Fine Garden and Landscape Design


David Clarke Design is an award-winning San Diego-based landscape design studio helping clients realize attractive, functional, and climate-appropriate garden spaces for relaxed and enjoyable outdoor living.

As water is precious here in Southern California, we strive to help clients create less-thirsty landscapes that emphasize sustainability and water-wise attributes. We are firm believers in the Watershed Approach to landscape design and encourage our clients to learn more about this important concept. We strongly support the use of CA native species and these are emphasized where appropriate in a residential garden design. 

Our services include residential landscape design, rainwater harvesting guidance, water rebate program assistance, fire-wise landscape design, and other professional landscape design services. If you desire a unique and comprehensive landscape design for your residence, please contact us today for more information. Thank you!


Please click on an image to see it in a larger size and in slideshow format. If you would like additional information about any of the projects below please contact us.

Design Process

Program Phase

We establish the design program for your project beginning with an on-site interview and, when retained, the completion of a comprehensive client questionnaire covering plants, hardscape elements, and important landscape design goals. In addition, your local built environment, site microclimates, HOAs, usability and functional needs, as well as other key aspects are carefully evaluated to help ensure a successful design. 

Design Phase

Depending on your project's complexity, we prepare up to three sequential preliminary designs that best reflect your ideas and goals for new garden spaces. An idea booklet is prepared showing design elements. All desired changes and modifications are included in the final plan. Clients are always welcome to add their input and new ideas during the design phase. Communication during the design process is a hallmark of David Clarke Design!

Installation Phase

With the completed design in hand, you can begin to research landscape contractors and other skilled professionals to bring your design to life. We assist our clients during this step. Having a professionally designed plan makes it much easier to compare contractor's bids and helps ensure everyone is on the same page. We will consult with you and your contractor as necessary prior to and once construction begins, and site visits during construction and installation are included in our fees.


Garden spaces that resonate typically feel relaxing, anchoring, and private.
They have a sense of place. David Clarke Design works closely with our clients to help
create this elusive and vital element for a garden.


David Clarke Design is a full-functioned process-oriented landscape design studio and office. We are CAD-based (Land F/X) and can also provide 3D modeling for more complex projects to help clients envision their new garden spaces.  

Owner/designer David Clarke, CPLD is a native Southern Californian and has been inspired by the climate, terrain, and lifestyles of this unique region since childhood. David Clarke Design was founded to offer clients thoughtful and comprehensive landscape design services that reflect this appreciation and understanding of our Mediterranean climate and our ever increasing need to conserve water. 

David's professional qualifications include:

Certified Professional Member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers
(CA Chapter – San Diego District Past-President) 

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL – an EPA Watersense-labeled program)

G3-certified Watershed Wise Landscape Professional (an EPA Watersense-labeled program)

He stays current with landscape design trends and issues and is required to obtain industry and professional CEUs on a yearly basis to maintain certification. Member California Native Plant Society.


Mediterranean gardens are dry gardens, with long hot summers and short rainy winters.
David Clarke Design embraces this environmental reality in all our projects to help clients save water in our unique climate.

From Our Clients...

  • "We absolutely love our yard! My wife and I were referred to David by a friend and we hired him to help us transform our 1950's style front lawn and hedge to an updated, water-wise landscape that would also fit with our cottage style home (not just cacti and succulents). We really appreciated the time and patience David took talking with us about our ideas for the yard from the color palette and texture of the plants we desired to the flow of the front walkways as well as the multiple renderings he did to make it perfect. His knowledge of plants is extraordinary and he was able to match all of our desired criteria. Now, instead of a semi dried out lawn we have a beautiful flowering yard full of life that makes us smile every day. We never imagined a water-wise landscape could have so much resemblance to a traditional flowering garden. We highly recommend David to anyone looking to landscape their yards.

    In a side note, David made our yard so beautiful it recently won the 2020 San Diego Water Smart Landscape Contest for the Helix water district!! Thank you again David."

    T. M.
    La Mesa
  • "A couple of years ago we purchased a 40 year old home with a 40 year old landscape in a beautiful neighborhood in Poway. We wanted to remodel our front and back yards in a way that retained the rustic charm of our home, while moving from a thirsty combination of turf and overhead sprinklers to a an attractive and water-conserving mix of flowers, shrubs, and fruit trees with drip irrigation. We hired David to design our new landscape, and he did an awesome job for us! He spent enough time with us at our home to develop our overall design concept, and then helped us to visualize our new landscape through expert drawings, photos and examples of plants and hardscape materials. Midway through our landscape design process, I connected with a local expert in water harvesting, greywater, and bio-swale design, and brought her onto our "design team." David did a great job of incorporating her recommendations into our overall design, and we recently received approval of a sizable "landscape renovation" rebate for our project. We will continue to use David through the installation phase of our project, and are confident that we will end up with a great result! "

    B. L.
  • We hired David to design a water-wise landscape garden. From our first meeting to the finished project, he has been excellent to work with. During our first meeting, he asked for our concerns, time commitment to our garden and what we hoped to achieve. Keeping those important things in mind, he has designed the most beautiful, serene, water saving garden for our home. He has been very professional and informative. I would highly recommend him to anyone without any reservations."

    N. C.
    Chula Vista
  • “When my husband and I purchased our 1940's cottage style home, we had a vision of turning our grass only front yard into a native plant garden that would attract butterflies and other pollinators. It was wonderful working with David to make this vision a reality. He listened to our ideas, made great suggestions and answered all of our questions. He also suggested contractors to complete his design and made numerous visits throughout the project to ensure everything was done correctly. Even today, David still answers any questions we have regarding our garden. He is very kind, patient and knowledgeable. We highly recommend choosing David for your landscape design needs..”

    E. M.
    San Diego
  • “I highly recommend David Clarke Design. It was a pleasure to work with David to design our backyard landscape. We wanted a park-like setting that attracted birds and butterflies, dog-friendly, low-maintenance and drought-adapted. David was able to take our vague ideas along with our budget constraint and designed a backyard that is perfect for us.

    We love our backyard and would definitely work with David again on future projects. ”

    D. L.
    San Diego
  • “David was great to work with. He is very pleasant to work with and really knows his stuff. We just completed our design and we are very happy with the end result. In our case, we had a list of what we wanted and some basic ideas. David helped us develop our ideas, add ideas of his own, pull everything together, and make it look professional. It was an iterative process and he was very patient through the whole thing. He has quite a bit of industry experience and knows a lot about plants. We would definitely work with David again, and I would recommend him to friends.”

    P. S.
    San Diego


Regardless of project size, David Clarke Design empasizes habitat creation and restoration to encourage pollinators and wildlife to return and help rebuild the wild community.


Using the form below, please contact David Clarke Design and we will reply as soon as we can with general fee and schedule information to help you determine if we are a good fit for your design budget and timelines. If so, we will set up a conference call to listen carefully to your ideas, discuss design options, general installation costs, and related subjects. If all looks good we will set up an on-site consultation and at that meeting will offer general design advice/direction and next steps on how to move forward with your project. We look forward to working with you!

Thank you for contacting David Clarke Design! We will follow up with you at our earliest convenience.

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Email: david@davidclarkedesign.com
Mobile: (619) 787-0686
Monday / Friday 8am–5pm
Saturday by appt. only
Sunday closed