Landscape designer in San Diego

lyael(z10 CA, ss 23)June 11, 2005

I need some help with planning out the "bones" of my yard. It's pretty much a blank slate as we've just finished mostly clearing out the six inches of pea gravel the previous owner of 20 years put down to deter weeds. There aren't even any trees (except 3 big ugly fan palms and a straggly feijoa!)

I plan to do most of the planting and ongoing gardening myself, but would like advice on placement and selection of trees, large shrubs, etc. Does anyone know of a good landscape or garden designer in San Diego whom you could recommend? I like mediterranean stuff, some tropicals, and, actually, lots of different things, but not cottage style. If you've used someone's service and been happy, please let me know.


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I am not in that area, but you could ask your neighbors or if you see a garden you like ask them.
Ask your nursery for a few recommendations.
Whomever you choose, you should ask for addresses they have done before.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 11:00AM
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tracyjo(z11, sunset z24)

walter andersen's hires out it's designers on an hourly basis or by the job.
the owner of mission hills nursery will advise you for about $45/hour.

you can look at the garden displays at the fair and see if any catch your fancy - all the design companies are listed.

you might see if anyone at the horticultural society can help you or call the master gardeners info #.

or find a garden you like around town, take a photo, copy their design - your nursery can help you with the identifying any plants.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 8:08PM
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twotzus(Z10/ sunset 24)

Chris Wotruba of Perennial Adventure in La Mesa. She will do everything from complete plans to just plant selection advice and placement. Very reasonable. And you have just GOT to visit her gardens. She is also one of the sources cited in "52 Weeks in a California Garden". She has a small retail nursery on site, but can also order any specimens that you are having trouble finding.

Perennial Adventure
10548 Anaheim Drive
La Mesa, CA 91941
(619) 660-9631

Her garden is open Thurs-Sat or by appointment.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:45AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

I sent you an email about Greg Asbagh, 858-699-6110. You can see his tropical garden in the Los Angeles Times Garden Calendar on the cover and the month of August, or in the Better Homes and Gardens special issue for June (yellow cover, topic is cottage gardens on cover, but his garden is tropical). Thorough knowledge of plants and how to put them together so they look great.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:54AM
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nwest(Zone 10 L.A. CA)

You should check out I've listened to Greg Rubin speak and he's a really interesting guy and I really like some of his work that I've seen.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 2:03PM
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lyael(z10 CA, ss 23)

Thank you all so much! GardenWeb people are the best! I appreciate your time answering my post, and feel so much better with your recommendations--I will talk to them all, look at some of their work, and pick someone to help me get going. I can't wait until I can post some "before and after" pics! Thanks again--


    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 3:24PM
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So how did the design turn out? Pictures?? Would you use the same designer again?
I have just finished pulling out all living things in my front yard and replacing the top 6" of clay with topsoil and then rototilled another 3" of compost into it I obtained at the miramar landfill. I've pulled every book out of the library, sort of know what plants I like but have know idea where to place them to look good. tks..

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 7:50PM
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i live in Ramona,East San Diego County, and each year come July, many of my plants start 'holding their breath' and show signs of heat stress because i don't want to increase my irrigation cycles. they stop blooming, their colors fade or they just look miserable. This year i have decided not to baby those plants any more but to at last forgo the less adapted plants and to replace them with heat lovers that also can tolerate a few degrees of frost in winter. i am going to try more plants from our own California Natives as well from Mountain States Nursery in Arizona; they grow interesting plants adapted to desert temperatures and i will need to figure out which ones would do well here. But am also interested in learning about other people's experience with tough plants: Any suggestions would we welcome.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 2:35AM
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I recommend succulents and also Calif. Natives. I hired Greg Rubin (see earlier post above) to select Calif. native plants and design a section of my garden (in Vista) what is only going to be natives. He did a great job at a fair price, and the plants went in this April. They're doing great and I water them only once a week.

In my front yard I planted a lot of succulents and other low-water Mediterranean climate plants, and they're also doing well on water about once a week. I know that you're probably both hotter and colder than we are here in Vista, but I'm sure you could find great plants for Ramona by doing some research on the web.

On August 13 Judy Wigand will be speaking at the free monthly meeting of the San Diego Horticultural Society. Her topic is 'Gardening with a Water-Wise Approach,' and she's an excellent speaker. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is invited; about 300-350 people usually attend each month.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: San Diego Horticultural Society

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:51PM
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I used Kate Wiseman of Sage Outdoor Designs, and I was very happy with how things turned out. We wanted something that didn't use a lot of water but didn't look desert-y or cactus-y. I guess what I really wanted was something artistic and different that went with our house and wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood.

I'm not sure how to post a photo here, but Kate put a photo of the completed garden on her website. If you want to see it, it is at and then you have to click on Portfolio at the bottom and then Landscape at the lower right. Ours is the third photo in the slideshow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sage Outdoor Designs wesbite

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 2:47PM
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My favorite San Diego Landscape Designer is Gary Walker from Gary was recommended by a friend who knows the best in San Diego for everything. For our Craftsman house, we wanted something natural, shaggy, lots of color and texture. Gary understood that and made it happen in our front yard with climbing roses, wisteria, trumpet tree and much more. Three months later, we had an English cottage garden for Southern California, looking as if it grew from wind carried seeds. More recently, we had Gary redo our back yard and look forward to a proliferation of bougainvillea, flowering trees, and climbing roses. Gary has an artist's eye for color and texture, check out his own garden on his website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greentreeworld

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Lester at Pacific Landscape Design will come out and help you by the hour or do a whole landscape plan set for you for a reasonable fee. Their number is (951) 679-3217

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:48PM
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