How to find landscaping companies near me

Leave landscaping to the professionals

Landscaping Companies Near Me

A lot of people will tell you, “anyone can do landscaping it’s easy”.  My answer is “yeah right!! Like in any skill, you have people that can produce something that could be called landscaping. It takes an expert to produce outstanding results every time.

In today’s climate, it seems like every man and his dog, have suddenly become professional landscapers or professional block paving companies. I can tell you, that some of the jobs I have seen over the years have brought tears to my eyes. Especially when I have found out how much the clientele have paid for the substandard work. They could have had, the same work, carried out professionally, for the same cost or even cheaper in some cases.

You might be thinking “what makes me a good judge of what’s good or not”?

Let me tell you that I have over 35 years of experience in the industry and at times at the cutting edge of new technology. I am from the era of giving the customer what they pay for and more. You can probably guess and I am proud to say I am known as “old school” and yes, I think that gives me the right to class myself as an expert.

 

Always putting Quality before Quantity with Landscaping Companies Near Me

Staying in business for this long certainly didn’t mean putting the pound first before doing great jobs for customers. I have seen and rectified enough bad jobs from these cowboys to last me a life time. I know the clients are slightly to blame some of the time but they are only trying to save money, like we all do. but it can end up costing a lot more in the long run.

 

Tips for finding good reliable landscaping companies

Always when looking for professionals make sure you pick ones that have landline phone numbers and not just mobile numbers. The reason is, that at least landline numbers are tied to property that has an address that should give more security.

Ask them how long they have been in business and how many years’ experience they and their work force have. Also remember that a job is only as good as the people carrying out the work

Get the proposed professional to tell you how he is going to carry out the work, even if you don’t know what on earth they are on about and not just the price. This is something I always do and also, I watch the clients face and when I see they don’t know what I am saying, I stop and explain until they do.

Another good tip is to make sure they look at you straight in the eye. They talk to your face without looking away too much. People who are a bit dodgy to say the least, or are not telling the truth tend to look away from you

Ask the right questions to landscaping companies near me

Ask for addresses and phone numbers of clients they carried out work for recently and some time ago if possible. If they give excuses of why they can’t do this then do not entertain them at all. This is a great big warning sign.

I will let out one of my secrets to you. It is, that I absolutely love people asking me for previous work addresses.  I know, that if they go and visit the property and talk to the owners, that I am just about guaranteed to get the job as they make wonderful sales people.

Just think about it. If you have had work carried out for you, that is really good, what would you do? I think you would be singing the praises of the professionals that carried out that work.

Am I right or wrong?

Unless it is a really simple job, always get the quotation in writing with the process of works. They should include depths, materials and start and finish dates if possible. I try to give a start date but usually with a plus or minus date of 3 days subject to weather conditions.

Make sure that everything is included in that quote such as waste chargers or material costs. You need the one final sum of the work being carried out but be warned sometimes unexpected problems do occur and will carry extra costs.

Use these tips and information for all your jobs in or outside your house. Whether it is for landscaping or even painting your house.

So go and find Landscaping Companies Near Me

Achieving higher standards

 

Ted

Raj Green Paving for a Courtyard

I turned into the drive of an old, substantially large mansion house in Lawford. I was there to give a quotation to the Lady of the house that I had just gotten off the phone from. Mrs Clarkson had requested a quote as soon as possible. As I was within a few hundred metres of the house I agreed to come straight round.

Lawford House Manor image

 

I know you might be thinking “so, what’s unusual about that”.  Nothing apart from the vehicle I was in. The vehicle I was driving was one of our trucks, that when going to do a quotation isn’t the best of vehicles to turn up in. Saying that, at least the customer knew I get involved in doing the work as well. Not just doing the managerial work alone.

I rung the door bell and introduced myself to Mrs Clarkson. The client took me round to the back of the house to show me the existing courtyard. We then discussed some ideas and designs but Mrs Clarkson was in favour of a more modern finish as one of her friends had suggested. Now I will usually let the client have what they would like. On this occasion I knew this would absolutely spoil this grand old stately house.

Raj Green Paving Slabs

What I suggested was to use Indian sandstone paving in Raj Green. Now you are thinking “green!! is this man out of his mind.”  Calm down and let me explain in case you don’t know.  Believe it or not, Raj Green paving is not green. It is a collection of light and dark yellow sand, grey to browns of every shade and includs some very mellow earthy pinks!

This I knew from my vast experience would absolutely complement this wonderful old mansion and make it look like it had been there for years.

Mrs Clarkson decided she would like to have a quote on this option as I said I would rather walk away from doing this job than putting down something that I knew would not go with the fantastic building and spoil the idyllic setting. Yes you heard that right, the end result is more important to us than the money.

We submitted the quote and within a day we had a phone call to say it had been accepted and when could we start.

Preparing the patio and paths in Raj Green paving

This project was started three weeks later in November. The first thing we had to do was mark out the new paving area. The existing site of the old concrete and shingle areas were then cleared.

Once this was done we found really wet and soft clay underneath. We had to excavate deeper so we could stabilise the area. We then brought in type one crushed concrete and spread it over the surface. Unfortunately, before we had a chance to compact this, the heavens opened up. It then continued pouring for the rest of the day and most of the next.

When we went back we just could not do anything due to water standing everywhere. We had to pull off site for a week to allow the area to dry out, I didn’t have to explain to the client as she could see the problem for herself.

Once we were back we compacted the area down and made sure that all the falls were correct, so once the paving was laid any surface water would run into existing surface water drains and onto lawn areas.

