Full time or Casual Gardening Work
There's lots of Grass to be cut, but it all needs taking away!
If you've read through the rest of the web site, you will have seen that this was my first 'job' after downshifting.
It was meant to provide sufficient income to support financial outgoings, above my small early pension and other 'odd jobs'.
I brought a Van, a good lawnmower, hedge cutter, strimmer and other reasonably useful tools (see Lawnmower page)
I have always been honest about my gardening 'skills'. I don't do flowers and don't know much about them.
I can though, do grass cutting, hedge trimming, general tidying up with weeding etc, have done a couple of patios and built greenhouses !
It is not hard to find work and I wanted work which I could do what I wanted and when I wanted to.
There is a big hole in the market for 'odd jobbing gardeners'. The Clients will often be either women living on their own or professional partners who want to spend their weekends in the garden and not tending to it.
All they require is a garden tidy up once a week or fortnight, maybe 4 hours work maximum.
It is about then that you have to make a choice. I will explain; You can make lots doing this work. Many builders and Land Management companies want people to go around and do regular jobs. I was offered the job of doing all the local Water Company sub-stations. Great pay, but virtually full time.
I did work for a Land Management company for a little bit, cutting grass on Housing Association estates.
The problem with oddjobbing is that, although there's a hole in the market, it is ultimately time consuming and unless you get your prices really bang on, the nett earnings are small.
People expect you to take the grass and weeds away with you usually, so you have to consider the time loading up your van, the time and petrol getting there and the time afterwards to clear up and move on.
I was finding I was out the house for 8 hours a day yet only getting about 4 hours pay.
Also, without being too harsh, you can have sympathy with many people and under charge for your services.
If you go for the odd jobbing theme, you'll soon get known. People will see you in a garden and ask you how much to cut their grass etc.
But this can lead on to other things. So many of the people I do decorating, floor laying, assembling furniture and other odd jobs for now are people I used to cut grass for.
They get to know and trust you, they are aware you're not skilled as such, but they can be sure of a job well done, a chat and a cup of coffee.
From an economics point of view, you can see it that you are simply using your own garden tools to earn money with.
I still have four customers I do gardening and other work for. I've got to know them very well and that's nice.