Thank you for contacting Tree of Life Design. We are excited to have you and your garden become a part of our community where you will join fellow natural garden enthusiasts who also share a passion for native plants. Our unique design process is a collaboration that starts with you and your natural surroundings. Our inspiration comes from the hills, stream beds, rocky slopes, and beaches that are uniquely California. We work with you to create a garden that allows you to connect with nature in a designed and built space.

Our Services


For the home owner with a space smaller than 400 sq. ft. Two hour consultation comes with a design and plant list.


For the home owner with a space larger than 400 sq. ft. Two hour consultation comes with a detailed design and plant list.


For the home owner who needs a design, installation and maintenance for their southern Orange County yard.

In addition to the services listed above, our Tree of Life retail garden center, called Casa ‘La Paz’ is staffed with horticultural experts who stand ready to answer your native plant questions and help you along the way as you transform your outdoor space from Dirt to your dream natural garden. Our hours are Monday thru Saturday 9am – 3:30pm. Come in as often as you like. We will provide resources and make suggestions so you can “do it yourself.”


The Tree of Life 2-hour design service called Obsidian will meet the needs of the native plant enthusiast looking for assistance in designing a small garden (under approx. 400 sq.ft.). An Obsidian design would best serve someone who has a small space, wishes to install their own landscape, or for small garden sites too distant for us to install from our San Juan Capistrano location.

The Obsidian service is an informative and creative 2-hours spent here at the nursery with our professional designer. We will discuss your landscape story and choose appropriate plants for your garden. You will leave Tree of Life Nursery with a hand drawn conceptual plan including plant quantities, container sizes, and precise placement. This plan can be used for installation.

The cost of Obsidian design service is $425.


Our Jade design service includes a 2-hour design consultation here at the nursery and a custom plan developed by our professional designer. We provide a design for a residential garden over 400 sq.ft. The plan, (hard copies and electronic images) is provided a few days after your visit to Tree of Life. It includes more detail, and usually more amenities than a typical Obsidian design. More detail will be provided in the overall design such as site preparation, paths, streambeds, structural features, seating areas, raised planters, lighting, and description of materials as applicable. 

A Jade design would best serve someone who has a space larger than 400 sq. ft. and wishes to install their own landscape, or for garden sites too distant for us to install from our San Juan Capistrano location.

The cost of a Jade design is $650 and possibly an additional quoted amount based on your scope of work and the size of the garden. Most Jade designs range in cost from $650 to $1200. Total cost is determined in our meeting. If you choose to keep within the original $650 budget, we will provide a plan with that level of detail. If you desire a more detailed plan especially for larger gardens, you can upgrade based on the quote for the additional fees.


A Tree of Life Gold garden is fully designed and built by our professional team. 

This service is for the homeowner looking to make their garden into a truly native, one-of-a-kind landscape experience. We work with each homeowner through the Definition, Creative and Build Phases to build your natural garden from start to finish.

Gold design-build services are available for projects within the greater region of south Orange County. Please inquire regarding specific neighborhoods or addresses.

Process for Gold Service

Estimated Total: $14,000+

This is a baseline estimate for a beautifully crafted garden for a front or back yard. Prices vary widely depending on the size of the garden, scope of work, amenities and many other factors.

To Proceed with any of these services, please fill out the questionnaire below

Welcome Questionnaire

These simple questions will help us get acquainted with you, so we can create a garden design that is uniquely yours.

We appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully answer the above questions. On receipt of your reply, we will contact you. If you have any questions or comments please email


Tree of Life Design Team

Randi Gunder
Lead Designer/Horticulturist

Mike Evans
Lead Horticulturist/Designer
President Tree of Life Nursery

To get started, we kindly ask that if you have never been to Tree of Life, you would visit our nursery, meet our team and get a good feeling for what we do, what natural gardens look like, how they function, and how people connect with nature in their own outdoor space.

Next we schedule a consultation at your home to discuss your design goals and objectives. At this point, we can both determine if Tree of Life Design is the right fit for your project. If so, we will provide a Project Proposal to discuss the whole project including the Creative Phase and Build Phase with estimated costs.
You receive a packet containing an explanation of how we can help you tell your story in your new natural garden. In addition we provide an estimated total project cost. The next step is to proceed with the Creative Phase, which will require initiating a contract.
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This phase consists of site measurements, research, defining an overall look and garden story, creating a plant palette that fits the design, illustrating various garden features, and completion of a scaled Conceptual Plan. A meeting is scheduled at Tree of Life Nursery to present plans and review all design elements and plant selection. Any changes discussed in the meeting will be updated and included in the Final Planting Plan. We then finalize costs for the contract, and schedule the Build Phase.
Building your garden is where our years of meticulous attention to horticultural detail, artful design, mixed with a passion for wildlife will be combined to develop your space that is truly a crafted piece of nature at your own home.