Category Archives: Client Reviews

Petaluma Hillside Transformation

This project took a difficult hillside property in Petaluma and transformed it with a new entrance, dry stream bed, access path and low water use garden.

O’Connell Landscaping completed a wonderful project for us.  The finished design exceeded our expectations.  Construction went as planned in spite of the weather and the difficult terrain!  Every detail was attended to whether it was specifically stated in the contract or not. The crew was meticulous in their work, pleasant to be around and were not at all imposing. Communication was consistent and all questions were addressed immediately.  We are pleased with the outcome, pleased with the service we received and pleased with the ease of construction. -Maureen & Frank, Petaluma

Intimate Petaluma Back Yard

We completed this project last fall, transforming an unused small back yard into something special with a new stone patio, plantings, and water feature as a focal point.

O’Connell Landscaping helped make the project a satisfying experience by providing a timely estimate, submitting a clear explanation of work items in the agreement, and flexible times to meet and discuss changes/additions during the project.  Their work crew were on time and completed stages of the job efficiently.  I am very happy with the quality of the products they installed. -Lorrie, Petaluma

Petaluma Dog Friendly Paver Installation

This project in Petaluma took a back yard with a small existing concrete patio and developed a large paver patio with more usable area for entertaining and better access for the owner’s dogs. Planter beds were used to soften existing fencing and as foundation plantings. We used Sonoma Blend McNear Pavers and matching Versa-lok and integrated this with a large compacted gravel alleyway area with brown pathway fines that coordinated well.

Installation details were important here. Gopher wire was installed underneath the compacted gravel and driveway Turf Block to prevent disturbance, and all perimeters of the patio were set in mortared solider courses for good long term stability.

O’Connell Landscape did a great job of designing a yard that is both dog friendly and beautiful. Our requirements were rather unique with 4 dogs. The crew showed up early and worked hard 5 days a week for 5 weeks. There was a minimum of disruption during the process and we are very happy with the results. – Mike and Cherri Scannell, Petaluma

Completed Project- Penngrove

We just finished a front yard garden in Penngrove, which removed an old lawn and reinvented  it as a more usable, dynamic garden space. A organic path now meanders through the yard by a new seating area spilling pot fountain.

I knew that by removing our front lawn, I wanted to have low maintenance plantings that would be aesthetically pleasing while using much less water than the lawn required.  O’Connell Landscape came up with a design that achieved both.  I was pleased that they were flexible in utilizing some of the material we had in another part of our yard (gravel) to incorporate into the design, thus recycling and keeping costs down.

Communication about the project was exceptional.

-Joan Walsh, Penngrove

New front garden plan that re-imagined an unused front lawn

Arroyo Community Garden Volunteer Work

We recently volunteered with Petaluma Bounty to help design the new Arroyo Community Garden, creating a design, layout, and material plan from the project. The garden is in the process of being constructed at the Living Word Lutheran Church in Petaluma. You can read the latest happenings at the Arroyo Community Garden Blog.

Dear Virginia,

We want to thank you and O’Connell Landscape for so generously providing many hours of your time developing and presenting professional plans for the layout and materials list for the Arroyo Community Garden. This weekend we are completing the boxes, filling with soil and planting our vegetables and flowers. We hope you will swing by and see the progress and know that you are appreciated for your wonderful contribution. On behalf of Arroyo Community Garden and the many community members that your contribution supports— thank YOU!

With appreciation,

MaryAnn Kendall
Arroyo Volunteer Garden Team

Design Diagram Arroyo Community Garden

See a time lapse Video from one of the work days on the garden:

Novato Front Garden and Entry

We finished this project this past winter to makeover the front yard of this Novato home. The design incorporated two bluestone pathways to a front landing that was surfaced with solid bluestone. Around a large existing redwood a dry laid wall was built, with another at the front of the house for a raised planter.

“Construction work of any kind always brings challenges. O’Connell Landscape makes the process enjoyable as they are so responsive to questions and concerns.”

