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04/03/2013 at 09:17

We asked a "professional" gardener who lives around the corner to come and do some weeding and tidying in the garden. The day he wanted to come were were not at home. but were horrified when we returned home and saw what  he had done. For some reason, that he is unable to explain, whilst "weeding" he managed to chop down a six foot hollybush, a mature lilac tree, remove a hedge and lop branches (back to the trunk) of another 40 year old tree! He would only say "it'll grow back" but did accept it would take a few years. Apparently it's just a coincidence that the 2 metre wide gap he has created at the side of our garden is adjacent to our neighbours greenhouse. The gardener is good friends with our neighbours.

Any comments/suggestions would be most welcome

 

 

04/03/2013 at 09:24

If you're satisfied that all you'd told him to do was weeding and tidying, I'd be livid and looking at the Small Claims Court procedures in order to fund replacement plants and a proper gardener to prepare the ground and plant them 

He might feel he'd be better off apologising and settling 'out of Court'. 

04/03/2013 at 09:26
I think you've made the suggestion yourself, so stick a big fence/trellis up in the gap near greenhouse and bill it to this professional gardener
04/03/2013 at 09:26
...also agree with dove
04/03/2013 at 09:30

Also, take dated photographs now - do you have any of how it looked before the 'gardener' did his worst?

04/03/2013 at 09:54

I would be livid.

My next door neighbour has a gardener that "comes when she's out" alot of the time. But as I'm home I know he will bill her for several hours work but I have seen him on one occasion going round with a leaf blower for 15 mins, he told her he was there raking up for 3 hours. Needless to say he now comes when shes in, (if he bothers to turn up at all).

I went on Holiday last year and my next door neighbour who looks after our house took it upon themselves to cut back my ivy (on our joining side wall), that not the problem, we always keep it about a foot from the top of the wall to keep it from growing over onto their conservatory but they had cut it back to 4ft in a straight line from the top, it looked bloody rediculous. Its growing back slowly but surely but will take a good 2 years to get back to where we keep it. 

04/03/2013 at 10:16

I'd be livid, too. You've been 'had'. I'd let him think you are going to the small claims court even if you do not really intend to (put it in black and white), put up a fence or trellis and plant something fairly quick growing as a temporary infill, then send him an itemised bill. Even better would be a solicitor's letter, but that will cost you money. I had a problem with someone some years ago who sold me stolen property and resisted every attempt to get my money back. Persistence paid off and eventually he repaid fourteen thousand pounds. You have to be more determined than him - but keep your cool. It is not worth wasting a lot of energy on anger.

Does the neighbour have anything to say?

04/03/2013 at 10:57

I am going to be a liitle bit contenious here-was it spelt out to him what you actually wanted doing?-did you stand in the garden and point out things?- or was this just a general instruction to tidy up-he may have thought that is what you wanted

I have done gardening jobs for people and the work and price is agreed beforehand-was this done?

As for going out-why??-when you knew he was coming?- or did he just turn up?

You say professional-as in does he trade as a gardener-or just do jobs on the side?

I like to get both sides of the story -before rushing to judgement-at the moment we only have one

04/03/2013 at 11:37

If anyone ever does work for us, I'm always at home, mainly so I can see the job is being done correctly. I find it much less hassle than finding later everything has to be undone and started again.

04/03/2013 at 12:53

No, it's not weeding but you should have been around for his first visit. Fault lies with both parties really.

I'm guessing no contracts outlining what was required of him to do were drawn up ? Not alot legally can be done but you could always enquire - trading standards or CAB maybe able to help.

Other than asking him to put right, some of the wrong he's caused at his own expense and hope he doesn't start playing stupid games, like - prove it.

Good luck !!

Oh, and 'professional my a** '.

04/03/2013 at 12:55

 My first thought Chyperie is to say that I'm really sorry to read what happened to your garden - you must be devastated ... I had a similar but, by comparison, very very minor incident in my garden last year with a man who came to cut the grass. I was at home but even so he (and his dog on my veg patch) managed to do damage before I realised what was happening. He was annoyed when I said he must put the dog in his car and I was annoyed that I had to follow him around to prevent more things being slashed down - how anyone could cut through a line of 6' high sunflowers I'll never know. His mate told me what he thought to be hilarious stories of chopping down mature trees and shrubs - at which point I cut the session short and decided never again.

