We specialize in ecological landscape and site planning.  We offer consultation, design and construction services for projects of any scale including LEED and Bay Friendly certfied projects.


Sentient Landscape produces effective, resource rich designs that work in concert with the environment.  This approach not only saves energy, water and expense, it inspires the community, improves environmental health and resilience, and is a beautiful complement to urban, suburban and rural infrastructure.

Our projects include:


  • Commercial / Lodging
  • Residential
  • Residential Community/Co-Housing
  • Permaculture / Agricultural Projects
  • Public Projects
  • Educational
  • Bay-Friendly Advisor/Rater
  • LEED



Water Wise Landscape Design, Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Planning


Recognizing water as a precious and increasingly diminishing resource, Sentient Landscape looks for opportunities to re-establish healthy water cycles and re-charge groundwater.  We develop living water systems that emulate the filtering and absorbing qualities of natural water flows. Water will satisfy many functions before leaving your site clean and invigorated.


  • Drainage and Erosion Mitigation
  • Earth Sculpting: Rainwater Gardens, Bio-swales, Arroyos, and Seasonal Ponds
  • Decorative and Storage Ponds of All Sizes
  • Pervious Paving
  • Storage Tanks

Building Living Soils


Sentient Landscape projects engender the biological diversity and soil building characteristics of forests, increasing in fertility and vitality as they mature.


  • Soil Analysis
  • Top Soil Preservation
  • Mulch and Sheet Mulch
  • Composting Systems and Worm Boxes
  • Plant Use to Improve Degraded Soils / Covercrop
  • Reforestation
  • Animal Integration into Garden and Agricultural Systems
  • Beneficial Fungi Cultivation

High Efficiency Irrigation Systems


Evolving irrigation technologies are proving to be highly effective at reducing landscape water use.  Sentient Landscape incorporates the most appropriate and affordable irrigation strategies to minimize landscape water requirements.


  • Weather Sensitive Irrigation Controllers
  • Drip Systems
  • Subsurface Lawn Irrigation
  • Grey Water / Recycled Water

Multifunctional Planting Plans


Combining a deep horticultural knowledge and understanding of indigenous plant communities, Sentient Landscape creates site appropriate, whole system planting designs that meet aesthetic objectives while providing valuable resources including food, medicine, shade, fragrance, wildlife habitat, and inspirational beauty.


  • Habitat and Wildlife Diversity
  • Natives and Drought Tolerant Planting
  • Edible Landscapes, Kitchen Gardens
  • Perennial Food Forests, Farms and Orchards
  • Restoration and Soil/ Water Filtration
  • Theme Gardens including Bird, Butterfly and Meditation Gardens
  • Green Roofs and On-Structure Planting

Energy Efficiency, Environmental Materials, and Non-Toxic Specifications


Sentient landscape looks for opportunities to creatively incorporate on-site, local, and low embodied energy building materials.  In an effort to minimize carbon footprint, reduce waste and synthetic chemical use, and increase energy efficiency, we have developed a suite of innovative construction details, language, and specifications to effectively meet this challenge.


  • Heat Island Reduction
  • Repurposed and Salvaged Materials
  • On Site, Local, and Recycled-Content Materials
  • FSC Certified Lumber and Non Toxic Materials
  • Building With Earth and Other Organic Materials
  • Organic (non-synthetic chemical)  Pest Management

Multifunctional Water Features and Stonework


Water features and stonework enrich landscape environments while offering an excellent opportunity to serve multiple ecological functions.  Demonstrating this understanding, Sentient Landscape hardscapes harvest water, control erosion, create wild life habitat, and provide passive heating and cooling.


  • Ponds,Waterfalls, Fountains and Water Elements
  • Decorative and Stabilizing Stone and Boulder Elements
  • Pervious Flatwork



“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human enviroments.  The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive long without a sustainable agricutltural base and land use ethic.  On one level, permaculture deals with plants,animals,buildings,and infrastructures (water, energy, communications).  However, permaculture is not about these elements themselves, but rather about the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape. The aim is to create systems that are ecologically-sound and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not exploit or pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term.  Permaculture uses the inherent qualitites of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest pratical area. Permaculture is based on the observation of natural systems, the wisdom contained in traditional farming systems, and modern scientific and technological knowledge.  Although based on good ecological models, permaculture creates a cultivated ecology, which is designed to produce more human and animal food than is generally found in nature.” Bill Mollison