How to Buy With Confidence when it comes to gardening services

PUBLISHED: 12:23 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:23 16 May 2019

Tree surgery is a very specialised skill. Picture: Louis Joyce  Digital

Tree surgery is a very specialised skill. Picture: Louis Joyce Digital

: Louis Joyce Digital

Some gardening jobs are fun and easy - others are best left to the professionals. So, how do you find an experienced, skilled and above all, trustworthy gardener in your local area?

A tree surgeon at work. Picture: Louis Joyce  DigitalA tree surgeon at work. Picture: Louis Joyce Digital

When getting your garden ready for the summer, it's best to use a trusted local professional. Here, some Devon and Somerset-based experts give their advice on the jobs they do at this time of year - and explain why they are proud to be members of the Buy With Confidence register of approved traders.

As the weather gets warmer, you're likely to head outside, get out the garden furniture and soak up the sun. But instead of relaxing, you'll probably spot countless jobs that need doing after the long winter months: overgrown flower beds, untrimmed hedges, damaged fences and trellises, terrace areas covered with moss and dead leaves. You may also feel that your garden could do with a new, more contemporary look for the summer. Or you may decide you want to do your bit for the environment by finding ways to attract more bees and wildlife into your garden.

While some gardening jobs such as planting flowers or choosing new accessories are fun and satisfying to do, others are more difficult and best left to the professionals. A good gardener will have years of experience, an eye for spotting problems you might not have noticed, and the right tools and equipment for the work. They will also be used to working with nature; for example, a good gardener will not do any invasive hedge pruning or other work between March and August, for fear of disturbing birds' nests.

A birdbox, placed out of the reach of cats. Picture: Neill MurphyA birdbox, placed out of the reach of cats. Picture: Neill Murphy

Steven Care from Care's Gardening Services finds himself in demand for particular jobs at this time of year.

"I'm beginning to start the regular grass cuts, weeding of beds and patios, applying bark to top-dress the beds and borders to slow the weeds down and make room for all the beautiful bedding plants and perennials," he said. He also gets called in to replace fencing panels and trellises, and pressure-wash patios.

Lottie Wride is a partner in Chestnut Trees, who offer tree surgery and and other garden maintenance work.

"At this time of year we're often to be found helping with some bigger projects such as fencing and landscaping," she said. "These are great things to undertake now, as the weather tends to be drier, making it easier for us to use the electrics outside. It's also a good time to take stock of the things you love in your garden, and what you would like to add or change."

A hedgehog hibernation box. Picture: Neill MurphyA hedgehog hibernation box. Picture: Neill Murphy

Neill Murphy of Shamrock Gardening undertakes all kinds of work, and has a particular interest in adding features to attract and protect wildlife. "A pond in your garden can help to attract hover flies, tadpoles and frogs," he said. "A bird box put high up away from cats but not in direct sun light can encourage birds to nest in your garden. A hedgehog hibernation box can be a refuge for the hedgehogs during winter."

All three businesses are proud to be members of Buy With Confidence, the free, not-for-profit scheme run by Trading Standards. The BWC logo shows customers that the trader has been thoroughly checked and vetted, and that they offer a fair and transparent pricing and invoicing system.

Lottie Wride said: "In order to qualify for the Buy With Confidence scheme you need to prove you can meet the high standards that are set initially, and that are expected throughout. Tree work can be complicated and dangerous, and it is essential to use a company with the right insurances in place, should the worst happen. Also you can be assured that the company has been assessed thoroughly and had all credentials checked, such as qualifications, training, knowledge, experience and equipment."

Neill Murphy said: "I have 14 years experience so I can give customers useful advice on how to make their garden look nice. I only use good quality tools which makes it quicker and easier to do the garden work. There is nothing worse than trying to cut long grass with a electric lawn mower; a powerful strimmer does it so much quicker."

Mending a fence. Picture: Louis Joyce DigitalMending a fence. Picture: Louis Joyce Digital

Steven Care said; "I use my own machinery which is serviced regularly over the years, as I've learnt that having the right equipment makes my jobs a lot easier. Using a business like mine you are guaranteed a quality, reliable service at an affordable cost."

For more information on BWC or to find a list of Trading Standards approved businesses in your area, click here

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