I don't think falling out with your neighboyrs or the legal route will get you anywhere as it sounds like it was a verbal agreement rather than a contract. I'd head for the nearest garden centre to cheer myself up. Good luck.

 

04/03/2013 at 12:58
The phrase 'tidying up' is ambiguous unless you specifically stated what work you wanted done.
04/03/2013 at 13:21

Many thanks for the useful replies.

Just to clarify, we took him around the garden for around 20 minutes explaining what we wanted doing.. We asked him to start in the back garden but all he did was the one side of the front garden. It is unfortunate we could not be at home but naively trusted him as he only lives around the corner and earns his living as a gardener!

We really didn't expect him to weed with a chainsaw!

The side of the garden he "weeded" is about 20 foot long and has been there for 30 odd years and is well established with bushes and shrubs. He has left the rest of it untouched apart from some minor trimming which we are happy with.

What we find most frustrating is that when we got him to come and explain why he had chooped everthing down in front of the greenhouse he just kept saying "it will grow back" .If he had said that he thought that was what we wanted or that the trees etc were diseased it would have been acceptable (maybe).

We threatened him with legal action and he looked visibly shaken and asked us what we wanted him to do to avoid legal action. We have told him we want the area reinstating with a mature tree etc. He is due to come back tomorrow with his proposal.

Unfortunately our neighbours have been away all weekend so we haven't been able to talk to them yet.

04/03/2013 at 16:34

I have done gardening for people and I realised that everyone has different ideas about tidying a garden. (rather like personal hygene, everyone has their own views on this and everyone thinks that they are correct!) I like to do fairly harsh cutting back about once a year, cutting to 6" below where I want it to be on most things. I have been told by customers not to cut a giant overgrown privet hedge that was annoying the neighbours as it was in flower. Hey Ho.

04/03/2013 at 17:01
artjak wrote (see)

I have done gardening for people and I realised that everyone has different ideas about tidying a garden. (rather like personal hygene, everyone has their own views on this and everyone thinks that they are correct!) I like to do fairly harsh cutting back about once a year, cutting to 6" below where I want it to be on most things. I have been told by customers not to cut a giant overgrown privet hedge that was annoying the neighbours as it was in flower. Hey Ho.

Yes but, I imagine you don't adopt a "scorched earth" policy

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/19321.jpg?width=350

 

 You can just see the remains of the lilac tree to the left of the shed, the holly bush was in the middle and the hedge was all along the wall! This angle doesn't show it as bad as it really is. Next doors greenhouse is obscured in this shot by the conifer.

Even more weird is, the gardener gives no explanation for his action and my neighbours say they didn't ask him to do it. Strangely I believe them, mind I believed the gardener was only going to weed!

 

 

 



04/03/2013 at 17:11

Having read Chyperie's responses on this and viewing the picture it would appear that the greenhouse now gets a lot more sun than it did before-the conspiracy theory with the neighbour would now appear to hold some water

As for the whether he returns with an idea how to put things right is another question and you will struggle to get any replacement to get established in that area now.

 

04/03/2013 at 18:41
How did you hear of the guy and have you seen his work before?
04/03/2013 at 20:14
Sam Glendinning wrote (see)
How did you hear of the guy and have you seen his work before?

We live in a small village and most people we asked about gardeners mentioned him. In hindsight, they mentioned him not necessarily recommended him and again in hindsight all of them are maintaining their own gardens.

Lesson learnt, the hard way.

Still nobody has died or been injured

Just watching "Death on the wards" on Channel 4, puts everything into perspective

 



04/03/2013 at 20:39

Keep your chin up, like you say no one was hurt. I'm sure with a selection of fresh new plants it will look fab this year.

04/03/2013 at 20:49
Definately , don't look back ... Look forward ... Life's way too short
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