Landscape design & build for Palo Alto

Yardzen designs everywhere in the U.S. and the Palo Alto area is one of our favorites. Rolling hills? Check. View of the Bay? Check again. Charming downtown? Yes indeed. Gorgeous weather? Absolutely.

Palo Alto frontyard design with plants and trees

Palo Alto’s academic and technological clout may be its best-known feature, but the city itself is just lovely. Palo Alto offers the best of the California landscape – oak woodlands, forested mountains, elegant baylands – in a year-round climate that is ideal for spending time outside.

Outdoor Living

Landscape design can make the most of what Palo Alto has to offer. Be it shade from summer sun, flexible space for indoor-outdoor living, or simply a stronger sense of connection with the gorgeous surrounding landscape, Yardzen has done it all for our Palo Alto clients.

Design & Build

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, Palo Alto 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 Palo Alto’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


Palo Alto front yard with plants


What design styles are popular with Palo Alto homeowners?

Palo Alto landscape designs run the stylistic gamut, and often (and admirably) align with the style of the home they surround. You’ll find cottage homes with dense, highly intermixed plantings of meadowy flowers and lush green shrubs. You’ll also find large homes with English colonial and Italian features, like orderly hedges, crisp floral rows, and steady rhythms of upright evergreen trees.

Modern landscapes are likely the most popular style of new landscapes in Palo Alto, particularly that flavor of modern that blurs clean hardscape edges with organic masses of native-heavy planting.

What are popular features in Palo Alto landscapes?

Palo Alto landscapes embrace outdoor living, frequently featuring outdoor kitchens and dining, flexible lounge spaces for entertaining friends, and even outdoor theaters for family movie nights. Pergolas are immensely popular for establishing outdoor rooms that can be adapted to serve a broad range of functions.

Summers in Palo Alto are hot and dry, and swimming pools (big and small) along with simpler decorative water features are popular and effective choices for keeping cool, whether or not you actually get wet.

Surprisingly, fire pits and hot tubs – also popular landscape elements – are great amenities for the summer heat, offering a fun activity for a cool outdoor evening. Fire pits do double-duty, providing a heat source to keep you outside through winter cold snaps.

Should I use plants native to Palo Alto in my landscape?

Drought is a major factor throughout California, and it is crucial that any landscape design in Palo Alto do its utmost to conserve water.

Climate-adapted plants from regions like Australia, South Africa, and the Mediterranean can play an important role in a water-wise landscape. Lavender, rosemary, Leucadendron, and olive trees are a few or our favorite climate-adapted species in the Bay Area.

Having evolved to thrive in local conditions, plants native to the Palo Alto region are also excellent choices for water savings. Native plants also go a step further, offering unbeatable habitat value. By including native plants in their landscape designs, homeowners can help in the broader effort to restore biodiversity. Yarrow, Ceanothus, manzanitas, mokeyflowers, lupines, and Canyon Prince wild rye are just a few of the many fabulous natives available for Palo Alto landscapes.

Looking to max out your bird and bee visitors? Include keystone native species like oak trees, California sagebrush, or wild strawberry groundcovers.

What are top considerations for Palo Alto landscapes?

Water conservation and fire safety are both important considerations when designing a Palo Alto landscape – work with your designer to make sure your design features water-wise plants and incorporates defensible space. A good maintenance regime is also critical to fire safety – speak with your designer or look up local wildfire resources for guidance on fire safe landscape maintenance (FireSafeMarin is one excellent resource).

With such gorgeous natural beauty in the region,Palo Alto landscapes should capitalize on any views available from a property. At the same time, solar exposure should be accounted for – avoid blasting outdoor spaces with harsh late afternoon western light, unless shade trees or structures are being utilized.

When should I start my landscaping project?

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

When possible, we suggest utilizing the winter to work through the design phase – this 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.

If winter has passed, don’t worry, it’s never too late in the year to begin work on a landscape design project.

Small backyard design with fire pit in Palo Alto


Our designers transformed this small yard in Palo Alto to meet the needs of the whole two-legged and four-legged family. The covered patio creates the perfect setting for family dinners, while the grass provides a small play space for kids and pets. The fire pit and built-in bench are the parents’ favorite retreat for evenings after the family goes to bed.



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:

Campbell, Coyote, Cupertino, Gilroy, Holy City, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mount Hamilton, Mountain View, Redwood Estates, San Jose, San Martin, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Stanford, and Sunnyvale.


Explore other California landscape designs by Yardzen

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