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July 15, 2022

Lawns Love Water! Save Money, Time with Drought Resilient Plants!

Are you curious about removing your water thirsty lawn but don’t know where to start?…

April 18, 2022

Welcome to an Exciting Day Inside SFLA

“We open your doors to endless possibilities” That’s what it says on our website, and…

March 15, 2022

Add Green Time and Recover from Screen Time

At writing, we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks may not be the norm…

January 31, 2022

Simple Steps to Living Happy in Drought State California

Is California’s drought over? Technically, no. California has more evaporation than precipitation – we’re always…

November 16, 2021

The October Deluge: Understanding Atmospheric Rivers in California

In late October, a major rainstorm impacted much of Northern California including the San Francisco…

October 5, 2021

California Resort Living in Your Own Backyard

In the Bay Area, we’re very fortunate to have amazing weather year round coupled with…

July 19, 2021

How to Choose a Tree

Planting a tree is an investment in the future because most trees will take at…

summer wildflowers
June 14, 2021

Summer Seasonal Interest

Spring is generally the season when landscapes in the Bay Area look the most beautiful.…

Susan's front yard with penstemon
May 18, 2021

Susan Friedman’s Low-Water CA Native Front Yard in San Ramon

At SFLA, we are always happy when clients want to include CA natives in the…

drought tolerant front yard
May 18, 2021

Ways to Save Water in a Drought & Still Keep Your Landscape Alive & Beautiful

Last week Governor Newsom declared a drought emergency for 39 more counties including Alameda, Contra…

April 19, 2021

Need Some Fresh Air & Recharging? Take a Hike!

Now is the best time to head for the hills or canyons to see the…

April 19, 2021

Need Some Inspiration? The BBTN Garden Tour is Free & Virtual!

The annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour will offer both inspiration and advice on…

March 16, 2021

Sprucing Up Your Landscape with Spring and Summer Blooms

There are so many amazingly beautiful flowering plants to choose from! As landscape designers, even…

three little birds
March 16, 2021

Invite Your Local Birds in for a Drink

As we welcome the songbirds back in the spring, consider inviting them in for a…

February 8, 2021

Outdoor Lights Can Create Magic

Now that we are entertaining our friends and family outdoors even in the darker hours…

Western Redbud
February 8, 2021

Planting Trees with Heart

Redbuds are beautiful deciduous trees that have brilliant pink buds on bare branches in the…

bare root seedlings
December 14, 2020

Plant Your Bare Root Trees & Shrubs Now

This winter, we can take advantage of the coming rains as well as the often…

Cedar Waxwing with Toyon Berries
December 14, 2020

Plants to Make You & Your Local Birds “Berry” Happy

While many of the berries that we humans eat ripen in the summer, the berries…

winter shrubs
December 14, 2020

Add Interest to Your Winter Landscape

When many trees have lost their leaves, these trees and shrubs add color and interest…

Fall Trees on Mt Diablo
October 16, 2020

Plant in Fall for Winter & Spring Blooms

Now is the best time to plant California native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses to…

October 16, 2020

Choosing the Right Plants

Pictures provide inspiration, however it’s important to choose plants that will thrive in your location.…

lit patio and pergola
September 1, 2020

What is Your Landscape Style?

Defining your personal style and preferences can be puzzling for some. Are you: Modern? Contemporary?…

grilled food
June 30, 2020

Get Your Grill On! (Or Your Salad!)

