Landscaping – What a nightmare!

Landscaping – What a nightmare!

Landscaping – What a nightmare!

Hi readers,

A few weeks ago now, I mentioned I would be writing a post on landscaping. My intentions where to show you my garden project from start to finish. I was so excited because ever since I moved in, there was an area of my garden I wanted to address. It was a fairly large project, for me anyway. I decided that when the time was right, I would put things in motion. But alas, this project has turned into a nightmare. Grab a cuppa, this is a long one! This is my story…

I have a project I wanted to undertake but as you know, I can’t do very much myself anymore. (It’s damn annoying )

I placed an advert on a reputable tradesman platform on the 24th April asking for someone to come and give me a quote for a job. This was the advert I placed-

Strongman needed

I have small area where a tree has been cut down and needs moving back to the boundary. The land needs has small roots that need to be removed and the ground levelled and a fence erected. Sensible quotes please and I’m happy to pay cash if this helps.

It wasn’t long before a company contacted me and we arranged a date and time for the company to view the job.

We agreed for the branches to be cut up and placed within the existing shrubs within the boundary (great habitat for the wildlife) level the ground dig out the roots and erect a fence with a gate. He told me he would have 2 other men with him and what his day rate was. I explained that price was a factor but I wanted a proper job. We agreed on a price and the date was set.

Fantastic and something to look forward too. This piece of land has bugged me since I moved in and not only that, I hadn’t felt secure as the landlord had only erected a 3ft fence not at the boundary and leaving the overgrown land free to enter.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service

I hadn’t heard from this company in ages and with the amount of rain we had with a splattering of sunshine, the vegetation had started to spring into life. It was a concern but when I took a closer look it was just that sticky weed which grows crazy and with a couple of tugs is easily removed.

I sent a text asking him if he would like to come again and measure up properly and because of my situation, I couldn’t get out there to measure up properly myself so I guestimated the materials that I thought were needed to do the job.

No response at all from the landscaper. Alarm bells started to ring but I told myself he’s probably busy and will get back to me.

I waited 8 days before I sent him another text just saying you probably have it all in hand and that I can’t wait to get my new fence erected etc. I also mentioned that I had now cleared my diary for them to start work on the 25th June as agreed.

This prompted a text from the landscaper telling me he was so far behind because of bad weather and he would be moving his start date to 2nd July. I wasn’t very happy about this but there wasn’t anything I could do about it so accepted the new start date.

July 2nd arrives and i’m so looking forward to getting this job done. The time is now 09.17 and no landscapers? I send a text to see if they are coming, no response. I called him at 9.45, no answer and went to voice mail. I left a message asking him if he would let me know if he was coming today to start work. At approximately 10.00am he sent me a text saying he would be at mine at 11.00am.

Again alarm bells are ringing, this isn’t how you conduct business. Surely if you are starting a new landscaping contract you start the job first thing in the morning. I was concerned but I thought ok he’s said he will be here at 11.00am, let’s go with it and just get the job done, I’m sure him and his team will work longer to get the job finished as agreed.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service

The landscaping team eventually turned up at 11.20am with no materials to do the job and standing scratching their brains while viewing how much the vegetation had grown with the wet weather.

Eventually they started to do something, taking down the 3ft centre panel and tugging at the weeds which came away extremely easily. I was happy to see something happening and offered them a coffee which they all accepted.

One of them was using an electric saw the same principle as an electric carving knife, it probably only had a 10/12inch blade. the other two, one was grafting for 20mins until boss man waked him in the eye with a branch so that was the end of him. The other when he wasn’t standing around started to launch branches threw the air to the neighbours land so I had to tell him to stop. I hadn’t realised that they had piled up a load of tree branches the other side of my boundary which encroached on the public pathway.

I kept asking them to dig the roots out and the one standing around just looked at me as if i was stupid. I explained that I had dug many roots out of this garden and I’m a women. You’re not going to tell me a young strong lad can’t dig a root out? With that, he went and grabbed a long handle shovel type tool and removed one root.

Boss man then said it would be impossible to dig the land, it was all a matt of roots. He then proceeded to convince me to have a step up to the level with a railway sleeper to retain the land. Not being able to dig the land myself to see if what he was saying was true I kind of conceded

Approximately 12.30/1.00 they all disappeared saying they were going to get the materials. Two of them returned at 2.30/2.45 with materials and they hurriedly started to erect the fence without clearing the land or digging out the roots.

