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Gardeners in Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s major cities. Often shortened to PE and nicknamed “The Bay”, Port Elizabeth takes up about 16 km of area surface along Algoa Bay. Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 and has the distinct status of being the southernmost largest city on the African continent, just farther south than Cape Town.

Nature definitely plays an important role in the allure of Port Elizabeth. In addition to the various beaches in and around the city, PE is also located right at the end of the picturesque Garden Route.

What is a Gardener?

Using his skills, training and experience, a Gardener keeps a garden looking beautiful, healthy and practical. This is accomplished via a range of activities such as watering, fertilising, weeding, and pruning. Although their responsibilities can differ from garden to garden, the main job of a Gardener often includes the following tasks:

  1. Maintaining a lawn by weeding, aerating, and adding mulch where necessary. The Gardener can also trim the lawn edges for neatness and remove lawn clippings and other debris.
  2. Pruning trees and shrubs by using a variety of tools to neatly shape the bushes and trees to a desired design. By performing basic pruning and trimming, a Gardener cultivates many different types of plants like annuals and perennials.
  3. Monitoring plant health problems via pest control and managing weed control. To ensure that plants and flowers are well looked after, the Gardener also prepares the right kind of soil for the different planting beds.
  4. Applying fertilisers and weed-control agents.
  5. Maintaining garden equipment and tools – on a typical day, the Gardener may change the oil and replace the filters on gasoline-powered mowers and trimmers. Mower blades and sprinkler heads also need to be looked after, as these form part of a wealth of tools that aid in a Gardener’s day-to-day tasks.

What education is necessary to become a Gardener?

For most gardening jobs, a high school diploma and a minimum of one year of gardening, landscape, or nursery experience is required. Additional coursework in horticulture or landscape architecture can also be beneficial. A lot of Gardeners also enhance their skills by receiving on-the-job training, mostly by being apprentices of already established and experienced Gardeners.

What tools do Gardeners use?

Gardeners are used to working in diverse outdoor conditions and handling a range of tools and equipment such as:

  1. Powered gardening tools (lawnmowers, edgers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, seeders, tillers, leaf blowers, etc.)
  2. Fertilising tools (liquid sprayers, mix applicators, etc.)
  3. Soil maintenance tools (shovels, rakes, compactors, etc.)
  4. Pruning tools (such as shears, hand pruners, and pole saws).

How does a Gardener differ from a Landscaper?

These two professions are closely linked and both can do a fine job of beautifying one’s garden and outdoor spaces. However, while there are certain crossovers, there are also important differences between Gardeners and Landscapers.

Landscapers are usually involved in outdoor construction work such as pergolas, patios and pathways. Gardeners are sometimes called ‘plantsmen’ by Landscapers, seeing as these professionals are more focused on the health and wellbeing of an outdoor space’s plants.

The main difference between the two is the scope of work they are qualified to perform. Landscapers, in general, require one or more specific trade licences, like a builder's licence to construct a gazebo or patio, or a paving / concreting licence to do ‘hardscaping’ work. Landscapers are also more likely to make use of heavy equipment when working on projects. But keep in mind that a lot of gardening firms usually have the professionals, skills and equipment to offer both gardening and landscaping services.

Should I hire a Gardener or a Landscaper?

A Gardener is the right professional if you want to have your garden maintained through a horticultural sense with a strong focus on plant life.

A Landscape Architect is the better person if the job involves the complete redesign of a garden that will also require the installation / construction of major new hardscaping features.

What to consider before hiring a Gardener

  1. Check if the Gardener charges for a preliminary visit and if this is refundable should they be chosen for your gardening project.
  2. Enquire about how long they have been in business and their qualifications. Check for certificates of competence and insurance if necessary.
  3. Ask for quotes detailing each part of the work involved in your gardening job / maintenance.
  4. Check for references from other clients to see what the Gardener’s reputation is.
  5. Ownership of surplus materials and disposal of rubbish are some of the biggest issues that homeowners have with gardening firms, so ensure you clarify these in advance.
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