Our mission is to create and maintain beautiful landscapes in both residential and commercial spaces which reflect nature, meet our clients’ aesthetic and practical needs, and respect the environment. Mazingira’s design and build philosophy is guided by the business owner, Hamad’s, farming upbringing on the lush tropical island of Pemba in Tanzania learning about patterns found in the natural world combined with his formal education and professional experience focused on the Bay Area’s Mediterranean ecology.
Hamad’s passion is to serve clients by translating his knowledge and experience with plants to create sanctuaries in urban surroundings that allow individuals to have a daily opportunity to connect with nature. We see the design, construction, and maintenance processes as a partnership with our clients to help them achieve their dream outdoor spaces that foster relaxation and healing.
As we strive to combine big picture goals with attention to detail, our approach is play with height, depth, texture, and color to bring a dynamic three-dimensional quality to each project. Ultimately, we are guided by the definition of “Mazingira”—the Swahili word for environment encompassing both one’s immediate surroundings and the world as a whole.
Mazingira has a deep and multi-faceted commitment to bringing sustainability to landscaping. In all of our efforts, from employing emissions-free electric tools and hand tools, Integrated Pest Management, and organic care methods in our fine gardening work to seeking out sustainably sourced materials in our construction work, we aim to minimize our ecological footprint. While we design landscapes of all styles, we specialize in projects that incorporate lawn alternatives/replacements, California native and drought tolerant plants, drip irrigation systems, and low-maintenance features.
We believe that our sustainable landscaping pledge encompasses all aspects of how we do business including a commitment to ethical practices. As part of this, we pay our crew fair wages that exceed the legal minimum and norm in the industry, offer on the job advanced training, and invest in the professional development of our staff. From design to implementation to after care we are committed to providing quality work, responsive customer service, and a thorough knowledge of all governing legal requirements.
Hamad is a licensed landscape contractor; Mazingira is bonded and insured (General Liability) and carries Worker’s Compensation; and we utilize resources on industry standards and applicable regulations. We are members of the California Landscape Contractors Association, have several 5-starred reviews on Yelp and Houzz, where we also have won awards for Best Service 2014 and 2015.
No one would have recommended founding a business during the 2008 Great Recession, but Mazingira was started by a husband and wife, Hamad and Ruthie, in the midst of this uncertain time. Having grown up as subsistence farmer, moved to the United States in 2005, gained practical experience on landscaping crews in the Bay Area, and almost completed his Environmental Horticulture studies at City College of San Francisco Hamad realized it was the right time to launch his own company.
After telling Ruthie “I can do this myself,” she created a basic Word half sheet flyer that Hamad began to hand out door to door throughout Oakland and Berkeley. Mazingira’s first client was so impressed with Hamad’s work that he told a neighbor who told a friend who told another person and so on. Following sustained success in garden maintenance, Hamad went on to obtain his Landscape Contractor’s license in 2011 so that he could bring his skills in design, drawing, and construction to expand Mazingira’s services to include design and installation of landscapes.
In 2016, with over sixty residential and commercial clients receiving gardening services, five crew members, and eight years in business, Mazingira Gardening Services became Mazingira Landscape and Design.