At Karen Aitken & Associates, we believe business is a bit like gardening; with a proper foundation and a little bit of love and nurturing, the seeds we sow grow and grow. And that’s how we want your experience to be. Coupling excellent client service with beautiful, fresh designs, we aim to be the love and nurturing for your home to be the best it can be.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Chat with an associate using Intercom in the bottom right hand corner, or email us at



Design Proposal Stage:

Taking a page out of all the technology companies in the bay, we want to meld the best in tech and tangibility. Using leading proprietary architectural technologies and landscaping methodology (in addition to GIS and Mapping tools), we are able to create an accurate design proposal based simply on the information you provide in the new client care form.

An initial site visit can be arranged before a design proposal (charged at an hourly rate).

Phase 1: Sketches & Models

After acceptance of the estimate proposal and the initial meeting, Karen Aitken and Associates begins the first part of the creative and engineering process – a design study.

By combining 2D and 3D artistic expertise and masterful knowledge of the botany for the California areas, this landscape masterplan is created to best suit your needs and desires, whether mediterranean, modern, drought-tolerant, or otherwise.

Phase 2: Construction Detailing

With the design of your dreams further articulated in a beautiful 2D and 3D format, Karen Aitken and Associates gets into the grit of construction details; planting plans, drainage and irrigation plans, and dimensional plans (for every arbor, deck, fence, or bocceball court) for submittals. Construction documents can be received in as little as 3 weeks – an industry leading timeframe. This timeframe allows for greater flexibility in the next phase: city submittals.

Phase 3: City Submittals

City submittals can be a long and difficult process due to extensive government regulation. This is why it is so important to have an initial sketch finalized, because landscape changes in this phase can be costly, both in time and money, which trickles into taking extra time in the submittal process. A finalized sketch allows for expedited construction document speeds, which almost always results in quicker submittal turnarounds – tasks that were once thought of to be the most arduous in the landscaping process. That’s where Gardens of the Valley comes in.

Gardens for the Valley is a sister company to Karen Aitken & Associates and acts as the “build” firm for our landscape architecture work. Gardens for the Valley’s family-oriented, client-first mission go hand in hand with our own goals. We design the gardens, they build it. And they maintain it. Buy furniture for it. Submit the plans for it. Grow it.

Complete List of Services

Business and Office Parks
Corporate Headquarters
Hotels and Resorts
Industrial Complexes
Master Planned Communities
Mixed Use Developments
Retail Shopping Centers
Specialty Shops & Restaurants

Circulation Systems
High-Density Infill
Historic Renovation
Entry Gateways
Master Planning and Design Guidelines
Mixed-Use Developments
Urban Plazas

Medical Facilities
Religious Centers

Feasibility Analysis
Wetlands/ Creek Restoration

Recreational Planning and Design:
Theme Parks
City, Community, Regional & Neighborhood Parks
Historical and Memorial Parks
Open space and Trail Systems
Play Areas / Tot Lots

Apartment Complexes
Equestrian Facilities
High-Density Infill
Luxury Estates
Master Planned Communities
Mixed- Use Neighborhoods
Senior Communities
Single Family Home Developments
Private Residences
Vineyard Estates & Wine Tasting Facilities

Government Buildings
Civic Plazas
Community Centers
Fire Stations
Historic Renovation

ADA Conformance Assistance
Campus Master Planning
Day Care Facilities
Playground Design
Sports Fields

Land Use:
Circulation Systems
Land-Use Planning
Open-Space Planning