California Native Plants

Ask me about creating a California native plant palette suited to the area you live in.

Landscape Plans

Unique plant palettes, precise CAD plans, landscape photo imaging, 3D rendering and web conferencing during the design development phase.

Design Details

Santa Barbara Independent Article :                                    Profiles in Design: Donna Lynn


Landscape Photo Imaging

Shown below is an imaged view of a landscape design followed by a photo of the yard after installation.

Waterwise Transformation

Before Design

An unused lawn is replaced with a flagstone patio, flagstone stepping stones, low water use plants, gravel and a small vegetable garden.

After Installation

Native Carex Lawn

In the example below, a native Carex lawn has been planted with flowering shrubs and perennials.

Designing for Small Spaces

Townhouse Patio, Garden Room

Small spaces can present an interesting challenge as every square inch must be carefully considered and utilized - the end result being cozy and comfortable, outdoor garden room, living areas.

Townhouse Patio, Garden Room
Townhouse Patio, Garden Room

houzz interior design ideas

Landscape Design - Landscape Plans

"Donna is professional, knowledgeable, and artistic. Her creative input was helpful and inspiring. I am excited and looking forward to implementing this new design for my garden" Joanne, Santa Barbara

 "Take the time to design" During my 25 + years as a landscape designer, I have seen the benefits of taking the time to create a scale drawing-master plan for projects both large and small. I find my experience allows me to make suggestions that often save my clients money during the installation process. Attention to detail, as well as consideration of how the various elements of the completed landscape will work together can be given when the design is thought through rather than hastily installed.


The use of technology has enabled me to offer my customers a better quality product, more interactive and informative conceptualization experience as well as affordable cost. From start to finish, I rely on all that modern technology affords. 


During the design process, photo imaging or 3D software are used as design sketch tools to aid in visualizing the proposed finished product. Unique plant palettes are created for each client based on  location, personal taste and unique site conditions. During online meetings that are conducted via web conferencing, clients are able to view my computer desktop where I am able to display plant palette photos, site photos, the CAD plan, imaging photos or 3D renderings and make chasnges to the design. In addition, we are able to visit websites pertinent to the plants or materials used in the landscape plan.


The final product is scale drawings of hardscape features (patios, paths, walls, pergolas, etc), plants and lighting, using professional CAD software, resulting in precise, easy to read plans. Homeowners are then able to implement the design themselves or request job cost bids from landscape contractors.

Large back yard, in the Goleta Valley CA, designed with a park-like layout. The space includes a series of rain water harvesting, infiltration basins, fruit trees, native and Mediterranean trees and plants, a buffalo grass lawn for young children's play, an area for outdoor living and growing vegetables and decomposed granite walkways. One hundred percent of the rain water that falls on the 19,000 sq. ft. area, is retained on site.

2D Plan View
3D rendered view of design concept
Water harvesting basins with fruit trees and flowering plants
Planter with CA native plants
D.G bike paths...trampoline in far corner
End Result: water harvesting back yard for children's play

Natives, Drought Tolerant Plants and Grasses in Housing Development Redo

Low water use Mediterranean climate plants  - Camarillo CA

Plant suggestions using landscape photo imaging software

Montecito landscape remodel using low water use Mediterranean climate plants.

Imaged view of the landscape design

 In this rendered view of a landscape design for a property in the Santa Ynez Valley, an outdoor living area is combined with grape vines on the slope behind the retaining wall and a firepit, lawn and fruit trees in the side yard. This is an example of an Online Landscape Design project. A site plan and photos were provided by email and design development meetings were conducted online, via web conferencing. The finished CAD plan was saved as a *PDF file and emailed to the client.

*The PDF file saves the CAD plan as it was drawn and to scale. The homeowner would then transfer the file to a USB storage device and bring it to a copy center or blueprint shop to have it printed to the exact size and scale at which it was drafted.


Visit the Services page to learn more about my Online Landscape Design service.


Maximized living space in a small area. Below is a before photo and 3D rendering of a landscape design for a Montecito property with an extreme slope drop-off in the back. Proposed changes to the residence were depicted as well.

Mediterranean Plants

A low water use plant palette was used for the front yard for this central coast property. The plant palette consists primarily of plants from Mediterranean climates and the lawn suggestion is Buffalo Grass. Below, the before photo is followed by the first draft "photo sketch" and then the final version image.

Garden, Orchard, Outdoor Entertaining

Here, a challenge was presented to combine an enclosed, fenced-in vegetable garden with a greenhouse, orchard and entertaining area in combination with a native plant palette at the edge of a large property on the Gaviota coast.

Example of an Online Landscape Design and Building and Landscape Rendering


The challenge here was to create a landscape design for a general contractor that included two separate outdoor living areas for two residences on one property. The buildings were created working from an architect's floor plans and then details were addressed during online meetings .

The landscape design includes a side deck for the main residence and a side patio for the  garage/carriage house dwelling. Because the landscape was considered before construction began on the buildings, an exterior door location on the garage structure was moved to accommodate the outdoor living space.

Front View
Side View
Back View
2D View

Shown below is an imaged view of a landscape design followed by a photo of the yard after installation.

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