Even while celebrating with a small group or on your own, now is the best…

red white & blue flowers
June 30, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

We at SFLA wish you all a Happy and Safe 4th of July! Our celebrations…

man pulling wagon with kids
June 17, 2020

Dads and Kids in the Garden

Gardening can be a fun way for you to spend time with your kids and…

June 10, 2020

Prepare for Wildfire Season Now

Now that the rains have stopped, the temperatures are rising and the hills have turned…

fountain with redwoods
June 10, 2020

Seeking Sanctuary #sflasanctuary

During these challenging times, we all are feeling the need for some sanctuary. Not to…

May 18, 2020

Colorful Native Plants Blooming Right Now

If you are looking to add a little color to your garden, you might consider:…

herb garden
May 18, 2020

Herb Gardens

Herb gardens can be a good way to ease into vegetable gardening – they’re a…

streambed and vista
May 18, 2020

Low Water and Low Maintenance Can Still Be Beautiful

Lorraine Kalich’s property in San Ramon was one of the native plant landscapes featured on…

May 7, 2020

Good News – Landscape Construction & Maintenance Can Resume

The team here at Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture welcomed the good news that our landscape…

May 7, 2020

Drip Irrigation Check-up

Now that the weather is getting warmer and much of our rain is over, our…

May 7, 2020

Our Tip to Save You $, Time & H2O

At Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture (SFLA), we specify smart irrigation controllers in most of our…

May 7, 2020

Bringing Back the Natives Virtual Tour

The Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour™ is a great way to get ideas for…

raised vegetable bed
April 30, 2020

Time to Plant that Summer Vegetable Garden

Now that the days and evenings are warmer and many of us are home more,…

April 30, 2020

An Amazing Resource for Native Plants –

The website is your one-stop-shop for information about California native plants. Sponsored by the California…

Chickadee with caterpillar
April 30, 2020

Native Plants + Specialized Insects = Healthy Food Web for Birds

Sharing beautiful photos of birds eating insects or feeding caterpillars to baby birds, Dr. Doug…

Sticky Monkeyflowe, Poppies & Yarrow
April 22, 2020

Susan Shares about Her Own Native Wildlife Garden in San Ramon

One of the most exciting things I love about the outdoors is observing wildlife in…

April 22, 2020

Seeing Your Own Landscape with New Eyes

Now that a number of us are working from home and most of our parks…

April 22, 2020

Heartfelt Appreciation & Best Wishes from the SFLA Team

We’d like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to our intern Kristen, who is…

three little birds
April 15, 2020

Zen Gardening for Tranquility

Admittedly, these are stressful times. Even under the best circumstances, most of us could use…

April 15, 2020

Vegetable Starts from the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County

The UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County has just delivered their Master Gardner-nurtured…

The Wedge ADU
February 10, 2020

ADU’s – A Flexible Investment in the Future

Call it a casita, in-law unit, rental unit, or guest house—all these types of small…

Danville Landscape: Old World Charming
August 22, 2019

Danville Landscape: Old World Charming

The challenge with this project, a one-acre parcel in a quiet neighborhood, was to take…

California Native Fire-Adapted Plants
July 6, 2019


Clients come to Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture (SFLA) with varied goals in mind. More usable…

May 9, 2019

May Flower Power

Check out these favorite California native powerhouse perennials in bloom this month, upcoming National Public…

April 24, 2019

Sweet Spring & Succulents

Sweet Spring is here, and the succulents are blooming! Take a peek at our latest…

April 2, 2019

Get Ready to Bloom!

Landscaping with native California wildflowers, and where to catch the local “super bloom.” Upcoming events,…

March 19, 2019

Spring Into Green

Miner’s lettuce, ferns, and checkerbloom are some of the first to turn the ground GREEN in Spring!

March 5, 2019

Spring is Around the Corner

Cercis occidentalis ‘Claremont’, Claremont Western Redbud – a star of late winter, and a new featured…

February 12, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day

From all of us at SFLA this Valentine’s Day… We LOVE you!

