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Landscaping reviews in Saint Helena

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  • My garage door is broken and my lawn mower is stuck inside and the grass got to be about 2 feet tall so I needed to get my yard cut. I called and it took him a couple days to call back but when he did he showed up promptly and told me everything he was going to do. He brought all the tools he needed and had the job done in about a half an hour and I was very pleased. He was a nice young man who went above and beyond. He looked at what was needed, told me what he was going to do, and did everything he said he would.
    - Nancy D.
  • Anyone needing an amazing contractor? David McClelland and his crack team can do just about anything (large or small) and do it well and on budget. On top of that, he is a real pleasure to work with and communicates beautifully. It was my lucky day when my neighbor recommended David for my miscellaneous punchlist to get the Redwood House ready for listing. From our first walkthrough to toasting the finished job, David just "gets it." I could not be happier. or call him! 916-790-7535.
    - Shannon K.
  • I contacted Bonnie, owner of Garden Girls,  to create a stone pathway through our front yard on the basis of the two excellent reviews I read on Yelp.  My mistake was in not asking for additional references from previous customers (there were only twoon Yelp) and not asking for a sketch or some other visual reference to make sure I was going to get what Bonnie and I discussed and agreed to when she came to look at the job, before hiring her.  I should have also asked how long she had been doing landscape work in California...two plus years, it turns out. (She worked in Massachusetts before moving here.)
    Her original quote was over $3,000, which seemed steep to me, and she agreed to charge less by taking out some metal edging (which I didn't want anyway.) I agreed to the $2,600 and an additional $400 for pruning and clean-up which I assumed (again my fault for not asking for specifics) was going to cover everything in the yard. I specifically asked if she was going to be there to oversee the job and she assured me she would.
    She sent her husband over to get a check for a 50% deposit before the work was started.
    She and her crew arrived the next day with very large stones to be cut into the pieces for the pathway.  Bonnie got them started and then she was gone.  They broke the rock into small pieces (too small) and were using those to create the pathway.  When they showed me the layout for half of the pathway, I told them that was not what I wanted. One of her crew told me that my pathway was too narrow to use bigger pieces. I was uncomfortable having to tell them I didn't like what they were doing. However they replaced  some of the pavers, set them in mortar and left. They were still smaller than I wanted and the pavers were at different heights which was creating jagged edges. I called Bonnie to tell her I wasn't happy with the job and she said she'd be back in the morning.
    In the meantime, they had cut one of the irrigation hoses that was in the way of the pathway, but had not closed it off. When the automatic sprinklers came on in the morning, water was gushing everywhere. Fortunately, I was awake and heard it and managed to get the water shut off--a costly mistake here in St. Helena where they impose fines for watering the sidewalk. 
    When she saw it the next day, Bonnie agreed that the pathway had not been done correctly and that they would fix it, which they did, sort of, but then they laid out the second half of the pathway with the smaller stones they now left had to work with. She also admitted that two of her three-member crew didn't really "get it."  In the meantime, Bonnie proceeded to prune a couple of trees and a huge climbing rose bush. I'm not sure how much time she spent on that...maybe 4 - 5 hours?  I had assumed that for $400  she was going to do the entire yard....again my mistake for assuming anything and not getting specifics in writing.
    When she was done pruning Bonnie told me she had to leave and the guys were almost done with the pathway and asked for the balance owed. I ended up giving her husband a check before I actually got a chance to review the finished product as I had to leave, as well. Another mistake on my part.
    When I returned I was unhappy with how things had been left and Bonnie did send one of her guys over to clean-up a little more. But, the path was still narrower than it was originally (in some places as much as a foot narrower than it had been) and they had covered up some of the exposed dirt with the DG and mulch, presumably so one wouldn't notice. (And there was nothing placed under that to make sure weeds and grass didn't grow up underneath it. The stones they'd used in the second half of the pathway were too small and not at all the look we had agreed to. 
    Bonnie and her crew did come back with yet another stone (which she made a point of letting me know cost another $140) and but it was clearly not big enough to replace all the smaller ones that had been used. She made it very clear that this was what I was getting. I also expressed concern about what was going to prevent it from popping up and shifting when we get the rain we're expecting this winter and was assured that the mortar under each stone (which was just sitting in dirt) would hold everything in place.  I asked for a written guarantee, but didn't get one. The pathway is on a slope so we'll see what happens.  
    In the end I do have a pathway, and Bonnie did make several attempts at giving me the one we had discussed and agreed to. But for $2600, I think I should have gotten exactly what I wanted. And for that kind of money, I don't think I should have been put in the position of overseeing her crew, who were clearly getting fed up with me.
    Also it seems unprofessional to have left the one end of the irrigation tube they cut sticking out of the ground with duct tape wrapped around it.  They also left  another loop of spaghetti tubing sticking up between the pavers and imbedded in the DG. Those are mostly annoyances which I would have overlooked had everything else one well, and I can fix both those things, but again, for the price I paid, I don't think I should have to. (They did leave without saying good ye or checking to see if I was happy with the work.)
    I also think I was overcharged for the pruning. And I think her prices, in general are very high.  As an example I asked her about installing more mulch and she said the material would cost $50 a yard and installation another $50/yard.  I deferred and when I called local yard, I found out that it was only $40/yard (and that was without a contractor's discount!) 
    Bonnie is a great sales person and she did make several attempts to fix things, but I was surprised how often she deferred to her crew for suggestions, which is odd since they had messed up to begin with. She did arrive with more rock  twice, but she hadn't looked at what needed to be replaced before purchasing it  either time and it was not enough either time.  And she seemed very concerned about how much it was costing her. (In the process of breaking the rock apart, they  ended up with many unusable pieces, which I don't think should have become my problem.)  I think she incurred extra expense through mistakes made by her crew which might have been averted had she been there the whole time, which she had told me she would.
    I clearly made a number of mistakes in this whole process but still would not hire Garden Girls again, nor would I recommend them to anyone else unless they got a lot more in writing than I did and didn't pay the balance before they were 100% satisfied with the job.
    - Elaine M.
  • Very professional. Came out & did an estimate. All workers were very courteous & did a great job. Cleaned up afterward. We have landscaping planned for this Fall, but Mr. Back wanted to mulch the tress in those areas, then he said he'd come back and do them again in the Fall at no cost if we would let him do it now. He really cared about the health of our trees!
    - RICH O.
  • We never completed work because he never contacted us with a quote. He comes to our home and talks about himself, with little regard to what we need. He endlessly pontificates on his merits and shows us work he has done in the past. Never specifying work that would pertain to our project and vision, but his. He then proceeds to take me on a tour of homes he has landscaped in the area. We are walking in people's backyard contacting the home owner's of are arrival. A very strange and perplexing experience. I cannot recommend this company for any project.
    - TASH B.
  • Alex is a fantastic worker very responsible and on time my house looks beautiful and ready for summer
    - Griselda H.
  • damaged my irrigation system and denied doing so.
    - Robert J.
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Landscaping Companies in Saint Helena

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