About Us

Cara Nelson Landscape Architecture, CNASLA, is a San Francisco Peninsula based firm specializing in residential and commercial landscape design and installation. Services include:

  • master planning
  • site planning
  • schematic design, design development, and construction documentation
  • implementation (or installation)
  • construction administration
  • permitting services
  • project management

Cara Day Nelson, Principal

Cara Day Nelson brings more than 17 years of residential and corporate landscape design and construction experience to each project.  Her passion for art in the landscape has kept her designs fresh throughout her career.

Licensed in California as both a landscape architect and general contractor, Cara’s formal education includes a Harvard University Masters in Landscape Architecture, as well as her UCDavis undergraduate degree.

Drawing on her dual design and construction talents, she enjoys working with clients to apply their aesthetic and functional goals to each unique landscape.  Cara’s trademark designs, located throughout the U.S. and abroad, artistically push the limits to create spaces that are both functional and pleasing to the senses.


Our practice’s mission is to combine our clients’ objectives with site-specific and thus unique designs.  Every design draws on disciplines ranging from horticulture to fine art, architecture, and ecology.  Using best sustainability practices, projects incorporate green building materials as well as reclaimed elements to create beautiful landscapes.

Design Build

Benefits of a Design Build Landscape Architecture Practice:  Most of our work is design/build because many clients desire a one-stop solution.  This arrangement provides a seamless transition between concept on paper and built reality.  Nothing is lost in translation.