Reviews

July 22, 2018

"David and his crew just completely transformed my backyard from a dull and unappealing location to an engaging place where I want to hangout and enjoy my surroundings. There are now two arid plant and rock gardens, inground plantings all along the perimeter, a collection of beautiful containers filled with interesting plants, and my little forest of old olive trees and agave is now filled out with more plants that complement the space. I would not have been able to envision the possibilities on my own. Just turn it over to David to do his thing and you won't be disappointed. He and his crew show up on time, work hard, get the job done quickly, and clean up when they're done... and the end result is great."
June 14, 2018

"David is a rare breed, and his company is a joy to work with, especially if you don’t know an agave from a lantana, and we didn’t. Arriving from the east coast only four months ago, we faced a backyard that looked uncared for and crowded. It was claustrophobic.David salvaged everything he thought worth saving. Some saved plants that looked dead to us, but with his care, within two weeks they were flourishing. He guided us through what plants we needed; which would bloom when; which were resistant to constant sun, and which would grow quickly. Then we turned him lose. His budget was modest for the long hours he put in and the plantings he chose. His workmanship was incomparable, and on schedule.Now, because of his design and plant choices, we look out on a wash and, you could believe we owned a big spread in the southwest. Easy to work with. Conscientious. Straightforward, and knowledgeable. Engage David and Arid Plant Designs with complete confidence. "
April 22, 2018

"It has now been a week since David transformed out small backyard. We love it. I continue to find things I had not noticed, but love, and would not have thought of myself. To echo another reviewer, yes he is quirky, but the "quirkiness" seems to come from his focused devotion to the plants and to presenting them in as natural a setting as possible that is both easy to maintain and colorful and dramatic. We went into this prepared to spend much more money, and we did receive some great ideas from other companies, but we realized quickly that we were not as sure exactly what we wanted, only the broad parameters (small yard, fenced pool taking up 2/3 of yard, desert tortoise, desire to re use as much of what we already had has possible, such as pavers, wrought iron arch, river rocks, a boulder left over from pool construction, and, most importantly, the tortoise shelter). At our first meeting, David walked all around our yard, asking questions, sometimes commenting out loud to himself about ideas he was having as he noted features of our yard or materials we already had, and then we came inside to talk about the project. We have him a list of desert tortoise favorites, like globe mallow. It was a long list, and he took it with him, after showing genuine curiosity about desert tortoises. We were actually ready to hire him on the spot, since he wrote out a list of the materials and gave us an estimate that day. We discussed his proposal for a day and then made the decision to go with his company--even without a detailed map. We felt comfortable with David's process, which is not to begin with a detailed map, but, rather, to show up with the soil, rocks, gravel, and many small plants, and begin the transformation. It took three days. I was overwhelmed with happiness when I saw the amount of rock he brought. He and his crew first cleared out the yard, removed a tree stump, then installed irrigation. David was out there in the heat and dust right with the crew as they transported all the materials from our driveway to our back yard wheel barrow by wheel barrow. We gave some feedback or ideas along the way, and he accommodated them, even when they came at the last minute. We wound up paying less than we expected to for such a whole yard make-over. We didn't choose Arid Plant Designs to save money--although we did!. We chose APD because we were comfortable with his process. The materials and labor alone more than made the cost worth it. In the end, we have a lovely view out our kitchen window that has meandering pathways of pavers in and around plantings, boulders and other natural features. The result looks natural, where colorful plants, as they grow, peek out from behind what seems to be a random boulder that was already there, but in fact was placed precisely there intentionally. In the week since the yard was finished, we have tweaked a couple of things with minor readjustment of a rock or two as we got used to the patterns of our meandering desert tortoise, who explored the new environment and then signaled that she was not yet ready to come out of hibernation. She had a big drink of water and went back to sleep under some things on the patio. When she comes out to stay, we look forward to her being pleased with the grazing options and also to enhancing the look of our lovely desert garden. PS: we live in Tucson (not SF)"
October 1, 2017

"We spoke with four other companies prior to our appointment with David and nobody ever mentioned plants. David is very passionate about plants and his designs worked well with our needs and budget. Immediately, he started on the project and finished in 6 days. We had a 2100 sq ft muddy back yard that he turned into a National Park nature trail. David stands behind his plants as a few of them did not survive the summer heat and he replaced them. Just trust his vision and let leave him to his art. No one else is going to care about the balance of yard privacy, water conservation, and practical budget demands like Arid Plant Designs."
August 10, 2017

"Wow - fantastic outcome. Dave is a quirky guy who I was skeptical about in the beginning. But he brings an unmatched passion and knowledge for locally appropriate outdoor plants and designs. We gave him a space and a budget and the outcome was fantastic. Professional, fast, and Looks Great."