Landscape Design for the Southwest

How We Work

Designing with Landscapes for Life LLCDriveway-home-after-e1395421327836-720x1024

Design begins with you. A specialized Landscape Questionnaire is sent before the first meeting for you to complete and return. The questionnaire gives you the opportunity to put your needs, dreams and observations down in one place. This prepares us for the site visit and saves valuable consultation time.

The next step is an on-site consultation. During the first consultation we will identify problems and possibilities then provide a range of solutions and suggestions. At this visit we will consider your sites’:

  • climate (wind, sun, precipitation) soils, slope and runoff potential
  • existing vegetation and features (boulders, specimen trees and shrubs, views, etc.)
  • wildlife habitat
  • wildfire concerns
  • existing buildings, hardscape, utilities and more.

Combined with your questionnaire information this will give us guidance on the best design direction. The design direction may end with writing up the consultation notes, and possibly a quick field sketch.  This may be as much information and guidance as you need. But usually, we go to the next step, which is a contract with us for a well thought out landscape design.


Each design is tailored for the client and the project site. With new homes a Full Landscape Design is usually needed. Many existing homes only need certain areas addressed. We call these our Remodel Landscape Designs. The initial consultation fees are based on our current hourly rate. For the landscape design, we give you a written proposal that outlines the scope of the project and an estimated cost of services.

Full Design

A full design includes a scaled site plan of the project area. These designs range from a single Illustrative Landscape Plan sheet to a multiple sheet set which may include: Site, Hardscape, Water Harvesting & Irrigation, Planting and Low-Voltage Lighting Plans. A maintenance schedule plus notes and details are included with all Full Design plans.

Remodel Design

For limited budgets or design needs, the Remodel provides designs for specific spaces.  We will work with you on your site and provide scaled sketches, plant lists, and assistance with layout as needed. This approach is ideal for homeowners who wish to do much of the work themselves.

Whether choosing a Full Design or a Remodel Design, we can create new spaces for you to enjoy.  We can help you develop a landscape that is low-water use and well adapted to the extremes of our climate. The plant palette typically recommended is one with southwestern native species.

Specialty Areas


The entry is the first element that defines your home.  These can be fun, colorful, lively and inviting; they can often be usable spaces in their own right.  Entries photo gallery →



Patios are critical spaces for enjoying more time outdoors in the temperate climate of the Southwest. Add a new patio space or beautify, soften, shield or shade an existing space.  Patios photo gallery →


MTM-waterWater Features

Water brings so much life and lovely sound to a garden. Built to recycle water, these features invite birds and other watchable wildlife, but do not use much of this precious resource.  Water Features photo gallery →



Habitat Gardens

Birds, butterflies and other beautiful or interesting native residents can thrive around your home.  Lively lizards will hunt and nestle among decorative boulders. Using regional plants and local materials for design naturally creates habitat, and this will improve as your landscape matures.  With the expertise and experience unique to our team, we can design and bring Life to your Landscape and create one that is literally humming!  Habitat Gardens photo gallery →

ChildhoodGardenGateChildhood Landscapes

Secret paths, nooks and hideouts, whimsical gates, boulders to climb, natural art and gardening areas are only a few of the fun features we have designed for families and for Nature Centers.  Childhood Landscapes photo gallery →


memory garden bridge

Memory Gardens

Gentle trails winding among colorful perennials, scented pathways, old time plants, raised beds for easy gardening access, and fun and colorful sculptures. These are among the features we have added to gardens for the Golden Years.  Read more on the Margaret T. Morris Center project & see the photo gallery 


steel garden art dragonflySteel Beautiful

One of a kind sculptural steel landscape elements and garden art can be designed to fit any style.  Add beauty, specialty accents, fun and function to your spaces!  read more →


sustainable living vegetable gardenSustainable Living

Use native plant species, reduce water consumption, grow food, create shelter from the elements, retain and encourage wildlife habitat, use local materials – these approaches have always been part of our company philosophy.  read more →