Landscape Architecture +


"CommonGround has been fantastic to work with. Our project was difficult as we had to work through the HOA for many months and develop a final program that would encompass not only the pristine natural environment, but the vision the owner had communicated. Chris did a wonderful job of defining the exact feel the owner was looking for and working flawlessly through the demands of the association. Chris has a great ability to capture the final outcome and we are extremely happy we had CommonGround on the project."

— Property Manager, Hollister Ranch, CA


"Chris created an amazing landscape for our new home. The yard became almost like an art piece, causing surprise and delight as the seasons change and the plant colors and structures change with them. We wholeheartedly recommend his talents!"

— Client, Santa Barbara, CA


"Chris is an exceptional Landscape Architect. He is detail oriented, patient with design, and has a well-balanced approach to practical problems. My highest recommendations!"

— Client, Santa Barbara, CA


"I have been practicing architecture for over 12 years and when I moved to Santa Barbara in 1998, I quickly became familiar with various Landscape Architects and their work. One of the challenging things in any project is to put a team together of competent and well-qualified consultants to assist the client in realizing their dream project. As an architect, it is imperative that a Landscape Architect be knowledgeable in plant types, irrigation systems, and have a sense of design that is commensurate to the current project aesthetic and wishes of the client. I have worked with CommonGround for over 5 years and have always been impressed with the level of professionalism, intuitiveness, ingenuity and design capabilities. They have consistently been willing to work with the client AND the Architect to make the project successful both in terms of aesthetics and execution. It has been a pleasure working with CommonGround and I look for the next opportunity to do so in the future. I would recommend them highly to anyone looking for exceptional Landscaping."

— Clay Aurell, AIA - Principal, AB Design Studio, Inc.


"Chris was a valued partner in our landscape design and maintenance in Santa Barbara. Chris was innovative, dependable and above all responsive. He showed significant concern for environmental issues. We would gladly work with him again..."

– Client, Montecito, CA


"Chris worked closely with my wife and I to create a backyard sanctuary including a pergola, pond and waterfall. He was very creative and exceptionally sensitive to our wishes. Thanks to him we have a little bit of paradise that we enjoy every day."

– Client - Architect, Santa Barbara, CA

"It was an absolute pleasure working with Chris of CommonGround. He listened to our needs and desires and used his knowledge and experience to give us the perfect backyard design we had been dreaming of."

— Client, Pleasanton, CA


"Chris Gilliland of CommonGround created a beautiful plan for our yard. His design transformed our mundane grassy yard into an outdoor living area that is aesthetically beautiful, inviting and whimsical. Chris carefully considered our desire to design and implement a plan that is ecologically conscious (local materials, xeriscaping, recycling of gray water, etc). Chris has followed up with us periodically since the yard project was complete to maintain integrity of the project and provide 100% customer satisfaction."

– Client, Santa Barbara, CA


"Chris did a great job of blending the landscape in with the unique architecture of our beachside home. He was very helpful in coordinating with the local review board and working with the contractors. We are very pleased with every aspect of his work."

– Client, Kiawah Island, SC


"Gilliland combines an artistic eye with solid knowledge of construction requirements. His projects conform to the site as well as the needs of his clients to create beautiful, as well as functional, outdoor spaces."

– Virginia Hayes - Curator, Lotusland


"Despite his finely honed technical abilities, I prefer to hire Chris Gilliland for another reason. He has an innate knack to adapt fluidly to the ever-changing field conditions, client wishes, and a whole spectrum of garden plants and materials. All of this, he handles simultaneously, with dry wit and fervent enthusiasm. If I would offer one observation about Chris it is this: he bypasses fixed assumptions with a hasty glee, in the pursuit of an even better design concept. He moves with nimble confidence and a sense of style. For every size project, I enthusiastically recommend him and without hesitation."

— David Johnson, Landscape Contractor, Santa Barbara, CA


"Chris Gilliland is a superb landscape architect. He took our barren half-acre 30 degree hillside and transformed it into a natural woodland. His plans are imaginative and he is a pleasure to work with."

– Client, Santa Barbara, CA