San Francisco Landscape Design Bayside Outdoor Living Comes to Life

by Allen Quay

in Travel

San Francisco landscape design combines versatility with elegance to complement the unique architecture and balmy climate of San Francisco without disrupting today’s busy lifestyles.

Prestigious communities throughout the City by the Bay – including Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, and Sanders Ranch – feature unique outdoor spaces including beautiful patio areas and water features created by award-winning San Francisco landscape designers, some of the best architects in the world.


Steeped in culture and history, San Francisco boasts a variety of fascinating architectural styles that work well with a number of garden designs.

Panoramic Pacific Heights is known for fabulous views and magnificent Victorian and Edwardian style mansions.

These homes demand equally remarkable landscapes that take advantage of the surrounding landmarks – relaxing cottage gardens, outdoor living.


San Francisco landscape design

Traditional Spanish colonial and revival style architecture are common throughout Contra Costa County, including gated Sanders Ranch and desirable Diablo.

Various styles of Mediterranean landscape designs complement these homes well and are often enhanced with private courtyards and majestic water features. Modern and contemporary elements are also found in many San Francisco garden designs.

Outdoor Features for San Francisco Landscapes

The comfortable, year-round Mediterranean climate of San Francisco calls for functional outdoor living space that accommodates today’s lifestyles.

Several types of features are incorporated into these designs, including:

  • Extensive outdoor kitchens, often custom created by an experienced San Francisco landscape designer;
  • Open-air living rooms and functional patios that extend the home’s interior living space to the outdoors;
  • Swimming pools and outdoor spas that are creatively designed;
  • Outdoor lighting designs that add functionality after dark.
  • Elegant water features, ranging from tranquil waterfalls and sophisticated fountains to trickling streams and exotic koi ponds;
San Francisco landscape design

San Francisco’s hilly terrain creates a need for retaining walls in many landscape designs. Flower gardens, rock gardens, and other specialty landscaping additions are also popular.

Final touches to an effective and functional San Francisco garden design include relaxing outdoor furniture, accessories, and decor that blend the outdoor space with the home’s interior.

Common Plants for San Francisco Gardens

San Francisco landscape design

Creating color and life throughout the year isn’t difficult with San Francisco’s climate, but it is still important to consider native plants that minimize maintenance and easily thrive in the area.

Consider native ornamental grasses and groundcovers like California fescue, blue-eyed grass, and hairy golden aster. The iris, colorful coral bells, and fragrant California lilac are excellent choices for flower beds and also bring color to sloping areas.

The incense cedar tree adds a pleasant aroma and makes a wonderful privacy hedge while the evergreen Toyon brings color and life throughout the year, attracting wildlife with it’s bright red berries in December.

Large trees that thrive in San Francisco include the magnificent redwood, coastal live oaks, eucalyptus, and the blue gum. Drought tolerant vegetation like xeriscaping is typically the best choice unless an irrigation system is integrated into your landscape design.


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