By Gene and Katie Hamilton
This is a job for an individual who does yard work. They frequently advertise in local newspapers in the Classified ads or in the Home section of the paper. You'll also find their business cards posted on the bulletin board at a lawn and garden center. If the herb garden you plan is large and extensive consider hiring a landscape service, a company that does a variety of gardening installations and maintenance work and is listed in the Yellow Pages as "Landscape Contractors".
If your lawn project is modest and you enjoy working in your yard, but occasionally need someone to help you, an individual is a good choice. Bear in mind that these folks usually work alone or with a pick up crew and they're always busy during peak gardening season. If you hire them infrequently, you may have to wait because their regular "bread and butter customers" get their attention first. Since their business season can be short, they often begin work early in the morning. Sometimes the best way to get an estimate is to make contact over the telephone, specify the work required and have them visit the site when they're in the neighborhood. You don't have to be home for them to check out the property so they can prepare a bid after asking you a few questions and confirming what you want. Often they'll send you a written estimate for the work you described.
A contract with a gardener/landscaper should include:
- a concise explanation of the work to be completed with a description of the location, seed, and fertilizer used and any other specific details for the job
- additional fees for equipment rental, hauling service etc.
- total charge that includes the labor and materials
- payment schedule
- beginning and completion date for the work