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

The Site

How do you want to use your precious land?                                                                              Below, is a list of some of the concerns I like to address  during the landscape design process, starting with the site and it's many considerations. It is from that point of departure that the entire design unfolds and evolves.

It all starts with the site - each site is unique:

  • where do you live - state, city, neighborhood?
  • do you live in a high fire area?
  • what kind of unique micro climates exist in your area, on your site?
  • what kind of soil do you have?
  • where is north in relation to your residence?
  • where do you need sun, shade?
  • how does wind impact your site?
  • where does cold air settle?
  • do adjacent buildings or plants shade your site?
  • what is being irrigated on the other side of your property fence?
  • is there runoff onto your site from neighbor's roofs, driveways, garages, other?
  • how does water drain from or pool on your site?
  • do you have gutters? how many downspouts? where does the water go?
  • are there privacy or noise issues?
  • what is the topography of your area and site - sloped, flat?
  • do you have existing lawn and/or vegetation or are you starting from scratch?
  • where are existing utility lines?
  • where are the nooks, niches and lookouts - spots that feel comfortable, cozy, have views?
  • how is the site, itself, asking to be treated?
  • what are your needs/wants regarding how the space will be used and layed out?
  • what are your immediate and long term goals for the site?

What Inspires You?

  • what is your dream landscape?
  • what kind of natural setting appeals to you? beach, redwood forest, open meadows, tropical waterfalls, woodland with streams?
  • where did you grow up? what are your favorite places from childhood?
  • what is your favorite vacationing location?
  • what kind of spaces make you feel comfortable? do you prefer private, cozy, enclosed environments or lots of open space?
  • what colors appeal to you?

How will the landscape relate to your house?

  • what is the architectural style of your home?
  • what color is your house? are you considering changing it in the near future?
  • how will colors or materials used inside reflect in the landscape?
  • is there existing hardscape that you would like to keep? what are the colors?
  • what would you like to see from each window?
  • what do existing doors open to? what would you like them to open to?
  • do you need to create paths to access those doors or to traverse from one area of the house or yard to another?

Plants, Hardscape Features, Materials

  • what kind of plants would you like to use? native, drought tolerant, other? Please look at my Plants page for ideas on plant palettes to use as points of departure - one palette can be used throughout or several can be used to create a variety of individual gardens.
  • are you interested in incorporating fruit trees or areas for growing vegetables?
  • what kind of hardscape elements would you like to include - walls, patios, walkways, shade cover, barbeque, water features?
  • what kinds of paving materials - decomposed granite, gravel, flagstone, brick, pavers, tile, other? would you like to consider permeable paving options?

Budget, Scope of Work

  • how much would you like to spend?
  • will you implement the design all at once or in stages?
  • will you be using a gardening service after the job is complete?
  • would you like to learn how to care for your landscape yourself?
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