Selecting the design style that best fits your home is essential to creating  harmony between your home and garden areas.  We take the time to visit with you and understand your objectives. Matching your individual style and tastes along with your outdoor environment is our goal.   We create focal points and views that are inviting from both inside and outside of your home.  Below are some landscape design styles for you to consider.




CONTEMPORARY / MODERN - The contemporary landscape style can be defined by an extension of the house or creating an outdoor room that uses  'clean' design lines, with focus on hard landscaping materials such as: natural and manufactured stone, brick, wood and walls. Planting style is simple with the use of plants that repeat throughout the design. Grasses are a very popular choice for this style of design and are used as decorations. Lighting effects also play an integral role in the modern garden. Subtle lighting effects can be achieved with the use of carefully placed low voltage lights incorporated into the landscape. 
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Elements typical of an Contemporary / Modern Landscape: 

  • natural stone 
  • manufactured stone
  • brick
  • wood
  • metal
  • walls

FORMAL - Formal landscaping is best described as structured, orderly, perfect or clean.  Hedges are often used in formal landscaping.   The Western model is an ordered garden laid out in carefully planned geometric and often symmetrical lines. Lawns and hedges in a formal garden need to be kept neatly clipped for maximum effect. Trees, shrubs, and other foliage are carefully arranged, shaped and continually maintained.  Some hedges are straight, some have curves, but they tend to have a great sense of symmetry and balance.
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Elements typical of an Formal Landscape: 

  • neatly clipped hedges, shrubs (topiary) and trees
  • order, neatness, symmetry and balance (a sense of stability)
  • using the same plant repeatedly
  • straight paths
  • a central focus point (fountain, birdbath, etc.)
  • high maintenance

INFORMAL - The informal landscape is more fluid than geometric, with beds and pathways laid out to create a sense of curiosity and movement.  Hedges or screens of trees are not placed in rigid rows, but rather tend to be grouped more randomly to provide visual barriers between outdoor “rooms” or to define the borders of a property.  Flowers and shrubs are allowed to assume their natural growth habits, mingling their colors, spilling out of containers, and creeping over walls and out onto walkways.  Appropriate materials for patios and pathways include flagstone, chiseled texture pavers and salt finish or seamless stamped concrete.  Stepping stones are often used to create interesting pathways in this type of design.  Walls created of irregular shaped rocks or heavy wood timbers.
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Elements typical of an Informal Landscape: 

  • Sweeping natural curves
  • Plants installed randomly
  • Overflowing flower beds
  • Walls created with irregular shaped rocks
  • Flagstone, pavers, salt or seamless concrete
  • Less maintenance then formal but still requires regular upkeep

COUNTRY COTTAGE -  The Country Cottage theme is designed for peaceful enjoyment of nature's fragrance, but should also be functional.  Cozy patios, arched by flourishing green vines and fragrant blossoms,  meandering pathways are key elements of your country landscape.  Vigorous vines, such as climbing roses, honeysuckle and clematis may be found around doors, trellises and windows.  Avoid planting in straight lines or defined patterns.  This style is usually free-flowing and partially unrestrained.

Elements typical of a Country Cottage Landscape:                                                   Top Of Page

  • Vines 
  • Fragrant Blossoms 
  • Meandering pathways 
  • Trellises
  • Brick / Pavers / Gravel
  • Flagstone / Cobble Stone 
  • Gravel

TROPICAL - The tropical garden is lush with vivid colors and bold foliage.  Plants are installed in layers of depth and height.  Ferns, shrubs, and palm trees with oversized leaves create a wonderful backdrop for the bright blooms common in a tropical landscape. For a tropical fragrance, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) has an exotic aroma and thick, glossy, evergreen leaves.  Waterfalls and ponds help add a sense of tranquility and authenticity to the yard. The coast of Florida or the islands of Hawaii can inspire themes for this style.
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Elements typical of an Tropical Landscape: 

  • Lush planting with vivid colors
  • Ferns, camellias
  • Palm trees
  • Waterfalls and ponds
  • Flagstone, seamless stamped concrete
  • Accents of large boulders and lava rock

DESERT - The Desert landscape theme incorporates shade and covered outdoor living rooms with ceiling fans.   Stucco walls are common elements while decorative rocks and boulders provide natural accents.  Patio covers will have tile roof coverings and patios will incorporate smooth adobe brick or colored salt finish concrete.  Nights in the desert are quite cool creating the need for fire pits or outdoor fire places.  The plant focus is on the natural look that provides relief from the intense afternoon sun. 