They erected the first panel by securing it to my existing fence with no post just screwed directly into the existing fence panel. They then erected the first post, not where I wanted the fence to go and positioning the post without a good fixing for the panels. They quickly erected the next panel and post with the post not being straight on two angles. Then the boss man proceeds to tell me they have to leave at 3.30, he has to go and have a covid test as he’s in hospital on Monday for a small operation.

As you can imagine, I’m not happy at all, he tells me that his lads will return on Wednesday morning to finish the job. At that moment he thinks he has me by the short and curlys and sees me as a helpless women who knows nothing. At that moment, although not stupid, he’s probably right and I feel I have no option but to accept his terms as he leaves.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
1st Panel fixed to existing fence
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Ist post without proper fixing
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
2nd post erected
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
2nd post not straight on 2 angles
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
2nd post not straight
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Land not cleared

His comments and behaviour play on my mind for the rest of the day and the next morning I have psyched myself up enough to go and grab my shovel, thinking if I can step on the shovel with a very painful leg and the shovel goes into the ground, it tells me the landscapers are full of BS and want to get away with doing as little work as possible. The shovel went into the ground with hardly any effort at all, this landscaping company had been lying to me and where trying to con me as I suspected. I also noticed all the branches piled up on the other side of my boundary which they had just left.

On Monday the parish council tells me the pile of branches need to be removed and I assured them the contractors will be returning on Wednesday to finish the job.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Pile of branches left on the opposite side of my boundary
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
The Pile!

Tuesday afternoon I receive a text from the boss man informing me his lads wouldn’t be returning on Wednesday as one of them had been in contact with someone positive for Covid so they were all isolating until Monday 12th July.

This was a croc of BS again, I knew exactly what they were trying to do. None of them had Covid and they were not self isolating! They were using my job as a filler, doing a bit here and there so when the big money jobs finished and left part of a day free thats when they would get to me.

I decided this was the final straw, I politely sent a text thanking him for the information and that I wasn’t happy with the work, so let’s just call it a day. I also mentioned that all his materials would be placed for his collection asap. I was worried about the parish council, I was upset that they I had been taken for a fool and angry at the workmanship of the job they agreed to undertake.

By return I received a text from the boss man (unusual, as getting any response from him was hard work), Telling me I owed him money for labour and materials and giving me his bank details. Under the circumstances, this was the wrong move. I don’t like ripping peoples work to pieces and expect them to be honest and know when they are in the wrong but I was left with no choice but to spell it out to him in layman’s terms the reasons why I wasn’t going to pay him a penny and if he wanted to go down that road, he in-fact, owed me money!

I didn’t hear another word from him.

My son and his wife took a day off work to help me remove the panels already erected and place all the materials by my gate for the landscapers collection. Then cutting up the massive pile of branches using a chainsaw and then placing around the boundary and also clearing the land as we went. It took my son and his wife 4 hours of nonstop graft to rectify the problems.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
My Son & his wife took down the fence, cut up the branches from the other side of boundary and placed in the shrubs.

A man stopped as they were clearing the branches and offered to take them away for a fee and told me that I needed someone with a small digger to dig out the land and it would only take an hour at most. This sounded great news so I searched and found someone and asked if they would come and look at the job. He agreed!

While this man was here he asked if I would allow him to quote for the whole job i.e digging out the roots lowering the land and erecting a new fence. Ok, It sounds good to me I said and he explained everything and I asked him to do a few other thing like moving my shed etc. All that I asked for didn’t fase him and quoted me there and then. It was a lot more than the previous contractors had quoted but I was fed up desperate and wanted a good job and plus he had just had a cancellation and could start on Monday.

I took 24hours to mull it over and drawing a detailed plan of what I wanted and texted it across to clarify if we were on the same page for his quote. He came back and said exactly that, so I booked him for the Monday start.

