Grounds Maintenance vs a Gardener

When we tell people we are a grounds maintenance company, many people simply assume we are a collective of gardeners. And while we do have a gardener on staff, we do so much more than weeding and mowing lawns! The reality is that there is a big difference between what a gardener does and what grounds maintenance companies do, and businesses often don’t know which one they need to hire to take care of their premises. So today we’re going to tell you what the difference between the two is, and help you figure out which you need for your business.


Domestic vs Professional

The first difference between a gardener and a grounds maintenance company is actually pretty simple. Gardeners tend to work on domestic properties, while grounds maintenance is focussed on commercial premises. Now this isn’t true for 100% of companies – you will find a few gardeners who work on commercial properties, and a few grounds maintenance crews who will also do domestic work. But generally, the work is split between domestic and commercial. That being said there is an overlap there – for example, some grounds maintenance companies (like us) will do work on residential gardens, communal areas and premises, but only when they are owned by a housing association, care home or other form of business that is managing it. So it is residential, but it also isn’t!


Specialist Knowledge

Gardeners tend to have fantastic specific knowledge for creating gorgeous domestic gardens – they will know all about the different types of plants, what flowers would grow best in what location of your garden, what soil you need and how to feed and nurture the space. Your average grounds maintenance companies will usually have someone on staff with this kind of specialist knowledge, but the focus is on creating and maintaining clean, professional, and safe spaces around businesses. This means being able to consider a large and complex space, and do various activities to keep it all in order, looking neat and tidy. It also means specialist knowledge in other areas – like how to remove trees, when hedges can and cannot be trimmed, and the laws around commercial premises and health and safety. So while there is some overlap between the two, they focus on very different areas.

This is where we at Pod Landscapes are a bit different to your traditional ground’s maintenance company, because each of our grounds maintenance teams are led by foremen with specialist gardening knowledge. Not only are they passionate gardeners in their spare time, but they got into the world of grounds maintenance through gardening work. This means we can provide all the specialist knowledge from both sides, and give our customers the best of both worlds!


Licensing & Insurance

If you’re looking after a commercial property, there is likely to be a lot of waste generated. Lawn trimmings, hedge clippings, loose soil & gravel, large quantities of weeds and bags full of leaves, depending on the time of year. All of that needs to be disposed of somehow. Gardeners are very unlikely to have the ability to do that for you- instead it will be left on the property for you to dispose of yourself. Grounds maintenance companies however have usually gone through the process of getting licences for disposal, so they can take away all waste and deal with it themselves as part of the price they quote. On top of that, there are various insurances needed to work on a commercial site, particularly around liability and injury. Professional grounds maintenance teams will have all of this in place and ready to present, so customers can be confident they’re in safe hands.


Heavy Machinery

On a commercial property there are plenty of jobs that might require the use of more heavy duty machinery, or specialist equipment. This is something a gardener is unlikely to have access to or knowledge of, but for a grounds maintenance company is fairly routine, and they likely own the machinery themselves. For example, a gardener is likely to only have the tools to handle domestic jobs (lawnmowers, leaf blowers, long-handled shears etc), and won’t always have access to the specialist tools and materials for bigger commercial jobs. But a commercial grounds maintenance company will have a wide range of tools and employees to tackle every kind of issue a commercial premises could face, from power washing tools to turf laying and tree pruning.


What About Landscaping?

This is another thing that people tend to get muddled – and we don’t blame them! Because as well as ‘gardener’ and ‘ground maintenance’, you then get ‘landscapers’ as well, and it can be difficult to figure out what you need! A landscaper is typically the person you bring in right at the beginning, when you have a blank canvas of a space that you need to transform into something else. They will listen to what you need and design you an outdoor space to meet those requirements. They will also do the legwork to create that design, so you’re left with beautiful grounds. But that’s as far as they go – they will create the look, and then leave you to it. So then you would bring in the maintenance crew – either a gardener if it’s your home, or a ground maintenance company if it’s commercial – to make sure it stays looking lovely all year round.


Of course, at Pod Landscapes, we do a little bit of everything. While we are first and foremost a grounds maintenance company, we will also do some design and planting work for your business or home. We have experts in our team with a background in gardening, which means we have that specialist knowledge on hand to create beautiful landscapes for you to enjoy. Our team can put together a maintenance plan (including planting schedule) that fits your business and budget, so that you can have immaculate looking grounds all year round, without having to lift a finger. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.

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