About Us – Find Out What Inspires Us 2017-05-19T09:13:24+00:00

Who is Simmonds & Associates?

A leading Bay-Area based landscape architecture and urban design firm, specializing in residential, commercial and public space design. The firm is founded on over thirty years of practice on three continents, bringing a vast and varied experience to our projects.

Our philosophy:
Listening is one of our most important skills.  In working with our clients to create outdoor environments rooted in nature, we create places that are truly unique, and are a sanctuary from the stresses of life and an environment that nourishes the spirit. We design outdoor environments to inspire those who enjoy them, and diligently listen to our clients to ensure that we are creating their dreams, not ours – making every project unique and exciting.

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Our commitment to creating environmentally conscientious, dramatic, and alluring outdoor spaces is consistently successful for private residences, commercial or public places.

“If the artist has outer and inner eyes for nature, nature rewards him by giving him inspiration. – Wassily Kandinsky

Our Trademark Skills

We are constantly exploring innovative alternatives, both for landscape design solutions and for landscape materials. New and provocative design solutions, whether they be in the spatial geometry of the project, or in the materials that form the space, are actively sought for each new project.

Creativity

A part of our creativity is in finding new ways to practice ecologically sensitive landscape design. While many are just now jumping on the ecological bandwagon, we have been advocating and using native plants from the outset, and introduced ornamental grasses to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980’s, before they were recognized as appropriate for our Mediterranean climate.

Each and every one of our projects incorporates ecologically sensitive solutions. We practice sustainable site development and instigate sustainable landscape management practices that are beneficial to the environment and friendly to our client’s budgets.

If called for, we will introduce our clients to professionals in aligned fields, such as an expert in raising organic produce, or a ecologically and organically based landscape maintenance company, or horticulturalists specializing in California native plants. This ensures that your landscape will reach and maintain the highest level possible, and give you the utmost satisfaction over the years.

Sustainability

During the design phase, we consider the long term.  We know that ongoing maintenance is costly.  In the majority of projects that we encounter, it has also been detrimental to the long-term health and viability of the landscape – that’s one reason we are called in to help.  From the outset, we consider the appropriate plant material that will thrive in your particular microclimates, and require the least amount of water and maintenance to achieve your objectives. We aim to achieve an ecologically responsible landscape by incorporating the following practices.

Practices that move a site from a considerable outlay of cost, manpower and resources to a more sustainable, closed loop system,

We offer large properties such as homeowners associations, business campuses, and commercial properties Sustainable Landscape Rehabilitation Plans and Sustainable Maintenance Specifications. The plans firstly inventory all the attributes of the existing landscape, and then prepare a master plan for staged rehabilitation, sometimes over several years. The maintenance specifications spell out the sustainable practices that should be employed during the regular course of maintenance,and are often accompanied with an educational component for the maintenance crews. We create a team, which includes: ourselves and the client; and as necessary, a horticulturalist, arborist, irrigation consultant, and soils testing laboratory.

  • Take advantage of a property’s  immediate natural environment (microclimate and plant communities);
  • Incorporate local plant communities and other suitable plants that:
    • Are adapted to the available rainfall and have low or no additional water demand;
    • Are adapted to the local soil conditions
    • Attract birds and insects that increase the biodiversity of the landscape
    • Are compatible with the cultural constraints of their location.
  • Manage and reduce the water budget for a property, using water-saving techniques, low water use plants, and soil water retention practices;
  • Reduce maintenance costs through savings in mowing, pruning, fertilizing, and importing mulch and compost;
  • Reduce the negative impacts of stormwater runoff, through best management practices;
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of the property by sourcing plants and building materials from local sources, and by reducing the amount of fossil fuels and petro-chemicals required to manage the property;
  • Move landscape maintenance from “mow and blow” to environmental stewardship.

Meet the team

Learn more about us

Warren Simmonds

Part scholar of ornamental grasses, part master of all elements water, part sculptor of nature, Warren Simmonds uses an approach to Landscape Architecture that is deeply rooted in nature. The firm focuses on the idea of “sanctuary,” creating one-of-a-kind outdoor places that  provide a respite from the stresses of life and nourish the spirit.

