I asked in a local group on Facebook for suggestions. He came recommended by a few people, with pictures of his work. Looking back the jobs definitely weren't as detailed as what I'm requesting, straight retention walls, fire pits, that sort of thing. I started discussing this with him months ago and saved up. So I was really just excited to have my garden back and I definitely should have been more cautious. He had a crew back then, clearly something changed and he didn't feel it was necessary to say anything when he took the job but did say someone quit after I gave him the money...Good golly what a nightmare.
I know it is to late now but it is always a good practice to get and check contractors references. A question I always ask when checking is "How did you find this contractor?". You would possibly be surprised to know a lot of the "little guys" just give out relatives or good friends as references and never did any actual work for them.
Do you have a written contract with him?
I really hope things come together in the end.
I do have a signed estimate from him but it's not really a contract. I can fire him anytime I please. It's my fault for giving him as much as I did. Now I just have to wait and hope I get something for my investment.