Most of us enjoy sitting or pottering in the garden on a warm summer afternoon. But gardening is an all-year job, with many heavy or unpleasant tasks. Many consider grass cutting a weekly summertime job. But, many parts of the UK have such a mild climate that grass grows eleven months of the year. So, hire someone to do these monotonous, unpleasant tasks, thus allowing you to sit and enjoy the garden.
A gardener’s hourly rate varies from £12-£60, with the average cost per hour around £25. Therefore, UK gardeners charge from £75-£400/day with an average of around £200/day.
These gardener’s quotes might seem a broad range. But, a garden worker can have many different skillsets which you have to pay for, such as:
- Basic grass cutting.
- An ability to recognise plants from weeds.
- Highly specialised garden design, landscaping or botanical knowledge.
The gardener’s going rate varies with what they have to offer. So, if you want a knowledgeable designer, landscaper or horticulturist, you will pay top rates, whereas someone who cuts grass or digs a veggie plot will be much more affordable.
Gardeners Price List*
The following list shows a typical gardening cost comparison. You can compare these tasks with your garden projects and use the prices to benchmark against your quotes.
|Gardener Task||Estimated Price|
|Garden clearance 3hrs/session||£80|
|Regular garden maintenance 2hrs/session||£50|
|Pressure wash hard landscaping 4hrs/session||£100|
|Minor landscaping, creating flower beds & paths||£450|
|Prepare the garden for grass laying||£20/m2|
|Levelling ground & laying paving slabs||£350|
|Dig & create a pond||£400|
|Erect wooden shed on an existing concrete base||£250|
*We compiled these gardener’s prices from various sources, including actual gardening contractors. They are estimated values as every garden is unique, and all gardeners have their own hourly work rate. Prices vary depending on your location in the UK, with Southeast England rates up to 20% higher than other regions. Therefore, if you want an accurate quote for your specific conditions, contact a local gardening contractor who offers the skillset you require. Alternatively, complete the form on this page, and we’ll contact them for you.
Here are some example gardening price ranges you can typically expect in the UK. You can also utilise the figures we’ve outlined as a cost calculator to benchmark against the quotes you receive.
Garden clearance involves removing unwanted vegetation and general rubbish before planning and executing the following years planting. Expect to do this task in winter or early spring, ready for planting or hard landscaping (concrete, stone or block surfaces). It’s also popular with those who have just moved into their home and want to design the existing garden from a clean slate. You can include, within this category, pruning shrubs, hedge cutting, and weeding. Although, you can incorporate many more tasks too. The overall price will reflect the size of the garden and how arduous the job is. Although many gardeners bring their own tools, they would not expect to provide waste skips, leaving this to the homeowner. Expect to pay from £15 to £30/hr or about £80 per three-hour session. However, the overall cost depends on the amount of work involved.
Regular garden maintenance
Many homeowners employ gardeners for a set number of hours per week or month, depending on the garden’s size and their budget. Regular maintenance can include weeding, lawn cutting and edging, pruning, among many other tasks. Depending on the type of maintenance, you can pay from £15 to £30/hr or around £50 per two-hour session. The actual price depends on the number of contracted hours and quality of work.
Hard landscaping such as paths, driveways, walls, statues, and patios, become dirty and attract algal and moss growth. Some people like to see this, as it blends the manmade structures into the natural world. Others prefer the contrast between the two environments and want hard landscaping to remain clean. Even if homeowners like the greenery on statues and walls, some surfaces such as driveways, paths and patios can become slippery if left to grow wild, so they’re best kept clean. Expect to pay from £15 to £25/hr or £100 for a four-hour session for pressure washing. However, the overall price depends on the size of the garden and how much hard landscaping there is.
Minor landscaping involves working the ground to construct flower beds, pathways, vegetable patches, rockeries etc. Work of this kind requires an appreciation of preparing the soil and basic hard landscaping skills. Therefore, gardeners charge more than the minimum rate, but not as much as highly skilled work. Typically, gardeners do these tasks in autumn, winter or early spring. However, sometimes it’s done as needed throughout the year. Depending on your gardener’s capabilities and how complex the tasks are, pay £15 to £30/hr or £450 for 2-4 days work.
Prepare the garden for grass laying
Grass lawns can be grown from seed or turf. However, seeding is a long slow process, while turf is almost instant. Whichever method you choose, prepare the ground by removing large stones, hollows and mounds as much as possible. Break up the soil to allow drainage and rake the surface to a fine tilth. This sequence enables the finished lawn to be as smooth and free-draining as possible. Expect to pay around £20/hr for this task, assuming an area of 1m2 takes about an hour. However, this timescale might vary depending on the soil’s original condition and how many weeds and stones are present.