The dainty bell-shaped blooms of the California Manzanita are some of the first to ring in the new year!
January 15, 2019

January 2019

Happy 2019 from SFLA! A warm and cozy spotlight, and what’s in bloom this month!…

January 15, 2019

Spotlight Project: Warmth and Elegance in San Ramon

Gather around the welcoming fireplace for an evening in this San Ramon back yard. Enjoy the warmth of…

January 15, 2019

From the Mailbag: A Wonderful Bounty in Alamo, CA

Thanks to these wonderful Alamo clients for the update on an exciting project from 2014. An…

January 15, 2019

January: In Your Native Garden

During the rainy season Toyon bursts with red berries to feed robins, waxwings and many other bird species. Hummingbirds…

January 15, 2019

Native Plant Highlight

Arctostaphylos – California Manzanita California alone has more than 40 different native species of Arctostaphylos……

December 17, 2018

December 2018

Happy Holidays 2018! Featuring CA native Toyon, a new project in Pleasanton, a delicious recipe,…

December 17, 2018

Featured Project: A Pleasanton Transformation

This Pleasanton backyard space had good “bones” with an existing swimming pool, mature fruitless olive…

December 17, 2018

A California Gardener’s Delicious Winter Recipe

Burrata Toasts with Caramelized Walnuts and Mint-Pomegranate Pesto With the winter holidays upon us there’s no…

December 17, 2018

Winter Pruning Tips

“Timing is Everything.” Just like the saying, this rings true when it comes to pruning…

December 17, 2018

Citrus Pruning

Growing citrus in California is a must – Meyer Lemon, Clementine, Lime, Kumquat… all perform…

December 17, 2018

Native Plant Highlight: Heteromeles Arbutifolia – Toyon

A California native evergreen shrub that typically grows into a dense plant to 10 feet…

November 7, 2018

November 2018

SFLA’s November Newsletter – Fall in Full Color! A new featured project, winter veggie ideas,…

November 7, 2018

Veggie Gardens to “Fall” For Growing Winter Vegetables

“As much as we love ripe tomatoes, by midsummer, we’re already fantasizing about our fall vegetable garden.…

November 7, 2018

This month’s Featured Project: Amazing Alamo Renovation

SFLA was contacted to design a comprehensive landscape plan for a quiet Alamo neighborhood residence.…

November 7, 2018

Wild Turkeys in the Landscape!

Have you been visited by flocks of our native wild turkeys? We see them often…

November 7, 2018

This Month’s Native Plant Highlight: Acer Circinatum – Pacific Vine Maple

The Pacific Vine Maple is an understory plant in its natural environment. As a large shrub…

October 8, 2018

Fall 2018

Fall is here! A new season, a new featured project, and some SFLA favorites! READ…

September 10, 2018

End of Summer 2018

Fall gardening tips, fire-safe landscaping, our newest SFLA member & more! READ MORE

July 6, 2018

Summer 2018

Check out our Summer 2018 newsletter! Featuring Susan’s budding landscape in San Ramon, a peak…

October 30, 2017

Fall 2017

It’s Fall, and that means leaves are falling everywhere. What a wonderful, and FREE resource for our…

September 8, 2017

Summer 2017

Be sure to read our latest newsletter introducing our newest SFLA team member Audrey, with…

May 26, 2017

Spring 2017

Spring in Full Swing! Enjoy a recap of SFLA’s gardens on the 2017 Bringing Back…

December 8, 2016

December 2016

Season’s Greetings! Click below for Winter maintenance tips, info about SFLA’s four gardens on the…

September 13, 2016

September 2016

The seasons are changing – what does that mean for our local landscapes? Learn about tree…

July 26, 2016


San Miguel Island Buckwheat – Eriogonum grande var. rubescens, has red to pink flowers that…

February 8, 2016

February 2016

Spring is in the air!  DWR snow pack survey results, gas fire-pit safety tips, bare…

December 16, 2015

December 2015 Happy Holidays!

We love this time of year, and not just because of the rain we’ve been…

September 30, 2015

Autumn 2015 – Harvest Season

It’s pumpkin season! Everyones favorite curcurbit, fall plant sales, irrigation surveys and more! Read More

July 14, 2015

Summer 2015 – A Season of Color

Summer in our Mediterranean climate, drought tips for lawns and trees and a look at…

February 13, 2015

February 2015 – LOVE in the Garden

A look at “pretty-in-pink” Cercis occidentalis, winter gardening tips, bringing the element of fire into your…

December 2, 2014

Winter 2014 – Season’s Eatings!

