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About Us - Our History


Neil recalls, in the early days, running around in an old van with just a few gardening tools and eventually being able to afford his first decent lawnmower - a Saber 19 two-stroke machine capable of doing most types of grass cutting. At that time, the work consisted of mostly grass cutting, edging and weeding.


The familiar Hard Graft logo as seen on our vans, was designed by Neil’s wife, Margaret. The rake idea came from an old illustration of a rake Neil saw in a Percy Thrower book and friends suggested the name as it reflected all the ‘hard graft’ Neil was putting in at that time to grow the business.


In 1926, the Stuart family began their first local business, opening up a grocer’s shop in Longniddry (now the dental practice). 


In 1931, another shop was added to the J.G. Stuart and Sons franchise (now the village vets).

In 1986, Neil Stuart launched Hard Graft Garden Services, initially working with his brother Ian and then with his three sons. The latter now run the business while Neil continues to do the ‘hard graft’ behind the scenes with garden visits and admin.


Though the business has expanded somewhat since then, the Hard Graft team are still dedicated to supporting and caring for our local community and providing the best customer service we can.


In 2026, the 4th generation of Stuarts will have been trading in Longniddry for 100 years.

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