Smart Yards Cooperative

We are a san josé based Ecological landscaping cooperative, specializing in California native and Drought tolerant plants.  

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    Smart Yards cares about my yard, the environment, their workers, our planet and my budget.

    I chose Smart Yards because they do excellent landscaping and garden management work at a fair price and because I want to live in a world that’s as workable and as fair as possible for everyone. I buy fair and direct trade coffee. I never patronize Walmart, Starbucks, fast food shops or big box book stores and it’s very important to me that I avoid home service providing businesses who pay low wages to the employees who actually provide their services.

    — Diane S., Willow Glen
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    Proud to be doing my part to conserve water, energy and to create a habitat butterflies and bees!

    Today Wade and I welcome 42 tender and beautiful California native plants to our front yard brought to us with love and ecologically sound practices by the fabulous Elizabeth Sarmiento and her Smart Yards Cooperative team. Can’t wait to see them bloom this coming spring and watch them grow!

    — Nancy
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    I prefer to think of the drudgery of doing another load of laundry as happily watering the trees

    Smart Yards Co-op designed and installed our back and front yards. The transformation from boring grass, well mostly weeds, was dramatic. Smart Yards installed all native shrubs and and plants. The bees, butterflies, and humming birds love the yard almost as much as we do. Smart Yards also planted dwarf fruit trees and installed a grey water system to provide water to the trees. Smart Yards designed a delightful native garden with fine stone work for access and outdoor enjoyment. I highly recommend Smart Yards Co-op

    — Mark Merritt
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    We're extremely pleased with the result and our choice of SmartYard Coop

    Smart Yards transformed our backyard with a well-executed, distinctive design. We had water conservation and California drought-resistant plants in mind. After discussing various options, Elizabeth created a design integrating flagstone breakers, pebble walkways and islands of plants that made the concept come alive. Her crew, led by Ramino, worked very hard, with great skill installing the irrigation system and doing the precision stone work. All were a pleasure to work with.

    — John Fensterwald


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Why choose Smart Yards

Smart Yards is an ecological landscaping cooperative based in San José, California. We design, install and manage gardens with a focus on urban permaculture and regenerative principles: California native and drought tolerant plants; use of local and recycled materials; storm rain management through permeable patios, rain gardens and rainwater catchment systems; installations of greywater (Laundry to Landscape) systems.

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Sustainable design

Our gardens incorporate plant combinations that are both beautiful and functional as a complex ecosystem. Hummingbirds, chickadees, bushtits, cedar waxwings, thrushes, and phoebes, are some of the regular birds nesting and feeding in native gardens. Our inspiration comes from Bay Area, which inform our selection of grasses, perennials, shrubs, vines and trees.


Save water, energy, money and time

Native plants are drought tolerant and require minimum water. Native gardens do not need fertilizers and maintenance compared to traditional grass lawn, which requires regular mowing and tons of fertilizers. We use sustainable irrigation systems such as, drip irrigation systems and rain gardens that keep the soil healthy and prevent erosion.

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Bring beauty to your home

With help of permaculture design principles we create spaces that are both beautiful and functional. We expertly choose plants that provide seasonal interest and bloom year round. Design features such as, dry stacked stone structures and pathways provide space for recreational activities and are great for children and pets.

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Organic living

Our work is primarily based on permaculture design principles, which aim to develop sustainable gardens that provide for human needs and foster biodiversity and resilience. We create spaces that work in harmony with nature, without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or other such products that disturb the balance of the ecosystem.

Impact of our work 



gardens done and more on the way


Million Gallon water saved per year


Educational Workshops

Our focus for this year Earth Month was to understand the permaculture design principles: the benefits of capturing rainwater and using grey water for outdoor irrigation. 


Find us here