Elements typical of an Desert Landscape:                                                                 Top Of Page

  • Cactus, succulents and yucca
  • Stucco walls
  • Decorative rocks and boulders
  • Adobe brick / colored salt finish concrete
  • Gravel pathways
  • Firepits and fireplaces

NATURAL - A natural landscape should capture the inherited characteristics of the prevailing habitat.    Blending colors, shapes and patterns will vary depending on the scene you are recreating.   Boulders, flagstone stepping stones, redwood bark, water features and grasses are typical of northern California.  The use of organic shapes is common for patio’s, walkways and bed lines.  Within the planting bed, mass plantings of perennials or shrubs will create a simple yet visually striking impact.
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Elements typical of an Natural Landscape: 

  • Native plants
  • Grasses
  • Organic shapes
  • Boulders
  • Flagstone stepping stones
  • Water Features

MEDITERRANEAN - The Mediterranean landscape design stirs the visions of beauty serene water features surrounded by lush vegetation.  A relaxed atmosphere is woven into the Mediterranean theme as it combines elegant details with natural elements such as clay patio tiles, terra cotta pots, statues and natural stone pathways.  Lush greenery like rosemary and olive trees with trailing flowers add to the calm setting.   
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Elements typical of an Mediterranean Landscape: 

  • Rosemary / Lavender
  • Olive Trees
  • Clay patio tiles
  • Terra cotta pots
  • Statues
  • Natural stone

ENGLISH - The English garden uses many lush, fragrant and abundant plants that give the garden a natural feel, although it is obvious that the plants are maintenance and pruned regularly.  Lavender, Delphiniums or a climbing rose attached to a arching trellis compliment this theme  Each garden design has its own individual style and characteristics. The garden may either have a complex design with a manicured landscape or may have a wild, natural look with meandering walkways covered with shade trees.  Brick, pavers and gravel are typically hardscape elements that add to the elegant charm.  The design preferences will depend on the taste of the client.
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Elements typical of an English Landscape: 

  • Lavender / Delphiniums
  • Climbing roses
  • Brick or Pavers
  • Gravel
  • Trellis
  • Birdbath

FRENCH - French country garden can be a blend of flower beds, vines growing up the exterior walls of your house or winding around the property.  Plants grown in pots add to the French theme.   An important design factor relies on shapes which are based on geometry.  Rectangles, Circles, triangles, etc. are implemented in the overall design.  A gazebo may be positioned as a destination point with a simple gravel path providing a trail, but stone will add the characteristic that is suggestive of the French charm.   
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Elements typical of an French Landscape: 

  • Flowers
  • Climbing vines
  • Pots
  • Gazebo
  • Gravel pathways
  • Stone pathways

JAPANESE / ORIENTAL - Japanese / Oriental gardens are peaceful, serene retreats where stress disappears and a person can enjoy peace of mind.  Natural and artificial elements are fused together complementing the existing architecture. There are five main elements: trees / shrubs, water, sand, stone and ornaments.  Most trees and shrubs are evergreen and will include Japanese maple, pines, evergreen azaleas, bamboo and camellias.  Water features such as Koi ponds with wooden bridges are common for this style.  Boulders are partially buried, stepping stones are utilized as walkways and dry-creek beds are blended into the landscape.
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Elements typical of an Japanese Landscape: 

  • Evergreen shrubs and trees
  • Pines, bamboo and camellias
  • Japanese Maples
  • Waterfeatures / Koi Ponds
  • Sand, Stone & Boulders
  • Ornaments

TUSCAN / ITALIAN - The Tuscan / Italian theme is filled with olives, meadows of beautiful wild flowers, and fine covered pergolas dangling with delicious grapes?   Tuscan Landscape Design brings a piece of Italy home in a Tuscan landscape design.  Fountains are one of the characteristics of a Tuscan landscape design and will be one of the focal points in your landscape design.   A bench can be placed under a tree with terracotta containers.  Walls can be hand painted with scenes of grape vines overflowing containers.  
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Elements typical of an Tuscan / Italian Landscape: 

  • Olive trees
  • Italian Cypress
  • Boxwood
  • Vines
  • Fountains
  • Pergola 

XERISCAPE GARDENS-  The Xeriscape garden design includes lots of low-water plants and flowers, as well as design ideas to reduce water evaporation.  Lawns would be reduced in size because of water consumption or artificial turf would be used as an alternative.  Plants include both native and drought-tolerant and are usually irrigated using a drip system.
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Elements typical of an Xeriscape Landscape: 

  • Native plants
  • Low-water plants
  • Lawn size reduction
  • Usage of artificial turf
  • Focus on less water consumption
  • Drip systems / water wise
Design Styles

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