We are a full-service landscape architecture firm, established by David Thorne in 1983, specializing in custom residential design.
Our design philosophy is grounded in the idea of an integrated site plan. We use the architecture of the home and natural elements of the site to inspire the design of the outside space. We aim to create a landscape that is so closely integrated with the home and its environment that it appears as though it has always existed. We work skillfully in many styles, spanning from traditional to contemporary and from native plantings to the exotic.
We prioritize the microclimate and topography of the site in our design process as we strive to blend the landscape seamlessly into the greater region and to steer the design toward being ecologically sustainable in our northern California climate. In recognition of the intrinsic impact our firm’s work has on the local environment and community, we have a “Qualified Bay-Friendly Landscape Design Professional” on staff.
We work closely with each client and their team of architects and contractors to translate their goals and desires into a landscape plan that transcends the form and function of the design elements to inspire and suit the lifestyle of each client.
We envision each of our projects through a lens of Environmental Stewardship, yet we invite our clients to define the level of participation in sustainable design practices that best meets their goals and budgets.
While our main focus is on custom residential design, our firm welcomes non-residential work when time permits. Our non-residential landscape design projects have included religious institutions, schools, office parks, and light commercial shopping districts.
As a California-based firm, we offer our clients custom design services that integrate ecologically appropriate options into a timeless, functional, and highly enjoyable landscape. For us, being “green” extends beyond designing a water-wise garden. Making conscious materials choices, employing site-appropriate grading and planting practices, maintaining regional site identity, and fostering soil health are just some of the important aspects we consider.
Environmental Stewardship Objectives:
Protecting existing site soil and trees.
Creating dynamic and vibrant, color-rich gardens using a palette of California native and Mediterranean climate plants
Designing water-saving irrigation plans that employ the latest technology in controllers, equipment, drip irrigation, gray-water and rainwater systems
Continuing our education in sustainable environmental practices, and fostering ecological awareness among our colleagues
Prioritizing local materials and services, encouraging contractors to recycle used materials and reduce plastics use, and considering the “carbon footprint” of materials choices
Implementing local and sustainable soil-building practices
Recommending the most effective non-toxic weed and pest control measures
Participating in LEED and GreenPoint rated projects
Bay Friendly Design:
We are proud to have a Qualified Bay-Friendly Landscape Design Professional on staff, certified by StopWaste.org, an Alameda County organization working to reduce the waste stream in Alameda County. Its “Bay Friendly” principles are being considered and applied by various municipalities in our region.
The Bay Friendly training highlights principles related to water conservation, nurturing the soil, reducing waste in our watershed, creating wildlife habitat, improving water & air quality, conserving energy and when possible, selecting locally sourced landscape materials.
We consider this training a vital component in staying current with best landscape practices and providing high quality work to our clientele.
As City Planning Departments become stricter in the review and enforcement of water conservation laws, including stormwater management practices and focus on drought-tolerant planting design, we are poised to advocate for our clients from an educated perspective.