Residential Landscape Design and Construction

Residential Landscape Design and Construction

Professional landscaping anchors a house to the site, connects it with the environment and creates a welcoming entrance. Some landscape designers specialize in planning only, while others provide both design and construction services.

Find the best Residential Landscape Design San Diego for your project. Narrow your search in the Professionals section of the website to landscape architects and designers in San Diego, CA.

Site Assessment

Steve Harbour is a Certified Landscape Designer with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). His thoughtful and unique landscapes have garnered him much acclaim and several awards.

He takes a holistic approach to landscape design, blending functional outdoor entertainment spaces with aesthetically pleasing plantings. He is also an expert in designing and creating water-efficient gardens.

A site assessment is a critical step in the design process, and it helps determine whether your property is suitable for landscaping and what features would be most appropriate. A site visit includes photographing, measuring, and studying the area to be landscaped. Then, a scaled base map is created. Major softscape and hardscape features are then positioned on the map and plotted. This phase often requires a client meeting.

Once a plan is established, it must comply with the County’s Landscape Ordinance. This ordinance provides for outdoor water use budgets to be calculated and a permit required when building new landscapes larger than 2,500 square feet. PDS offers online options for the Landscape Worksheet and Water Efficient Landscape Application Using Prescriptive Compliance Option to help reduce paperwork and vehicle miles traveled to submit applications.

Residential landscapes should be designed in accordance with the County’s Landscaping Guidelines and Standards, which are based on the 2015 San Diego County land use digital data layer (SANDAG). Landscapes should be designed with low human population densities to avoid over-developing sites that could negatively impact rare, endangered or threatened species, natural ecosystem processes, and habitat types.

Landscape architects are licensed professionals who create detailed plans and visual representations using computer software. They consider environmental factors like drainage and energy usage when developing landscaping plans for homes in the San Diego area. Some follow a design-build model, which means they can take on all aspects of landscaping projects, including construction.

Plant Selection

Landscape design services can range from creating garden plans to implementing the entire project. A San Diego landscape designer can help you choose the best plants, trees and flowers for your property. They can also suggest features like patios, fencing, water features and more. Many landscape designers have both ecological and aesthetic training, which helps them create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces for your home.

The plant selection phase includes choosing species that are suited to your local climate and soil conditions. For example, drought-resistant shrubs are a good option for many San Diego gardens. They can withstand the dryness of our summers and provide year-round color. Ornamental vines, such as bougainvillea, are another common choice for our climate. Their delicate flower blossoms and vibrant green leaves add a pop of color to any yard or garden. They can be woven into fences or allowed to wind around the posts of backyard pergolas.

Your landscaping should complement the architecture of your house. A professional landscaper will make sure the colors and textures of your landscape are a natural extension of your home’s exterior. They will consider your property’s unique topography, climate and soil, as well as any existing structures like sheds or fencing. If your landscape plan calls for changes to the terrain of your property, a professional will develop grading plans as needed.

A landscaping architect is licensed to oversee expansive commercial projects and has extensive technical knowledge of plants and structures. They can oversee the whole project, from initial research to construction management and addressing environmental concerns. A landscape architect can also help you choose a sustainable and environmentally friendly gardening style, such as native, water-wise or xeriscape.

Landscape architects can provide full-scale residential landscape designs, or smaller front-yard and backyard landscapes. They will also offer consultations to discuss your project in more detail and answer any questions you might have. They may also recommend additional professionals, such as arborists or soil scientists. They can also help you find the right materials for your landscape, including pavers, block, tile, slate, concrete finishes, granite, brick and stucco.

Hardscape Design

The landscape architecture that surrounds your home creates the first impression that reflects your personality. A professional landscaper combines aesthetics with ecology and architecture to provide an inviting outdoor living space that complements your home, making it a place where you want to spend time relaxing and socializing with friends or family. They are familiar with the local plants that thrive in your region, and know how to balance them with hardscaping and landscape lighting to create a beautiful and functional garden design that is also easy to maintain.

In contrast to a landscape architect, whose license is for expansive commercial projects and requires extensive technical knowledge of plant and structural design, a landscape designer provides garden designs for residential properties. Some services only provide planning, while others offer both plans and installation.

Your outdoor living space is the heart of your home and a key element in creating a comfortable lifestyle. The right landscape design allows you to enjoy Southern California’s sun-soaked weather, while dining, entertaining or relaxing in your own personal oasis. It takes a creative eye and an understanding of the needs of your family to build a space that meets your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.

Landscape design can include the entire property or just front yard or backyard landscape ideas. The landscaping process begins with a thorough site assessment that includes looking at the typography, environmental conditions and existing vegetation to identify the best options for your home’s garden or outdoor entertainment area. During the planning phase, a professional landscaper will provide conceptual drawings for your approval and guidance to help you envision your new space.

After the planning phase, your residential landscape design will be drafted and approved by a licensed landscape architect and then delivered to the construction team. During this phase, a professional landscaper will determine the location and materials for walkways, patios, garden aspects, water features and fencing. They will also address any grading changes that need to be made.

Using a blend of paved walkways, paver installations and hardscape elements, your outdoor living space will be transformed into a relaxing and functional retreat that is uniquely your own. Hardscaping is perfectly suited to the arid climate of Southern California, as it uses durable, long-lasting materials that will not deteriorate quickly and require minimal maintenance, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space year round.


Once the design is complete, it is time to bring the landscape plan to life. A professional installer has the skills and knowledge to transform your property into an aesthetically pleasing, functional garden that will require minimal maintenance. They can install a variety of landscaping materials, including pavers, flagstones, concrete, retaining walls, rockeries and more. They can also provide water-efficient irrigation systems, ensuring that your yard stays green without excessive use of water.

Choosing the right professional to execute your design is critical. You will want to select a landscape designer that is familiar with your geographic region and the plants and trees that thrive in it. A well-rounded, professional landscaper will provide a thorough design plan for your yard that includes the location and material of walkways, patios, water features, fences and other garden aspects. They will also address concerns such as soil conditions, drainage and screening.

A San Diego landscape designer will be able to create a unique, beautiful and functional landscape for your home or commercial property. Their experience will help you get the most out of your outdoor space and will make it a great place for relaxation or entertainment. They will also be able to assist you with achieving compliance with Sweetwater Authority’s landscape ordinance and other County regulations.

Landscape designers are a good choice for most homeowners, especially those who want to avoid the cost of hiring a licensed landscape architect. Landscape architects are more suited for larger-scale projects, such as master plans for large properties or dealing with challenging terrains. Landscape architects have extensive technical training and are licensed to practice in California.

Find a trusted Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer on Houzz. Browse photos of their work, read reviews and compare quotes before making a decision. It’s simple to connect with a local Landscaper or Landscape Architect near you and start designing your dream yard!