California Native Plants

Ask me about creating a California native plant palette suited to the area you live in.

Online Landscape Design

This service is designed for both local and long distance customers. Interactive, online meetings are conducted via web conferencing. Landscape photo imaging or 3D rendering are used as visualizing tools. Plants, paving materials, and other landscape features can be changed with the click of a mouse.

Please visit the Services page for more information.

Landscape Plans

Unique plant palettes, precise CAD plans, landscape photo imaging, 3D rendering and web conferencing during the design development phase.

Design Details

Waterwise Transformation

Before Design

An unused lawn is replaced with a flagstone patio, flagstone stepping stones, low water use plants, gravel and a small vegetable garden.

After Installation

Designing for Small Spaces

Townhouse Patio, Garden Room

Small spaces can present an interesting challenge as every square inch must be carefully considered and utilized - the end result being cozy and comfortable, outdoor garden room, living areas.

Townhouse Patio, Garden Room

houzz interior design ideas

"Donna's calm, soothing personality is reflected in her design. You will enjoy working with her." Kay, Westlake Village

Do you need help with your landscape? Do you need a few ideas for a small area or a master plan for a few acres? Do you want a naturalistic garden with California natives, a perennial garden for year 'round color, a formal Mediterranean landscape that relies on a palette of greens or something of a subtropical nature with the exotic shapes and colors of succulents and plants from the southern hemisphere? I can help you organize your ideas and work with you to create a landscape that will be uniquely yours.


When developing customized solutions, I combine creativity with realistic planning. During the design process, we are guided by your individual wishes, needs and interests, as well as the existing vegetation and site conditions, topography, house architecture and the landscape character of your area. The result is a harmonious concept.



Hi. My name is Donna Lynn. I have been working as a landscape designer for over 25 years. I grew up in Mass. and many a childhood summer was spent at my grandparents' camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My Gram was an avid horticulturist who would take me for walks in the woods and point out plants like Lady's Slipper and Trillium. She always planted an abundant veggie garden and could propagate just about anything.


After high school I spent a year as an apprentice to an artist/textile designer. I then went on to study 2D design, graphic design, color theory, drawing and sculpture at New England School of Art & Design, Mass College of Art, and Nantucket Island School of Design & the Arts, after which, I attended and graduated from NE School of Photography, majoring in editorial photography. My life relocated me to the Phoenix area where I worked as an editorial photographer, photographing CEOs and entrepreneurs for Forbes and Arizona Trend magazines. Later, friends who owned a landscape design/build firm invited me to apply my knowledge of design principles to landscape design. I became a partner in their company where I worked as a designer and project manager for 10 years.


Upon relocating to Santa Barbara in the mid-90's, I undertook an independent course of study of the particulars of landscaping in California, that led me from UCLA to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. I spent countless hours learning about the plants available in the landscape trade here and divided them into palettes based on area of origin. I also taught myself CAD drafting, landscape photo imaging and 3D rendering. My continuing education is ongoing - thru the study of current landscape industry standards, organic, permaculture and water harvesting principles and practices, discovering and experimenting with new software and technology and using and monitoring new plants in my projects.


I have worked with landscape architects, landscape contractors, pool contractors, architects, general contractors, interior designers, arborists and experienced trade persons and gardeners on a variety of projects, both large and small, in Santa Barbara, Ventura, L.A. and San Diego counties as well as the metropolitan Phx area. I offer Online Landscape Design to residents nationwide.


As a designer, I draw from my art background to bring beauty to the landscapes I work on, practical focus from my years in design/build and improved visualizing tools as a result of my interest in computer rendering software. Since all of my work involves custom design, each new job presents the opportunity to create something fresh and new. I delight in the challenge of deciphering the elements that will make each project unique to those who hire me.

Best of Houzz 2014 - Portofolio voted most popular in the design category

Houzz: Best of Remodeling 2013, Santa Barbara - design category

Victorian Landscape Design

for Today's Gardens


An online article at: Landscaping

Crate & Barrel Catalog - Spring 2011

The property below, located in Montecito, is one where I worked as a landscape designer and maintenance consultant. Chosen for house style and lovely landscaping, it was used as one of the locations for Crate & Barrel's 2011 outdoor furniture, summer catalog photo shoots.

Goleta Valley Beautiful "House of the Month" Award - 2010

Seating Nook with flagstone patio & bench
Welcoming Entry: Flagstone set in lawn serves as access from the street to the front door.

805Living - April 2010

Article about container maintenance
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