Landscape Design Service

Want a more drought tolerant garden but not sure where to start? Our landscape designers can help!

As a leader in water wise plants and sustainable design, the Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery’s design team specializes in creating gardens that are beautiful and welcoming while also being drought tolerant and environmentally suited for our Mediterranean climate. Whether you are looking to completely redo your garden or just add plants for better curb appeal and drought tolerance, we can meet your needs with services ranging from hourly Garden Consultations to full custom design plans that include selecting the best plants for your garden given your micro-climate, plant, color and style preferences.

To get started, please fill out our form: Design Inquiry Form

The Garden is the perfect place for inspiration, and offers a chance to see what many drought tolerant plants look like when they mature. Plan your visit today!


Our Service Options

Garden Consultation

  • Onsite consultation to suggest plants for new or existing plantings
  • List of plants and ideal purchase sizes available for purchase from RBG Nursery
  • Custom plant orders are available – minimum order amount $300
  • $190 for first one hour consultation for Members
  • $220 for first one hour consultation for Non-members
  • Additional hours are billed at $95 Member / $110 Non-member
  • Onsite consultations beyond a 20 mile radius of the garden are charged travel time each direction.
  • Consultations may also be scheduled at the Garden
  • Consultation are largely conversational and do not include any landscape plan drawings.

Garden Consultation Plus +

(For gardens 200 square feet or smaller.)

  • Add an hour of plant shopping at the RBG Nursery with your landscape designer who will advise you on plant selection, placement in your garden, and ongoing care and maintenance.

Full Design & Plan

  • Begins with a Garden Consultation
  • Typically also includes:
    • One Planting Plan
    • Personalized Pinterest Page with suggested plants
    • List of plants with recommended sizes
  • Plus the following meetings:
    • Site Survey
    • Virtual Concept Plan presentation
    • Virtual Final Plan presentation
    • Plant placement on planting day
  • Other plans, such as hardscape, irrigation and lighting are also available and can be added on request
  • Hourly rates for plans are the same as for consultations. Simple, hand drawn, non-scaled plans for one garden area start at around 17 hours and scaled, computer drafted plans start at 22 hours.


25% Off Design Discount CardDesign discount card

All landscape design clients will receive a discount card entitling them to 25% off plant purchases from the RBG Nursery which is valid for 5 purchases within six months of design completion.


For a sample Color Planting Plan click here
For a sample Plant List click here

Note: We do not do installation

Questions? email us at LandscapeDesign@ruthbancroftgarden.org

Drought Tolerant Plants

The Nursery is stocked with water wise plants and natives. Our Nursery staff is also extremely knowledgeable and more than happy to answer any questions you have about whether or not a particular plant will thrive in your yard. If you’re looking for a plant that we don’t currently have in-stock, or want to make a large order of plants for your water wise garden, it is best to email the nursery at Nursery@ruthbancroftgarden.org


Contra Costa County Lawn to Garden Rebate Program

Our landscape designers are also authorized consultants for the Contra Costa Water District’s Lawn to Garden Landscape Design Assistance Program. For more information about this program, visit the Contra Costa Water District’s Lawn to Garden Rebate Program Contra Costa Water logo website. The vast majority of the plants we carry in the Nursery also qualify for rebates through this program.

Approved CCWD Lawn to Garden Rebate participants, upon completion of their project, also receive a 20% off RBG Nursery coupon to use towards the purchase of new plants.


Service Areas

East Bay: Our general service area encompasses the area within a 22 mile radius of the Garden which is roughly north to Highway #4, south to Highway #580, west to Oakland and east to Antioch.

San Francisco and Marin: Additional hourly travel-time fees may be added to design work done in these areas.

Davis Area: We also service the neighborhoods surrounding the 95618 zip code of Davis, Winters, West Sac, East Sac, Land Park, Discovery Park, and Midtown.