Carolyn Atherton transformed our long, rectangular, overgrown mess of a yard in SF into a lovely, serene private park filled with Japanese maples, ornamental grasses, ferns and flowering shrubs.
She has a tremendous sense of design and an ability to listen to her clients’ wishes and desires.

The ultimate compliment is that it has been eight years since completion, our garden has matured beautifully and we are still friends.
– Lynne & Mike – San Francisco

Design & Landscape Awards


Meadow landscape chosen for Bay Friendly Garden Tour, May 2011

A couple of years ago Carolyn and Bob looked at their Weed-choked lawn and rotting wooden deck and decided their backyard was due for a makeover. Designer and contractor Carolyn Atherton, in collaboration with Patrìck McMahon of Rock Solid Landscaping, helped them Create this beautiful, drought tolerant,three tiered garden. The bottom patio is shaded by a flowering crab apple ’tree and stone steps lead to a smaller dining patio with extensive upper level features a meadow will profusion of grasses including miscanthus, penniseti and carexes. A Variety of flowering perennials provided color, movement and texture throughout the years and are surrounded by larger screening shrubs and fruit trees. So many pollinators visit that the grand kids have learned “not to be afraid ot bees” while playing in the garden (especially in the chamomile lawn).


Front and Back Garden, the Happy garden, selected, for the San Mateo Master Gardeners Tour, 2011


California Landscape Contractors Association, Northern Calif. 2011
I received Small Residential Landscape Design/ Build Achievement Award In collaboration with Steve Capper, of WildRose Gardens and Ponds.


Park Day School Secret Garden Tour 2008
A woodland garden in a century-old Berkeley home featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 2004.
Landscape selected for Park Day School Secret Garden Tour 2008.


San Francisco Beautiful 1993 Award for Home and Garden

Better Homes and Gardens 1989

A semi-formal English style entrance garden for a beautifully painted Victorian home and business, featured in a Better Homes and Gardens project edition, 1989.


Home featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 2004
A woodland Garden in a century-old Berkeley.