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Our Approach

Effectively designing landscapes as habitat draws on important concepts about landscape context, structure, and the realities of attracting wildlife to space-limited settings.  These concepts are supported by years of observations of wildlife-plant interactions and couched in a philosophy of sustainability, beauty, and respect for the diversity of life.  We love nature.  We love being outdoors.  We hope to bring more nature to your own personal outdoors.

We also appreciate value.  We design and build with durability and low-maintenance in mind.  We seldom remove an old landscape without finding poor construction techniques.  While budgets sometimes specify such shortcuts, we recommend building well in stages rather than landscaping a more extensive area that will require refurbishing in a few years.

Our Story

Inspired by the beauty of the outdoors and the striking dependence of birds on distinct plant communities, Brian Williams began tinkering with native plants while an undergraduate at Saint Mary's College, and in 1991 he propagated his first native plant:  a ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus) collected from Moraga that still grows in a yard in Granite Bay.

In 1999 he started landscaping for friends who wanted a to create a backyard bird habitat in Sacramento.  That single project was so unique at the time that it blossomed into requests for presentations that were given to the Sacramento Master Gardeners, California Native Plant Society and Audubon groups, Cornflower Farms, and the Sacramento Valley Landscape & Nursery Expo.  Not only was it a great bird habitat, but the lush yard astounded everyone when they learned that it used almost no water.  Here's how Brian tells it:

"Well, we actually tore out the irrigation system--no PVC, no drip, nothing but a hose to help get the plants started.  The plants looked like they were growing along a stream but they had almost no extra water.  Unfortunately I had to turn down all the requests for landscaping at that time because I did not have a license.  Landscaping was kind of a hobby.  I was still running my own business as a consulting wildlife ecologist and teaching college part-time.  But I couldn't ignore the demand, so I got my contractor's license in 2008 and stuck it in my back pocket until now."

In 2015 Brian began helping start-up Restoration Landscaping Company design and build their first projects with great success.  He founded California Natural Landscaping in 2016.  The first project was a design/build in West Sacramento.  Uncommon elements included a retaining wall and a bunchgrass meadow.  The next project was a build project in Davis.  Uncommon elements included a new driveway with a custom channel drain that feeds into a dry well.  Of course, native plants and water-absorbing swales were features of both projects.  We hope your project is next!

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When you are ready...

Please feel free to inquire more about our work or contact us to start your project.