If you are looking for someone to help you do some gardening, don't give a guy named Jim Workman a chance. He overcharges, he works by the hour and moves at a snails pace and he doesn't think to do simple things like amend the soil when it comes to plantings.
I hired him last year for several projects, one of them being putting a Dwarf Star Magnolia in a bed I created the year before. The soil was in perfect shape. Since I don't know a lot about flowering trees, I let him choose the tree. He came back with a Dwarf Star Magnolia (that came with a $100 price tag, and he never showed me the original invoice...did he really have to buy the most expensive tree he could find? I live in a very modest home) and it died. He was on my property quite a bit last year doing other projects (I always got sticker shock when the bill for the day's work came) and he could have checked the tree while he was standing around charging me $45 an hour to "think", and "Imagine what would be the best planting for the area we were working on".
I just called Sky Nursery in Shoreline (where he bought the tree) and this year the Star Magnolia trees are going for $49.99. I asked the gentleman at Sky if the Star Magnolia's were more expensive last year, and he said, "No, if anything, they would have been less as the price of gas has affected the price of so many other things".
So Jim Workman marks his trees up 100%!!!!!! Probably another reason not to hire him.
I called him again after about a week of not hearing back from him from my initial phone message. He said, "Oh Melinda, I was just going to call you" (yeah, right). I asked him to replace the tree since he had been back multiple times doing other jobs last year and I also took very good care of the tree, especially in the long, dry months of August.
I asked him how he planted the tree, and he said "I dug a hole and I put the tree in it". Now, I'm no expert, but I do know that you are supposed to dig a hole twice as large as the tree going into it, soften the roots that may be bound in the bottom of the bucket and that you amend the soil by putting compost, root start, and I have a huge worm bin on my property.
I hired Jim, an expert, to do a job that I am not an expert in. I asked him replace the tree, but he refused. He offered me a paltry $30 refund. He charged me an hour's time to go and pick out the tree. And then he had the nerve to say that he won't be working for me again~~right, like I would hire him to work in my yard again. So for a dead tree that cost me about $200 to have installed, I am getting a $50 refund (I negotiated him up to a whopping $50). Jim knows, just by looking at my yard that I am an above average gardener as I have a lovely yard with lost of unusual and lovely plantings....I just sometimes need help with the big stuff.
I don't believe that he has an office and that he is just a one-man-show. But, don't hire him. He takes terrible instruction and doesn't stand behind his work, and even if you give him specific instructions he does it his own way anyway...and that's not acceptable. So by being penny-wise and pound foolish, he lost a good client, because I used his services a lot last year, even though they were expensive.
Anyone out there know any good gardeners who charge reasonable rates? I need one.