Tis the season, folks! Of short days and cold weather and RAIN (YAY!. Of gifts…

October 13, 2014

October 2014 – Natives & the Drought

You’ve heard before that we are in a drought, but what have you been doing…

August 4, 2014

Summer 2014 – All About the Drought

Saving water doesn’t have to involve the cost and inconvenience of tearing up your yard…

January 11, 2014

January 2014

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but this year I’ve made two:  reduce sugar consumption…

December 17, 2013

December 2013

What about our frozen and drooping plants that clearly aren’t going to make it through…

October 8, 2013

October 2013

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow cooler, now is perfect time to…

July 23, 2013

Crape Myrtles Bursting with Summer Color

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area and see a beautiful flowering tree…

June 11, 2013

June 2013

In the midst of the busiest season I’ve had in the twenty years I’ve been…

April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

On April 22, 1970, Earth Day became a movement when 20 million Americans gathered to…

March 25, 2013

Checklist for Working with a Landscape Architect

Get the Results You Want! Choosing the right landscape architect for your project is an…

March 19, 2013

Garden Planning for 2013

If yard improvement projects are on your “to-do” list for this season, then right now…

Erysimum capitatum
March 12, 2013

Spring has sprung

5 things to do in your garden today! In the San Francisco Bay Area, rain…

white crowned sparrow on thorn branch
March 5, 2013

Song Birds Are Coming!

The San Francisco Bay area is flush with songbirds, both those just passing through and…

March 3, 2013

March 2013

In the Bay Area, spring has shaken off its wet head to finally emerge in…

Overly ripe green beans turn into next year's plants
November 12, 2012

The Other Harvest

At this time of year, most gardeners have just about finished harvesting the last of…

November 5, 2012

Feijoa Sellowiana – Pineapple Guava

One of the many surprises in the garden occurs when a plant rewards its owner…

October 17, 2012

Japanese Maples – All Aglow in the Fall

Nothing signals fall more than Japanese maple trees (botanic name acer palmatum) blazing with fall…

October 9, 2012

Fall Gardening

Six Things to Do in Your Garden Now! As the days grow shorter, and trees…

July 10, 2012

Outdoor Kitchen Design

Summer in the backyard means hanging out with family and friends, sitting around the outdoor…

June 29, 2012

Don’t Dig Before You Design

Buying garden plants at a nursery or garden center can be so much fun.  All…

May 14, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

5 Things to Do in Your Garden In the San Francisco Bay Area, rain showers…

April 24, 2012

Nature’s Playground; Yosemite National Park

One of nature’s most magnificent playgrounds, Yosemite National Park is truly one of the most…

April 16, 2012

Earth Day 2012

On April 22, 1970, Earth Day became a movement as 20 million Americans gathered throughout…

March 20, 2012

Outdoor Paving Choices

“With so many paving material choices – which one should I use?” This is a…

March 15, 2012

Signs of (Palm) Spring(s)

I just returned from Palm Springs for a short R&R break and quality time with…

March 7, 2012

California Arbor Day

Today is California Arbor Day! It’s a great day to help the earth by planting…

March 1, 2012

The “Garden Gate” Blog

Thank you for entering the “Garden Gate”  to my Susan Friedman Landscape Architecture Blog page. …

March 1, 2012

Leap into Garden Planning for 2012!

If yard improvement projects are on your “to-do” list for this season, then right now…

February 9, 2012

20 years

My Dear Client, I hope all is well with you and yours in this New…

Kalich - Boulder fountain, Japanese maple tree, native planting, stamped concrete

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We invite you to email us today whether you’re ready to get started, curious about the process or have general landscape questions.

Send us a message!