Patio and paths in Raj Green paving

We started to lay the raj green paving in a truly random pattern as we had five different sizes of paving to allow us to achieve this. The paving was laid on a 2 inch (50mm) bed of semi dry screed mix with 0.5 inch (13mm) to a 1 inch (25mm) gap between the paving slabs to allow for a mortar joint to lock the paving into position.

Just while I am thinking of this did you know there is a right and wrong way to lay these paving slabs? I know these are called Raj Green but don’t say “green side up”. On this paving all the edges are tapered and what a lot of people do, including so called experienced paving contractors, is to lay the paving upside down so the widest part of the slab is at the bottom so forming an upside down pyramid for the joint instead of a pyramid the correct way up to lock the mortar mix in the joint. Why some people will do this incorrectly is because the jointing can be done quicker, but it will not last!

The jointing mix we use is the same screed mix we are laying the paving on but add more cement and admix. The cement makes it stronger while the admix – also known as plasticiser, is a liquid that allows the mortar to be pliable without it being runny as you are not putting the water content in. This allows you to put the concrete mix in the joints and over the paving without the worry of staining the paving when ironing in the joints with a tool that is called a jointing iron.

The finished job complete with new lawn area

We then prepared the new lawn areas by rotovation, levelling and removing any large stones. The grass turves were then laid leaving a striped pattern. To achieve this, all we did was to lay one row of the turves left to right. The next row was laid right to left from where we finished the previous row from and so on.

 

Lawford House Image

As you can see from the pictures this Indian Raj Green paving just blends itself perfectly. The great thing about it is it looks like it has been there since this wonderful Georgian Mansion was built.

 


Paving Flagstones Images

 

The client was over the moon with the end result and was so glad that I insisted on this paving.

 
 

Raj Green Indian Sandstone

 
 

The Clients comments

I did ask Mrs Clarkson what the other quotes were so I could compare our price against the other contractors. Surprisingly, her reply was, “I did not get any more quotations once I had spoken to you. You advised me on what you knew would suit the property. If the product I chose wasn’t suitable,you told me you were prepared to walk away. This alone, absolutely astonished me. You certainly don’t get that happen nowadays.

The other thing was you didn’t turn up in a big fancy BMW wearing a suit. I am so glad I went with my instinct as what you have achieved is so wonderful. The summer just can’t come soon enough so I can really enjoy this space. I am already talking to my gardeners. We are planning where we are putting pots and what plants we are going to have”.

Another paving job carried out successfully using Raj Green paving. With the end result of having another very happy customer that we can now add to our portfolio.

When we first arrived at this house in Colchester we were met by a free for all living nightmare of a front garden. The picture you can see below was taken after a days work clearing the property, I just wished we had taken a picture before we started because you could not even see the house or driveway and that is why we had trouble  finding the property!

Japanese Style Garden image

After meeting Peter the owner of this property the first words he uttered after introductions were “what can you do to this tip of a front garden?” Now usually our clients have some idea of what they would like and make suggestions that we can work on, but with Peter he just had no idea what he wanted.

Ok, I can tell you now that I had to put the old thinking cap on to try and come up with some great ideas.

We stood in that front garden talking and then came the break through when Peter said “I want something simple and easy to maintain”. They were the keywords I was looking for and in kicked the old grey cells to work their magic.

I had spotted a cherry tree that had been damaged or cut down at some time to just above ground level that caused several main branches to sprout up instead of having one large trunk. “This was sometimes done deliberately to achieve this effect”.

I said to Peter “how would a Japanese style garden appeal to you?” His reply was “Do you know, that didn’t even cross my mind”.

I then carried on to explain what we could do: by making the drive a kerb edged stone driveway and giving a bold contrast with a  Japanese style garden area and a path going around the cherry tree, would lend itself perfectly to the design we wanted to create. This area would be edged with grass with a larger area in front of the front wall. Also the drive entrance was lacking appeal so we suggested  leading walls with pillars to define it.

Japanese Garden Image

As you can see Peter awarded us the job after we submitted our quotation. He was so delighted after seeing the clearance work as seen on the above photograph that he too could start to imagine what the end result was going to look like.

I will say that although we carried out the usual safety checks of looking for services and cables we were very lucky not to have caused a gas leak or even worse. Why you might ask?

The reason was very simple, due to some irresponsible workmen. They had buried the main gas pipe to the house, a modern polyethylene plastic type which means it was laid recently only three inches (or 75mm for the younger generation) below the soil!!

Yes completely unbelievable in this age of health and safety but that is often what you find these days.

We did have to get that sorted out but lucky enough there was enough slack on the pipe that we could re-bury it to the required depth of eighteen inches (450mm) below ground level with warning marking tape above it after digging a new trench.

Moral of the story “you can never be to careful”.

A Simple Japanese Garden Image

The photographs below and above shows you the finished project and what a difference!  We ended up carrying out several different projects over the years for Peter, including re-styling the rear garden, replacing paving, making a new patio area, building a pergola and extending the garage area just to name some of the work we carried out.

The Complete Japanese Stiye Garden image

I am sure we would still be carrying out work for Peter today if it had not been for a very unfortunate accident sadly he had while on holiday in Italy, that caused his death a few weeks later.

Peter became a well respected friend of the family and not just a client over the years and we dedicate this page in his memory. 

Rest-In-Peace Image

About Us

We run a very successful UK based landscaping family company. We have some very prestigious blue chip companies as our clients and been retained by them for several years. We have been acknowledged for helping companies achieve their environmental compliance standards award, no easy feat alone.

We retain a very local customer base that call on our services as and when needed, year after year. The work that we carry out is always maintained to a very high standard.

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