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Looking for flexible side hustles and interested in gardening?

Join the Garden Girls, a group of gardeners who help people with regular garden and lawn care and even tend gardens when residents are on vacation.
Garden Girls | Darla Malcolm-Hauraney
Garden Girls | Darla Malcolm-Hauraney

If you are an outdoorsy, avid gardener or trying to debut and have some free time, joining a local group of gardeners for professional garden care can be the perfect side hustle. Our very own Garden Girls are known in Oakville, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Burlington, Milton and Georgetown as a group of gardeners who help people with regular garden and lawn care and even tend gardens when residents are on vacation. 

It can be excellent part-time work for stay-at-home moms (when the kids leave for school) and retirees or those transitioning between jobs.

The Garden Girls was founded 17 years ago by Darla Malcolm-Hauraney and her friend Lucy in Oakville.

"The Garden Girls was started in my own garden. Lucy and I were working away at pulling weeds when a neighbour was out for a walk and said, 'How would you like to work in my garden?' To our surprise, they were serious! We decided to get out of the office and into the dirt!" the owner mentions on the company website.

The gardening team works from mid-April to December. The independent contractors are paid per hour, and it's a bonus if they come with gardening knowledge.

"We only work five hours a day, and you can choose the days you work week by week, so easy to plan around other hobbies, sports and appointments," Malcolm-Hauraney shared.

According to the company, many retirees are interested these days in joining the team, "looking to get out and get into the dirt again."

Malcolm-Hauraney found out early customers didn't want to train a new company every year; many landscapers only did the big plant installs.

"We saw that people were spending their hard-earned money, and without the proper care, their investment could be wasted as fast as one season," she recollected.

The team aims to understand the customer's garden needs and helps them care for it, add to it, or refresh it if needed, from the position of a "Garden Care Specialist."

The company also has separate divisions for lawn care and garden care to bring a different approach to property maintenance. It also collaborates with industry partners like lawn and pest treatment and arborists to cover other areas when needed.

"We are energetic people who would rather work outdoors, get their hands in the dirt and team up alongside other like-minded gardeners to accomplish a satisfying day's work," she shared.