-Pam Russo, Novato

Client Design Feedback – Corte Madera Project

We are working on a design and installation project in Corte Madera, which had been through design iterations with a couple of other companies that didn’t fit the client’s needs for the project. The client’s decided to move forward with our design because of our client focused approach. Always nice to receive a note like this:
We spent some time last night looking at the design and both said ‘wow…yes, now we’re getting somewhere!’ I will spend some more time processing today to prepare for tomorrow, but clearly we are close and you have us on the right track. Thanks for taking the time to ask us what we want and then giving some time to process your work before our meeting on Friday. Impressive, this really helps.Thank you, thank you!
This intimate entry courtyard design focuses on cool tones with layers of ornamental grasses.

Corte Madera Paver Project

Small gardens present unique opportunities and challenges. A smaller area means more richer detail can be incorporated into the design. At the same time small spaces need to be scaled appropriately. We transformed this small back yard into a usable extension of the lower living room of this condominium.

I was very pleased with the entire process. They helped me work with the condo board to get the project approved, were timely and responsive to my needs. And I love the finished project.

-Antoinette Nies, Corte Madera


Mill Valley Project Completed

One of the great things about working on residential landscape construction projects is it gives us the opportunity to work closely with homeowners to transform the yards and outdoor spaces. We just wrapped a hillside project installation in Mill Valley.

“The best contractor we have ever worked with!  Always responsive and sensitive to budget issues.  We would highly recommend O’Connell Landscape.”

-Kim Niquette, Mill Valley

Novato Completed Project

This project in Novato was a multi-phase project that grew from an initial focus on one section of the yard, to a comprehensive new grouping of flagstone patios, steps, and plantings.
We used a Dusty Way Indian Sandstone to tie together the front entry, side landings and steps, and a large rear patio.

“We had such a good experience we increased the work 4 fold. Workers turned up every day and left the site clean and safe. I would recommend O’Connell for anyone wanting a top quality job with excellent project management” -Juliet, Novato

Napa Backyard Entertaining Space

This project in Napa took an older garden that hadn’t been updated since the home’s construction and integrated an outdoor kitchen, fireplace and redesigned swimming pool into a new outdoor entertaining space.

“Thank you for the great work you did on our outdoor entertaining area. My husband and I feel like we are in our own private resort every time we step into the back yard, and our guests have raved about the transformation. I especially appreciate the time and effort your firm put into developing and managing all the details of a complicated project. We are delighted with the results.” -Susan, Napa


As a designer who values working through a team approach, I had the pleasure of collaborating with O’Connell Landscape recently on a project located on the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, California.  I found the company, including Michael O’Connell and his team of workers, professional, responsive, and competent.  The job, which required installing a hillside retaining wall, elevated deck, large patio, outdoor kitchen and fireplace; in addition to a drainage system, landscaping and irrigation, were completed in a thorough, timely manner.  The O’Connell team was always pleasant and cooperative to work with and all members genuinely seemed to care about the project and it’s successful completion.  Michael O’Connell was well prepared and extremely organized at meetings and paid great attention to detail throughout the process.  He was a respectful and enthusiastic team player which made my experience a very positive one in collaborating on this project.  I highly recommend O’Connell Landscape in terms of construction on exterior hardscape and landscape projects.

-Linda Applewhite, Linda Applewhite & Associates




San Rafael Fencing & Retaining Wall

Sometimes there’s one section of the yard that just isn’t right. That was the case with this project in the Dominican neighborhood of San Rafael. Prior landscape work had been done in the back yard, but an old brick wall and fence needed to be replaced. We installed a distinct new fence and gates, combined with a Versa-lok retaining wall to help control the hillside and create new planter space.

Working with O’Connell Landscape was a very professional and creative experience.  We took a very “ugly” corner of my property and made it a garden-lover’s delight!  Thanks for all of your efforts!

-Juliene Conway, San Rafael

Service is the Key

I got a great compliment from a customer this week, the owner of a large custom residential project we are finishing up: (to paraphrase)-“You guys are the best with service and follow-ups of anybody we deal with, and not just contractors on the house, but companies in general.” It’s not the first time we received a compliment like this, customer service is an important driving factor that distinguishes our company from others, inside the industry and out. Are we perfect, far from it, we tend to dote on projects in construction especially; but, we do try to provide responsive, personalized customer service.

This is especially an issue with contractors. I wish I could bottle this concept for perspective customers at times when I am on my third unreturned call to a painting company for a sub-contract within the span of the week. With contractors especially, there are two important criteria for assessing quality- both workmanship and service!