Landscape design & build for Oakland

Yardzen designs everywhere in the U.S. and the Oakland area is one of our favorites. Epicenter of the East Bay, Oakland is a culturally vibrant, rapidly changing city bordered on one side by an industrial Bay shoreline, and on the other by rolling hills of grasses and oaks – a literal oak land.

Oakland fire pit with trees

Warmer than San Francisco but cooler than San Jose, Oakland enjoys a Mediterranean climate of warm to hot summers and mild, damp winters. Many of Oakland’s neighborhoods wind a bit haphazardly through rolling hills, while others densely stitch across flatlands, weaving around the downtown and industrial sectors.


Oakland is a special place with a rich and proud history, ringed by an equally rich natural landscape that once included rare groves of coastal redwoods among its oaks, madrones, pines, and firs.


Whatever your landscape vision may be, Yardzen is ready to make it a reality, working with you to craft a landscape design that achieves the look, feel, and function you are dreaming of, then connecting you with a vetted contractor from Yardzen’s Pro Network to get your design built.



How Yardzen Works

Simple and thorough online process

Take a style quiz, share videos and photos of your existing outdoor space, and learn about the costs in our Yard Builder™ tool. Our design team will help you at every step of the process.


The easiest path to a final design you’ll love

Review your first design in our online Feedback Studio. You’ll be able to share feedback before we start incorporating your changes. A live design review call is also available to help get your project ready for installation.


Built by someone you (and Yardzen) trusts

We’ll translate your 3D design concepts into a detailed CAD plan that’s ready to install. Next, we’ll connect you to a vetted, Oakland area landscape contractor who can bring your dream yard to life.


Custom designs for your unique outdoor space

We've built a database of plants, trees, and groundcovers that match to Oakland’s planting zones, sun/shade/water requirements, aesthetic, and essential features like native plants. Using satellite and aerial imagery, coupled with your photo, video, and factoring in your details, we can create the outdoor space of your dreams.



Take our YardBuilder quiz to find out.

1. Tell us about your unique outdoor space

2. Answer a few questions about your dream yard

3. Get a personalized design package recommendation


Oakland front yard design with plants and trees


What are popular design styles in Oakland?

Oakland boasts a blend of old and new housing stock, and we commonly see landscape designs straddling this divide between traditional and contemporary styles.

The woodland ecosystem of Oakland’s interior hills looms large over the city, such that plants suited to this ecosystem often express a stronger sense of belonging than introduced species.

We commonly suggest designs that evoke these nearby wildlands – try tall shrubs or ornamental trees like western redbud or madrone to imply sheltered rooms, while leaving interior planting areas open to the sky, densely planted with scrub and grassland species.

What are some favorite plant species in Oakland?

Oakland has almost too many great plants to choose from, including a long list of high-performing natives.

As with other Bay Area cities, various species of Ceanothus, Artemisia, Manzanita, and Salvia are all-stars of Oakland landscapes, along with pink-flowering currant, various buckwheats, coffeeberry, and toyon. Athyrium filix-femina and Woodwardia fimbriata are great ferns for shady spots, while Muhlenbergia rigens and Carex divulsa make for solid ornamental grass options.

What factors do I need to pay attention to with Oakland landscapes?

As with anywhere in California, water conservation is critical. Opt for low water plants that can tolerate Oakland’s hot, dry summers and California’s ongoing statewide drought.

Hilly yards will need to contend with the opportunities and challenges of slopes, from capitalizing on views to shoring up slopes for erosion control.

When should I get started on my landscape project?

Now! Any time of year is great to begin work on a landscape project.

Utilizing the winter to work through the design phase sets you up to get on contractors’ books early in the build season, so you can have your design installed and ready to enjoy in time for summer.

Do you design for wildfires?

We are happy to work with clients to develop designs that meet their level of comfort around fire safety. Choosing fire-resistant plant species and following best practices for fire safe landscape design are options that our designers are happy to employ at a client’s request.

While design can help reduce your risk of fire damage, it’s important to note, there are no fire-proof plants, and maintenance is the most important determinant of a landscape’s fire safety.

Looking to dig a little deeper? Check out the City of Oakland’s Fire Wise Native Plants list.

Oakland backyard design with fire pit

Highly suggest Yardzen. The online process made everything super easy and efficient. Thank you to the entire Yardzen team.

Shannon M., Yardzen client

Yardzen creates local landscape designs in: and around:

Alameda, Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Dublin, Emeryville, Fairview, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol, and Union City.


Explore other California landscape designs by Yardzen

Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Mill Valley, Napa, Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura