Yardzen Is Reimagining Landscaping for the Digital Age

Courtesy of Yardzen

It’s a company born from the ashes. Literally. Yardzen is a modern, efficient and fun way to reimagine landscaping. It is now the largest residential landscaping platform in the United States. But it started from a fire.

Co-founders and wife-and-husband team Allison and Adam Messner were at their home in Calistoga when the Tubbs Fire of 2017 erupted and destroyed their neighborhood. Seeing the flames approach, Adam turned on all of the sprinklers surrounding their home. By some miracle, the home was saved, but everything surrounding it was reduced to ash.

“We had a house on a patch of scorched earth and we had to figure out how to rebuild the landscape,” says Allison, describing the arduous, expensive and frustrating process of revamping their yard from the soil up. “We just kept saying, ‘There should be a way that you can design your property using your iPhone. It shouldn’t be so complicated.’ ”

As entrepreneurs — both have started multiple companies before Yardzen — Allison and Adam couldn’t shake the opportunity staring right at them. They proved the concept using their own property and a designer from Miami who only had photos, videos and property information to work with. With encouragement from the Messners to just give it a shot, “she created a beautiful landscape design that was true to climate and was then installed.”

After posting on Nextdoor to see if any neighbors would be interested in a service like this (in 24 hours more than 30 of them were), Yardzen was officially born. Soon Yardzen was pairing clients across the country with landscape designers, all online. Homeowners go to the website, choose a budget, inspiration and yard details, then receive a realistic, customized, buildable design.

“There is nothing like it — the design is beautiful. It’s delivered in design-realistic 3D and indistinguishable from a photograph,” says Allison. After feedback sessions and a finalized design, the client is paired with a local, vetted landscape contractor to bring the vision to life.

Each yard is fitted to the particular climate, which clients can learn more about in Yardzen’s massive online database. To take sustainability efforts a step further, Yardzen started the American Rewilding Project, “which is a commitment to include multiple pollinator plants in every design we create,” says Allison, noting that nearly 98 percent of Yardzen clients opt in to this initiative.

“There are 130 million residential lots in the United States,” she says. “If every single residential lot had just a few pollinator plants in them, we could create these amazing habitat corridors for birds and bees and butterflies and all kinds of goodness would come from that.” And since Yardzen is officially designing and landscaping lawns in all 50 states, that goal might not be too far away.

The future of American homes is visible in the Yardzen design gallery: unique, tailored to the right climate, sustainable and visually appealing. The ideal combination to make both homeowners and pollinators happy this summer.