There's a lot of shabby work being done out there in the name of "saving money". We at Camberly Gardens believe that cutting corners never works. That's why we are obsessed with doing it right, even if it costs a little more. On this page, we show you what poorly-done work looks like over time to illustrate why it's important to hire a responsible company like Camberly Gardens to handle your landscape needs.

You see, while inexpensive workmanship and materials may allow you to get more into your landscape, you'll get exactly what you pay for...and that could mean compromises not only in appearance, but in safety as well. A properly-installed hardscape (the sidewalks, walls, driveways, etc.) takes your safety into consideration too...and not just for today, but for many years to come.

We say: Do it once, and do it right. Above all, build to manufacturer's specification in order to avoid invalidating their guarantee.

Correct landscape installation should also take the needs of your new plants as seriously as a quality hardscape installation. Camberly Gardens does planting the right way, using the proper soil amendments and planting methods for your particular plants and locations. We don't just "throw" plants into the ground. We go so far as to be sure that your plants, trees, and shrubs are planted in the proper locations (with relation to size, sun or shade preferences, hardiness, etc.) to ensure their healthy growth.

We also make sure that pruning is done carefully to enhance appearance and vitality, so as not to ruin your valuable investment in precious plants.

The following photos of "work" by less-than-scrupulous contractors tell some horrid stories about what happens when landscape installation isn't done properly.


This two-year-old wall was hastily built by a general contractor who lacked the proper skills and experience and was intent on saving a few bucks. Built without engineering, drainage or adherence to the manufacturer's specifications, it's fortunate that there were no injuries when it collapsed. The cost to dismantle and safely rebuild the wall to local building codes will be far more costly than had it been built properly from the outset.(roll your mouse over the photo to see the resulting collapse of the wall)

In this photo, you can see that the contractor didn't anticipate that the ground below the steps would settle, and didn't seem to mind that the paver surface was sloped, or that the top of the wall wasn't level. The result is a definite safety hazard as well as an eyesore (check out the bricks supporting the stairs!).

In situations like this, Camberly Gardens would have made sure that all walking surfaces were level, would have constructed extra steps where needed, and would have installed a proper substrate which wouldn't have been prone to this kind of settling.


Here, efflorescence has gone unchecked. A quality sealer would have protected the bricks from additional water seepage.

Here we see a set of steps that were improperly constructed from dry-laid (no cement or mortar) prefab concrete wall stone. While it may have looked fine on the day it was completed, the blocks have since settled and shifted, again presenting a safety hazard. No care was taken to provide a proper footing to prevent this kind of shift from happening.

Camberly Gardens would never settle for improper use of materials. Prefab concrete block such as this is not intended for this purpose or this kind of installation. A similar look could have been achieved by different construction methods and by laying a more stable footing for the stairs.


Again, this is another example of improper use of materials. This photo shows ordinary paver blocks being used as a "nose" around a flagstone patio, but they are clearly above the level of the patio and the foreground sidewalk. What a perfect lip to cause someone to trip and fall! (It seems apparent that several people already have, because the pavers have been kicked out of place!)

First and foremost, Camberly Gardens considers the safety of you, your childen, your pets, and your guests when we design and build your hardscape. We truly believe that the harmony of the landscape is enhanced when all features meet basic common sense safety standards and codes.


Roots found their way into a poorly-connected drain pipe. Proper installation would have prevented them from infiltrating.

What do we see here? Is that mud on the pavers? It seems that the person who installed this hardscape wasn't thinking about what happens when it rains.

Establishing good drainage is one of Camberly Gardens' most important priorities. Water is a powerful erosion force, and if your drainage isn't right, you could end up with mud on your valuable paver patio, mud in your pool, water in your basement, or plants that drown in overly-wet ground. Camberly Gardens recognizes this and takes pains to ensure that any surface water is guided in the right direction.


These Belgian blocks were installed with little or no foundation. When properly installed, they should have a base of approximately 6" of concrete, with additional concrete against their back side for support.

This edge restraint is cracking and falling apart because it was poorly installed. As per the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (of which we are certified installers), concrete edge restraints can only be used in northern climates when reinforced by steel rebar.

This tree was installed by a landscaper who was in such a rush that he didn't remove the plastic wrap on the roots. This constriction stunted its growth.

Proper planting techniques require that all man-made packaging be removed.


This tree was doomed to die from the day it was first planted because the landscape crew lacked proper training and planted it way too deep. What makes it more unfortunate is that two other adjacent trees died from the same cause in the prior three years. Unfortunately, this is common – two other images on this page show similar issues. (roll your mouse over the image for another view)

A contractor used insufficient or incorrect base materials for this patio, resulting in pooling water in the lower spots.

Beware of low bids, as the contractor will cut corners on what you can't see.


The contractor for this driveway cut corners and caused it to fail! They used too little base material and did not compact adequately.

Stringent specifications set by each paver manufacturer and by the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI ) clearly dictate how pavers must be installed to avoid this problem. Camberly Gardens works to ICPI and manufacturers' specifications, ensuring your project's success long after it is built.

Always be cautious about low prices, as some contractors will inevitably cut corners to ensure they still make money on the project.

The contractor on this job thought they could save the homeowner a little money by using playground sand to fill the joints in this new paver driveway! Joint-stabilizing sand plays an integral role in the strength, stability and weed resistance of a paver surface. Manufacturers and the ICPI specifically prohibit the use of play sand and, instead, require the use of polymeric sand. Play sand is for sandboxes!

This broken sprinkler component cost hundreds of dollars to repair when it wasn't winterized.

We go the extra step and are proactive, reminding our customers to winterize their systems at the appropriate time.


Poor selection of tree: What was a beautiful tree on Friday was gone on Saturday. This weak tree was planted near an open field where high winds were more common. It was just a matter of time before a gust brought it down. Luckily, no one was hurt and no property damage occurred – this time.

We carefully select our plant materials for their suitability to the environment and location.


Here we see a rainpipe being bisected and split by sprinkler line. This buried drain was installed very close to the soil surface and was cut when the sprinkler line was installed, causing water to pool near the foundation whenever it rained. After we made the repair, the customer no longer had the problem.

This driveway channel drain is an accident waiting to happen, as It was installed incorrectly. Proper installation must be made as per manufacturer's instructions.

Well, this is one way of laying a bluestone path and a drainage pipe. The pipe must be buried, as daylight causes it to deteriorate. The bluestones need to be set in the ground so that they are not a tripping hazard.

This tree should never have been planted! Its damage must have been obvious and it should not have been accepted by the installer when collecting from the nursery.

No, this was not caused by machinery. It is an outdoor gas line for a grill which has been gnawed by a squirrel or other rodent. It's best to bury this type of line for obvious reasons.

This contractor was in a rush to finish and leave! Whoever installed tgis brand new driveway was careless and spilled cement on it. Loo closely and you'll see they even left a screw for someone's tire to find!

Believe it or not, this is a curb. Not only is it incorrectly built, but it is far too high to comfortably cross, no matter how slow the speed...even in a truck.

This tree was planted too deep by about 6 inches. As a result, one of its roots girdled it and it died. What a waste.

Well, what can we add to this horror? Loose field stone can never be used to retain pavers. As a result, the paver patio behind it slowly collapses and pushes it away.

Gutter leaders have to be connected to drain pipes for them to function properly and keep water out of your basement. Duh!

This tree's chances of survival are slim to non-existent. Soil can never be piled high against the trunk as it will inevitably kill it.

This is priceless...a novel use of laundry-dryer duct as drain pipe! It's highly innovative but not a recommended procedure under any circumstance.