Mario was great to work with. He created a design for us that was both beautiful and functional for our family. He also helped us find and manage a landscaper that worked within our budget and worked quickly to finish our project.
We're very happy from Mario's work. He is very passionate about his work. Highly dedicated to understanding his clients' aspirations and goals. He has been super responsive to all of our requests. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of our back and front yard. High recommended ! More...
Mario's transformation of our front yard exceeded our expectations, as we went from a ho hum, boring, generic front yard to what we believe is something out of the pages of Sunset magazine.
Not only is it a relaxing haven for us, but drought free too!
Mario also provided us with gardening tips and guidance after the project was completed. The pics don't do it justice! More...
I cannot say enough over-the-top things about this company and its founder, Mario Herrada.
The end result was obviously very satisfying: our yard won FIRST PLACE in the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) State Trophy Awards in 2014 for Small Residential Installation (under $75K), after also winning First Place in CLCA's East Bay Chapter, Medium Residential Installation Beautification Award.
But the process--that is, Mario's expertise, professionalism, and commitment to the project (both during and after installation--made the experience considerably more satisfying than the awards.
In a word, Mario is supremely thoughtful and respectful (I guess that's two words) of listening to and honoring what his clients want and think they want, of budgets big and small, and of nudging clients--without overtly nudging--to consider alternatives that clients may not have considered.
Moreover, Mario's written plans are artwork in and of themselves, and he works tirelessly to reflect his clients' desires, needs, and constraints. Furthermore, Mario works side-by-side with the professionals who install the plants/trees and hardscape. During installation, he was on site daily, and after installation, he visited regularly to nurture our new yard through its first few months and half-year. Furthermore, every year since installation, we've asked Mario to return to our house to replant where necessary, to try new, fun plants and flowers, and to spruce it up in any way he thinks appropriate.
Thanks to Mario, we spend as much time as possible in our back and side yards, and we smile every time we walk through the front yard.
I've uploaded two photos, both of the backyard (or at least a portion of it): one right after installation and another from this morning. You'll be able to see how the yard has matured over the last few years. Please note that neither photo shows the beautiful side and front yards, both of which Mario also designed and installed.
Finally, if you are going to entrust your landscape and design project to anyone, I urge you to consider Zacate Landscape Design and, furthermore, to meet with Mario. He is simply the BEST. More...
Mario landscaped our front yard several years ago and it exceeded our expectations. His design made use of the existing infrastructure (to help control cost), yet made modifications that greatly enhanced the beauty, the color and the privacy of that space. We were not alone in our appreciation. Our front yard won a Residential Installation Beautification Award from the CA Landscape Contractors Association -- and our guests and neighbors never fail to comment on how beautiful the space is. We look forward to working again with Zacate on our backyard this year. More...
I have had such fun working with Mario. He came with such a fresh design idea that made us completely rethink our garden space. He was wonderful about my many picky opinions about plants and I love how much I learned working with him. Everything from new species I hadn't known, the best ways to manage the plantings I have, hardscape do's and don'ts, etc. Mario was thoughtful about his designs, generous with his time, and absolutely lovely to work with. I would absolutely recommend him to anyone looking to spruce of a space or to start a complete revamp! More...
Mario is a pleasure to work with and I am beyond thrilled with how my project turned out. My backyard had been long neglected and though I had a vague picture in my mind of what I'd like it to look like, I had no idea where to start.
Enter Mario. He was quick to respond to my initial phone call and we set up a time to meet. He came to view the yard, and to get to know me and get a sense of what I was hoping for. He inquired about my budget for the project, what types of colors and plants I liked, etc. He made some recommendations about existing trees on the property, getting those pruned, and what existing plants could be incorporated into the new design. He presented me with a preliminary plant list, for me to review and let him know if I particularly liked or disliked any of the choices. I loved nearly all of them. Then came the design itself - when I got my first glimpse of it I was amazed. It was as if Mario had been able to see the dream garden I had visualized in my head and then he worked some magic and picked just the right plants, put them in just the right places, in just the right arrangements, and now my dream garden is becoming a reality. I've been enjoying watching the plants get established and can't wait until spring when everything is in full bloom!
When it came time to do the install he recommended a great person to do the work. Mario stopped by several times during the installation process to help place the plants and make some adjustments. I hadn't expected this and really appreciated this extra attention - it is clear he takes a lot of pride in his work and wants things to turn out just right.
Mario is a true artist and also a really really nice and fun person to work with. I am so grateful that someone recommended him to me, and I hope that my recommendation will help you decide to pick him for your landscape design needs. Trust me, you'll be very glad you did. More...
Mario Herrada came highly recommended to me by a friend in the design industry. I had already begun a backyard project and switched gears halfway through the project as it was not in keeping with my 100 year old SD Bungalow.
When I contacted Mario I was in full panic mode.
Mario salvaged what remained (existing deck) and was able to develop a stunning design just by discussing it with me and photos I texted him. He had a new design for me in less than 18 hours! His proposal was right on target - we made no revisions - he heard my wishes and promptly designed a spectacular plan utilizing what was already built with many constraints with consideration of my modest budget. Mario was not able to come to SD and yet was able to deliver a stunning plan.
I cannot say enough about Mario's abilities - he listens and communicates well, has a full knowledge of design, landscape materials and plants, and he has amazing talent and vision. He works well under pressure and responds immediately. I am so fortunate Mario was able to help me with my project.
I will post photos as soon as we complete the driveway (held up due to weather). More...
Mario is very kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable about plants and design. He came to our project with fresh ideas and layouts we did not think of with other designers.
We would recommend Mario for your front and backyard design. More...
Before we hired Mario, we were working with a landscape architect who had already charged us thousands and thousands of dollars and yet we had a little more than a conceptual layout for our new backyard design. We were frustrated and didn't know where to turn. We were introduced to Mario and the sun finally came out! He took over and worked patiently, quickly and thoughtfully with us to ascertain our style and vision for using our yard. He is a true designer in that he can capture effectively and beautifully whatever style you are going for, be it French Provençal, English garden, modern, low water etc. His knowledge of plants and his is aesthetic are unparalleled and he translated our layman's description of what we wanted into an exquisite planting plan, irrigation plan, drainage plan and beautiful lighting plan. At every point in our process Mario has been a joy to work with. He goes above and beyond the call of duty with his customer service and created so many unique "surprise and delight" features throughout our garden. We have a front yard to do yet and there is no doubt that we will use Mario again. I cannot recommend him highly enough. More...
Mario has been a pleasure to work with in designing our new landscape. He has a calming presence, is patient and thorough.
He has been very good at following-up with us and checking in during the design faze of the project.
We recently referred Mario to our neighbors who's former landscape design company was lackluster. They were thrilled to work with Mario as well, and felt he went above and beyond during the build portion of their project.
We decided to hold off on our yard roll-out for the time being (we had to rearrange our top priority) but look forward to putting Mario's design in place! We only had Mario design the front yard but I am thinking we'll do the back yard too and will not hesitate to use him for that as well. More...