Levelling ground & laying paving slabs
If you want to build a patio for relaxation and entertaining, or a hard surface for a shed or greenhouse, you need to level and prepare the ground. Then, lay concrete slabs, or pour concrete. Any hard surface must have stable foundations that won’t subside, so you need to construct a compressed gravel sub-surface. This work requires an appreciation of drainage and some basic construction skills. So, gardeners charge a higher rate than unskilled labour. Expect to pay from £20 to £35/hr or £350 for 1-2 days work. However, this varies with the project’s complexity and size.
Dig & create a pond
Ponds create an environment for ornamental fish and attract all kinds of insects and other wildlife into your garden. Building a pond is a skill that comes with experience and isn’t something to entrust to the guy who cuts the grass. You will be investing a lot of money into this project, so you want it to be attractive and sustainable over the long term. Therefore, knowledge of pond making is essential. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) shows how to build a pond to attract wildlife to your garden. Their example pond has an area of 4m2 and takes about a day or so to dig. The price of £400, shown in the table, is purely indicative as the actual cost depends on many factors: depth, area, type of liner, water features, and the many plants needed to supply the water with oxygen, so could be less or more.
Erecting a shed on a pre-existing base requires carpentry skills and simple tools. But, it’s not easy, and it’s those skills that you pay for. Once again, not everyone can follow a set procedure and ensure everything is horizontal or vertical. This makes the finished shed robust, stable and not likely to fall apart. Expect to pay from £20 to £25/hr, or about £250 for 1-1.5 days work. The actual price depends on the size of the shed, whether it’s a self-assembly structure or built from scratch.
Gardening Cost Factors
The cost of gardening jobs in the UK varies with the following:
- The complexity of the task.
- An operative’s qualifications.
- How regular the work is.
It makes sense that a complex job such as landscaping or garden design will be more expensive than grass cutting or digging a trench. Likewise, you would expect to pay more for someone who has a degree or another qualification in landscape architecture or horticulture, than someone who wants to make a few quid cutting neighbour’s lawns. Also, you can see that a one-off job like garden clearance will be cheaper if incorporated into a regular garden maintenance contract of a few hours a week.
Hiring A Gardener Checklist
Hiring a gardener isn’t always as simple as it seems. There are many things to watch out for, and it’s up to you to decide if a person is right. Here is a short list of things you should look out for so you get the best possible deal.
What do you want a gardener for?
Decide what jobs you intend to give your gardener. Doing this gives an idea of the hourly rate and how much work there is. It also determines whether you want a gardener regularly or as a one-off session. Also, decide whether you want a gardener to work under your direction or take the lead and tell you what needs doing in the garden. Experienced and qualified gardeners will know how to take care of a garden without help from you. But expect to pay more for their knowledge.
How much can you afford?
Most people have a weekly or monthly income. After paying the bills, you know what you have left to play with and how much you can afford to spend per session.
Perhaps, you want someone only to cut your lawn. In this case, it seems a waste of money to hire a horticulture graduate. All you need is someone who can handle a mower. Perhaps your neighbour has a teenage son who wants to earn some pocket money? If so, you can save yourself some money and do some good for the community.
Ask for references
This question is necessary if you want someone skilled. If you hire a non-skilled worker, you can generally tell if someone is good during the first session. Otherwise, ask for and follow up on references. If possible, go and see the referees’ garden and make up your own mind.
How much do they charge?
The gardener’s hourly rate depends on their skillset, qualifications and how busy they are. Generally, if someone is very busy, they are either charging too little or are very good at what they do.
Can they fit you into their schedule?
You should know how much you can afford to spend per session and how much work is available. Therefore, find out if the gardener can fit you in. Sometimes, you might have to compromise here. For example, you might want work done for two hours weekly. Instead, the gardener can only fit you in for half a day every two weeks. Be flexible, and you will probably benefit in the long term.
Enquire about experience
This is only necessary if you want someone skilled. A skilled gardener who knows what they’re doing without your input should have at least five years of experience. Furthermore, it’s even better if they are a member of a trade association such as:
- The Gardeners Guild
- The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA)
- The British Association of Landscape Industries.
- The Association of Professional Landscapers.
Some of these associations cater to landscape designers and gardeners, while the rest target general gardeners. It’s up to you to decide which association is appropriate.
Read the websites, and they will explain each association’s specialism. Plus, they have a directory of members to confirm that your gardener is a member.
Finally, ask about insurance. Every reputable gardening contractor or company should have public liability insurance to cover damage to your property and members of the public. Additionally, they should have an insurance policy to protect themselves against injury. If not, you might find yourself liable. Ask for the insurance company’s name and contact details, the gardener’s trading name, and policy number so that you can confirm it’s current.
Many people can’t do heavy gardening or prefer not to. Either way, they can hire a professional gardener to look after their plants and shrubs properly. Whether you want a lawn cut, shrubs pruned or something that only a degree qualified horticulturalist can do; it’s an excellent idea to get someone you can trust. We can help you with this.
If you want to sit back and enjoy your garden without the hard work, complete the form on this page, and you’ll hear back from up to four gardening companies who want to quote their best gardener prices.