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LifesSweet
Apr 10, 2016 10:37 AM CST
I am a Florida Snowbird. My question is to other Snowbirds that leave their winter homes to return north for the summer.
I have spent a lot of money in plants for our home here in Florida, to return in the fall to have the plants poisoned by Landscaper who thought them to be a weeds. Also I have even found plant markers in the piles of pulled weeds. I love flowers and look at photo's on this site with a lot of envy. Any suggestions?


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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 10, 2016 12:25 PM CST
Did you ask why they did it? It's your yard...you have a right to ask why they've wasted your time and money.

If you want to keep them and give it another chance, walk the yard with the landscaper before you leave and say "Please do this, don't do that". You can still be nice about it, and still be clear at the same time. I've had a little experience with different landscapers and walking the yard is always the test to see if they listen and care. If they don't.....then I find another. But usually they do because it's their livelihood and most people want the customer to be happy with results.
[Last edited by AlyssaBlue - Apr 10, 2016 12:26 PM (+)]
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LifesSweet
Apr 10, 2016 2:34 PM CST
AlyssaBlue, I guess what you are telling me is, the workers are only as good as the Boss.
I have walked the walk, also marked plants with markers. I feel as you said, I am not possibly getting the right guys. It just breaks my heart to have the yard looking nice after 6 mos. of tender care, and come back to........... plants dead and missing all together.
Maybe I expect too much. Thanks
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 10, 2016 3:26 PM CST
No you're not expecting too much. Maybe I had too much coffee when I answered. I apologize if I inferred it was you. I get kind of tough when discussing this topic because of history. Here's an example of what I mean:

We were renting a house out west, and the owners offered to pay for the first cleanup, then we would be responsible for the rest. Great! I figured they would let me know when they were to arrive, right? In the meantime, my husband and I started working outside, and put up new landscaping lights to make it more like our place.

One day, I went out to the store, and came back to find about 10 men that I didn't know, all over the front and the back yard. I thought, what the heck? They were trimming things, up in trees, near the pool doing who knows what before I came home. None of them spoke english, so I kept searching until I found found the head guy through the gate, way in the back. I wanted him to stop one of his employees who had pulled up our new landscape lights. The employee was putting them in their work truck to haul away. The head landscaper said, "Oh, I thought we were supposed to put in new lights." I said, "They ARE new lights, we just put them in!" (What they had done was remove the new lights, and replaced them with old used lights). Also, I wasn't familiar enough with every single plant, so I will never know whether what we ended up with was correct. At that point I just wanted everyone to leave....

After that, I put a lock on the gate so no one could just "show up". Long story short, I feel your pain. I hope you can find someone you trust. Maybe a neighbor has someone that they could recommend? Or if you see someone's yard that looks fabulous, maybe find out who they use, or if there's a truck always in the area working on a lot of yards, that's always a good sign.

LifesSweet
Apr 10, 2016 6:55 PM CST
WOW.........You went through it too. My position at this time is one day at a time. Thanks for understanding. I will be returning to Tenn. before to long. I am anxious about getting back to the country, something about those hills just makes me happy.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 10, 2016 9:02 PM CST
From Tennessee to Florida? That doesn't seem like a big change. I was thinking more like Maine to Florida. Smiling

Yes, fire the landscaper retroactively to 6 months ago. There are way too many in the world to deal with even one that can't follow direction. When it comes to my garden, I get fierce. Grumbling

It's okay to say: NO Roundup, NO pulling plants. Can you tell the difference?

I would make them walk around the yard with me, make sure they were taking notes and make sure they understood enough English to know what I was telling them. You can get a feel for them from that: no response? No job. Argumentative? No job. Think you know better? No job. (I am the VP of a HOA and we deal with landscapers all the time).

Good Luck!

Daisy


LifesSweet
Apr 11, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Hi Daisy,
Your right about the miles from TN. to FL., but the temps can be quite different. I know here in FL in the winter watching the weather there in TN., I am glad I am here.

Everyone I have hired in the past knows I am not here to check on their services. They tend to do what they want, but still cash the check. When they know it is getting close to my return, it's time to go into drastic recoup mode. Neighbors tend not to want to get involved.

I am looking into getting a camera security program so I will be able to check things out when we are not here. I feel this will probably be the best way to handle the situation. The gentleman that does handyman work for us has suggested it.
I love the spunk and fight for the right thing you and Alyssablue both show......I need more of that attitude.
You guys are awesome ~ Deb
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 11, 2016 11:28 AM CST
Hi Deb,

I was going to suggest a security camera. We have them and they are great for vacation time. My husband can check on his smart phone or I on my tablet. We check to make sure the garbage can has been put away, the pet sitter is feeding the cat, who is parked in front of the house.... I watched the contractors put in my tile floors - they weren't doing it right so I called them on the phone and told them so. You should have seen the look on the guy's face when he answered that phone. When they realized I was watching, things went much better.

Make sure you get one that you can check remotely and has good enough resolution so you can actually see something. Some of ours even turn so we can check all the corners.

Daisy
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 11, 2016 2:47 PM CST
Cameras are good. I've also found that making myself known here and there when they're not expecting me is a good thing.

OK, I have another story. I hired our landscapers of 5 years, to help mow at my mother in laws place when she couldn't mow any more. She had a farm, but I walked the area with the crew first and said "here are the boundaries, only do this area". The first few times I was there, they did a nice job. One time I arrived 45 minutes late. Their truck was there but no crew or mowers. Hmmmmm. I walked through the back yard up the hill. Found them. Two men on their mowers, drag racing through the field. Keep in mind I was paying them hourly. So I stood there, as they drove towards me, they slowed, but they didn't stop, kept on going to their truck and loaded up. They lost two jobs from that one. I found another landscaper that was so great it was night and day and such a relief!!

Sometimes it's good to just.....drop in, if possible. nodding

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