Founding San Anselmo, CA-based landscape architecture firm, Simmonds & Associates, Inc. in 1994 was a natural extension of Warren’s creative zeitgeist. Prior to founding his own firm he tenured as both Project Manager and Landscape Architect for Eldon Beck Associates (San Rafael, CA), as Landscape Architect for Leffingwell Associates (Sausalito, CA), as Landscape Architect for Land Design International (Burleigh Heads, Australia) and as Landscape Architect for Al-Zoen Sekki Landscape Company (Tokyo, Japan.) Warren’s 30 plus years of experience is built on a unique project spectrum spread over three continents; residential garden design, commercial and retail design, hospital and school campus design, tropical and mountain resort projects and residential estates.

Warren received his degree in Landscape Architecture from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and is currently licensed in the state of California.

Alex Witte

With a strong knowledge of ecological practices and sustainability, as well as a background in art, Alexandra Witte thinks about landscape architecture in terms of forms and colors, creating artistic compositions of the land and space.  She believes this detailed attention to lines, colors, textures and forms makes not only paintings, but each landscape, come alive.

Alex also has a strong background in horse management.  She has ridden horses for most of her life.  Her years of competition, teaching and riding professionally have given her a solid, experience based knowledge, which she can tactfully apply to designing equestrian facilities and other horse properties.

Alex graduated from University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture.  She also studied at the University of Melbourne, Australia in the Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design graduate program.  In addition, Alex has designed multiple ecologically minded resort projects in Indonesia, and has spent time studying throughout Europe, examining in depth the sustainable practices and technologies of many Northern European cities.

What people are saying

The beauty of our work speaks for itself, so does the joy we bring our clients.

Both Warren and his colleague Alex are creative, technically strong, have an amazing sense of aesthetics, and are extremely easy to work with – we have had nothing but a positive experience with them. Warren was also very effective in working with the County to secure us the numerous permits we needed for our project and has also been instrumental in managing the implementation of our landscaping plans.”
Dina S., Kentfield
“I have to pay you a compliment on the quality of your plans. Of all the projects we review and bid (C&D has bid about $100 million in Construction over the past two years), yours have set themselves apart in the completeness of your drawings. There are no holes and no questions about how to build your design vision. And believe it or not, that is highly unusual. I truly respect the quality of your designs. And I look forward to working together and actually building one of your projects!
Aaron Majors, Cagwin & Dorward
The cobble and stone work to complete the drive entrance looks very good. Someone (Marc or Mitch, I’m not sure) has done a nice job using stones to outline the border around the redwood by the garage as well, and the plants (many of them anyway) have doubled in size since I left home 12 days ago. Amazing! It really works … Thank you
JC, Mill Valley
We could not be more pleased! We just completed a relandscape our front yard and what a remarkable transformation. Warren listened to our desires and crafted a landscape plan that blends beautifully to our surroundings. The plant selection, positioning and careful attention to detail including proper soil preparation and irrigation will ensure our plants are happy for years to come.
Craig B., Corte Madera
As an architect who has worked for forty years with many different landscape architects and designers, I can say with certainty that the firm Simmonds and Associates creates a very high quality level of work in landscape design, document creation and project completion.
James Shay
Dear Warren:

You have created a masterpiece in my front yard. Since the beginning of this year, not a week has gone by without someone knocking on my door asking for the name of the landscape architect. When no one is at home, they leave notes in my mailbox.

I have given your name and phone number to at least two dozen people. Some of them may have contacted you.

A woman from San Mateo Arboretum Society also knocked on my door two weeks ago asking if my house could be part of the San Mateo/Hillsborough Garden Tour this September. I declined, mainly because I don’t like to have throngs of people treading on my gardens.

I am telling you this just to alert you to the apparent popularity of water-saving, sustainable gardens.

Regards,
Sherman

Sherman C, San Mateo

Recognitions & Affiliations

Our work is an act of love and is has been honored by:

Awards

We do not actively seek out awards, deliberately choosing not to put our clients through the inconvenience, particularly after an extended period of construction.

However, we have been honored with:

ASLA Honorable Mention 1995
The Scott Garden

Marin Municipal Water District
Water-Conserving Garden Award 1996

City of Berkeley Excellence in Design Award 1996
Fourth Street, Berkeley

City of Piedmont Excellence in Design 2001,
The Welch Garden

Tamalpais Union School District
Golden Bell Award for Service 2004
Sir Francis Drake High School

CLCA Honorable Mention 2004
The Downey-Domantes Garden

CLCA Northern Califoria Chapter 2013
Best Multifamily Project
2200 Pacific, San Francisco

Books

Magazines

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Houzz best of 2016

Alex Witte in San Anselmo, CA on Houzz

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Alex Witte in San Anselmo, CA on Houzz

Bay-Friendly Landscape Logo

Bay Friendly

Certified

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