Arghhh what have I done?

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Eve | 16:32 Sun 25th Sep 2011 | Home & Garden
38 Answers
Just had a sheer frustration moment over my garden which is just beyond me at the moment.

Tried to get out and do some today but my stupid arthritis won and in a real fed up moment I rang the number of an advert which had been put through the door asking about an estimate to see how much it'd cost for someone to come and tidy it all up ready for winter.

The guy said they would come round and have a look and give a quote. After giving me a quote (£60 - there is quite a bit of work needs doing but I'm not even sure what a reasonable quote is) we were discussing when he could do it. He suggested tomorrow, I said I was working but off Tuesday so he could do it then and he started asking me a load of questions about what I did and where and how many days a week I worked which raised alarm bells in case he was casing the place! He didn't speak great English and it was a bit of a confused conversation.

I know, I've probably watched too much Law and Order and CSI and that but I'm panicking a bit now.

When I got a bit worried with the work questions I said I often work from home and am in and out but couldn't do tomorrow as would need to pop out and get work to bring home and such and would want to be there all the time if someone was there hence why it wasn't feasible.

I'm not sure what to do now, whether I let him come (I have a boiler service too) and see if a friend can come over while he is here (preferably a big burly male one?) though most/all will be working or away - or cancel though I'm then worried he might get arsey and of course knows my address and mobile number.

I'm wondering if I should cancel and try and get quotes from more established companies and leave him a message with some excuse trying to incorporate a suggestion of say a man living here as well and not saying I won't be in or something or whether I'm just being a bit silly and feeling vulnerable as I'm a female living alone. Any advice welcome!


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Craft!! I'm shocked to say the least.
He spends ages getting it just the right shape............
A bush should always be neatly trimmed
I always suspected you'd be into topiary, JL :)
My Mum paid £180 to get my back garden slabbed and lay (horrible) lawn 19 years ago....Next door did theirs for £40 themselves,and it always looked nicer than mine....New next door neighbours got rid of grass, and mine has been wild since my transplant. £60 seems reasonable to me-BUT not the bloke-cancel it and get more quotes-maybe local word of mouth?
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Thank you all. I think he is maybe doing cash in hand work - doesn't seem to be a professional set up at all and he was quite vague about things - but hopefully you get what I mean. I don't know if I could get into trouble as well if he's not legally here so to speak. The insurance aspect is another good point!

I couldn't get his car reg in time. Was panicking a bit - might sound daft but when we came back in the house from the garden he asked me wasn't I going to lock the door - errr not while you're still in the house mate! Not that I said that mind but waited until he was out until locking the doors.

I wondered that Ratter, I wasn't sure how much people charge and a fair bit of work as it's not a big garden but was for mowing the lawn and clearing the borders (got this long wild like grass which grows at a ridiculous rate and keeps taking over!), no plant or anything, just grass, cutting back some bushes hanging over from next door (can't ask the neighbour as the police broke in and found him dead inside some months back and house still empty) and a rose bush in my border which has has grown up and over the narrow path at the side and getting the weeds and that wild grass up from between paving slabs (I keep putting them up, they just grow back!). He reckoned a day's work. He also said he wanted to cut the rose bush right down to what seemed to me like a stump, kept saying it'd grow back which I was a bit uncertain about.

I think I'm going to come up with a good excuse to cancel but which stresses I will still be in and people with me, might say I have a work meeting here or something or my "partner" is back and has people over, something like that which is a good enough excuse for him not to come round and preferably not push for me to rearrange. Maybe I could say something about my partner wanting to check anyone out first for insurance/references etc... but not sure if I want the extra contact, not that I have the feeling he'd be back in touch!

When I panicked a bit at the end I said just in case it turned out I had to pop out to pick up some work on Tuesday I'd text him to let him know to cancel to try and cover myself a bit.

I might see if any of the near neighbours will be about too in case he comes round anyway in case I can't find a friend who is off work. I'm off for the day on a holiday day anyway for the boiler service.

Thank you all, pretty sure I'm cancelling, just need to get my excuse sorted.
CF, no man wants to have to fight through a forest to get to the fruit
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Getting a guy to ring is a great idea! Thank you :)
Try telling him that your boy friend's rugby playing brother has offered to do the gardening for you and then politely tell him that you will not require his services.
gentlemen (and I use the tern advisedly) the Op is looking for sensisble answers, not voyeuristic scenarios.
Anyone can get themselves a few gardening tools, put a small ad in the local paper, and call themselves a gardener
Just thought of something else. If he is to come make sure that there is someone there with you - one repair guy used to come to my house and he gave me the heebie jeebies I refused to be there alone with him, we eventually changed repair man! You may also want to take a look at your home security and so forth
You could always cancel him and give him a fiver for his trouble then he won't feel too bad, and you've got rid of your problem.
After all, he did come and see what you wanted doing?
do you have a friend with a large dog you could borrow for the day.(Lock the cat in a seperate room,)
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Ok, just wanted to get it done so I sent him a text message saying that my partner had just let me know he is working from home all week and needs the quiet so Tuesday isn't feasible but hopefully I'll give him a ring in a week or so. Hoping that does the trick and thought he might understand a text more than any voicemail or conversation I'd have going by earlier. Hopefully that's the end of it!

Still a little concerned he will turn up Tuesday morning if I don't hear back but if I cant get a friend round I'll see if any of the other or near neighbours are about (I only have cats but they have big dogs!).

I've emailed a more reputable looking company for a quote, hopefully it's a much safer option!

Thanks for all your help.
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Just an update. I spoke to some near neighbours and got one of their phone numbers who was about today in case he turned up (no response to my text) but no word or sign today so thankfully all seems ok :)
Even if the guy was going to do your garden, clip the claws of the girls and paint the house all for nothing you have to trust your"weirdo" sensors. Some guys just seem to give you the creeps and they mean no harm - but there are hundreds of gardeners out there and only one Jenna.
I do hope all went well in the end. He may or may not have been for real, but why take a chance? There are many professionals out there who will give you a good days work, professional job and peace of mind, but there is also a never ending supply of people who want a job done on the cheap and with it comes the anxiety you've had ......and you didnt even have the work done!

If you do not know anyone who has a good gardener to recommend, then keep your eye out for those some at work and dont be afraid to stop and ask - we dont bite and most of us are almost house trained!

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