The first job was on my front garden and driveway. I had a very small front garden with a little bit of grass and barely space for two cars. Michael redesigned it to make more parking space. He took out everything and made a raised flower bed, with an S-shape which has a nice effect. Then he laid tarmacadam with some granite cobblelocking to create a nice effect.
The job we did last year was for the back garden. We bought the house with a small swimming pool in the back garden, which was a lot of trouble and maintenance really. So we put decking over it for years. Then, when the decking started to rot, we eventually decided to fill it in.
They had to empty the pool first with wheelbarrows. Michael said filling it with cement would be too expensive, so they filled it in with gravel with some concrete on top of that. He had to provide drainage so it was very technical really. He also put down some artificial grass in the centre of the garden.
I tried to get a few quotes from other people but when they saw what was involved, they nearly backtracked out again because it was such an awful job.
I thought of Michael then because he's done work for my family, and there's never been a problem. When he came out and saw it, he said it would be a big job but he'd do it.
Michael also gave me the best quote for the artificial grass but the big thing for me was that the grass he was quoting for was the best quality and the one I'd originally decided on.
I had planned out the garden, but Michael also pointed out things that just wouldn't work in reality. Michael's not a big talker, but when he talks, what he says makes sense - he know what he's talking about. I liked him.
He recommended granite slabs at the right and left of my garden and at my back door.
What he had to do was very tricky and his workers were great, well able to do the work. There was no complaining about it. Even though it turned out to be more work than expected and he probably just broke even on it, he didn't rush it.
Michael's a guy who's been in the business a long time and knows what he's talking about. There's no talking it up, no nonsense - he's just a good worker.
The quality of work is very good - I'm very happy with that.
I liked the way he put granite around certain areas in my garden. Also at the driveway gate, he suggested putting in three rows of granite, which was a good idea that I hadn't thought of. It gives it a nice look.
Michael knows his stuff and he has the contacts. There's no messing with him - he's not one of those who are all talk about what they can do, and then can't deliver it. He's in the business a long time. Somebody else might have made a mess of the drainage, but Michael knew exactly what he needed to do.
Pricewise, he's coming in just as good as anyone else. I was happy with the quote and it never moved.
I would highly recommend him. The people he had working for him were very nice guys as well and I trusted them around my house. They worked very, very hard, and got the job done quicker than I expected. Dalkey Landscaping have done paving for a lot of my family members too, and none of us have ever had a problem.
I have to say Michael went out of his way on the job. We were very specific about the stone we wanted, and he went to a lot of trouble to source it. Michael was straight up and honest. And his crew were great as well, they were good guys.