He arrived with his team early and they all immediately got stuck in to the job. It was so refreshing to see people actually work! They had managed to do more in 1 hour than the previous landscapers had done in their entirety.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service

Everything was going well, the land had been cleared and dug out, my shed had been moved and they had started to erect the fence from the correct side of my boundary. They kindly even scraped the overgrown shrubs from my neighbours fence. There was a mound of dirt on the waste land behind a newly erected fence next door to my neighbour. With the digger the landscaper took a scoop off the top of the mound and sprinkled it down on the ground to smooth the land off. Omg, the new owner of the house came rushing down without a shirt on flexing his muscle and shout “Oi thats my dirt”. The landscaper apologised immediately and this mound of dirt on waste land wasn’t touched again.

The day is coming to an end and the boundary fence is erected, there were still a few things to do, i’e fit and supply my gate, fit and supply trellis and clear up etc. not a problem, he will return next week to finish the job as my gate was being custom made etc.

I was very happy with the work and happily accepted that they will return and agreed to pay for the materials and job so far and they left.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Job so far at the end of the day

I walked down towards the new part of my garden where my shed was moved too and all of a sudden, I was verbally accosted by the young mans father. In broad Irish shouting aggressively at me accusing me of trespassing, stealing his dirt, demanding that every grain be replaced etc etc. I explained that the dirt was on the ground beside the mound and that I had not stolen it and if he felt so strongly about it, he was welcome to come in my garden and take dirt from there. No he wanted his grains of dirt put back and it was my responsibility to put them back and if I didn’t he was going to call the police on me etc etc. He demanded that I give him my contractors telephone number and by this time having been reduced to tears, I felt I had no option but to give him the number (On reflection this was not the right move). My neighbour came down because they could hear all the commotion so were witness to the abuse I was receiving.

5 minutes later I receive a text from my landscaper asking me to call so I did. My landscaper explained that he had just received a call from an Irish man threatening him and telling him that I had no right to extend my garden and demanding that my garden be returned to its original state etc etc. My landscaper then proceeds to tell me that because of this Irish mans threats, he feels too intimidated to come back and finish my job.

Keeping him on the phone although feeling somewhat intimidated myself, I walk round to this house and the father isn’t there but the young man is. I ask him what the hell is going on and what right dose his father have to ring my contractor threatening him etc. The young man shrugs his shoulders and doesn’t say a lot and obviously has to abide by his fathers wishes. By now i’m distraught and i’m fighting to hold back the tears again and my last words were to this young man “who owns this house, you or your father? “, “I do” he replies, “then tell your father to keep his nose out of my business!” and the door was shut.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Clearing shrubs from neighbours boundary
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
Scoop of dirt from mound on land that doesn’t belong to anyone

The thing is, this young man erected a new fence but not on his boundary, he extended it by 3 or 4 ft causing my neighbour to have a gap in their fence. My property shows on the plans from the registry’s office that this property owns the land down to the road but they don’t. By their own omission several weeks previously the young man stated he did not own the land behind his house and was trying to obtain it but his lawyers had reached a stumbling block.

So in the eyes of the law, I haven’t broken any laws. If anything is placed on common land such as a mound of dirt then that mound of dirt dose not belong to anyone.

Don’t you just love people who through shit on you when they live in glass houses!

I was advised to go to the police station about the threatening behaviour and make a statement incase this situation escalates. I did call the police twice with intentions of lodging the complaint but they were too busy and asked me to call again. With the last conversation with the police it was stated that when I make a statement because of the threats and aggressive nature, they would have to investigate. With that in-mind, I decided to not to pursue and just make my own detailed dossier of the event. The last thing I want is the police knocking on their door which would aggravate the problem because I live here and like a quiet private life.

A couple of weeks on and with other neighbours help, my garden has slowly started to take shape. There is still a long way to go but eventually it will come together and hopefully be a place of tranquility.

Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
A couple of weeks on
Landscaping what a nightmare, Landscaping – What a nightmare!, Full Body Massage Service
This is where I am today. Still loads to do...

With all the homework you can do these days by checking reviews on line etc of companies before you contract them to do your work, you can still never be sure of what you will get. Sometimes there is an element of the unknown and when doing a good dead, there are green eyed monsters that come out to play.

Have a great day people and don’t forget to email me your stories or interesting articles for future posts.

Email: contact@femalemasseuse.co.uk

Take care of you and yours,

Sue x

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