attempt to do these things myself?  The later of course is a really bad idea, by the way.

During my last foray into finding a new gardener, I learned a new term: the mow and blow.  Apparently this is a gardeners' trade term for what some are doing when you pay for their services.  As the name implies, they limit their work to mowing your lawn and then using a leaf blower to sweep all the cut grass into the street.

'Really?' I thought to myself, 'And they charge me $100 a month for this limited service for my small front and back yards?  What a rip-off!'

But it is more than just a rip-off.  It is a huge disservice to me, someone who really does need to hire people to help her.  Having a gardener isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.  It pains me to have to spend my hard-won disability income on a service that doesn't meet my needs.  It peeves me that I have to constantly ask nag to get the work done that I can't do for myself.

So for the second time this year, I hired a new gardener.  This was after giving the last one to many chances to get the job done right.  When he failed yet again, I turned to Angie's List to find someone new.  That's when I saw the on-site reviews and learned I was not alone in my gardener woes: it seems many gardeners start out strong and then fall back to the mow and blow.

I've decided I'm not putting up with bad service any more.  My new gardener has great reviews on Angie's List, but I'm still only giving him three chances.  Three strikes and he's out.

Here's hoping he listens and does what I ask him to do.

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