This landscape was a lemon. Bentonite clay soil and narrow steep garden areas that either froze or baked, and nowhere for a passionate gardener to play; all dominated by a large monolithic house perched on a hill. Now these happy homeowners are sipping lemonade, surrounded by lush, colorful, water-wise gardens.
Local flagstone wall veneer brought out the beauty of the house, and repeating the stone in the new terraces wove together the house and gardens. Native xeriscape plants thrive in the heavy clay and provide brilliant color and pollinator habitat throughout the year. The finished basement has been transformed by enlarging the window wells into unique sunlit gardens framing a view of the Continental Divide. Pathways through edible landscapes and terraced gardens beckon from the front and back patios and decks, and roof runoff is directed into rain gardens.
Landscapes can transform houses! Before landscaping, this was an ornate older house obscured by scraggly trees and surrounded by a struggling lawn. After landscaping it was a Victorian jewel, set in a lush, formal water-conserving landscape. In the front, sumptuous red and peach plantings accented with blue and purple surround a brick framed octagonal lawn. In the back, a grand pergola and terrace invite contemplation of gardens shaped by interlaced circles, the diameters of which form the Fibonacci series. These circles culminate in a gazebo inspired by the Victorian tradition of landscape ‘follies’: structures evocative of ruins. Gracious steps lead down around an Italianate fountain to the lawn and a garden inspired by the owner’s childhood memories of Yellowstone National Park.
Abundant, colorful terraces framed by Lyons red sandstone transform a hot south-facing front yard into a delightful place to live outdoors. This landscape, in the award-winning ‘built-green’ Holiday neighborhood in north Boulder, complements the home’s modern green design and construction.
Sharing green building’s commitment to resource conservation, this landscape used local and recycled materials, avoids toxic materials, reuses and recycles construction debris, conserves water and reduces the home’s energy use. It also provides food for people and wildlife, is watered with rainwater and snowmelt, and creates a healthy diverse landscape enjoyed by the family and their community.
A landscape to navigate by – this compass garden brings together the cultivated and the wild. Fragrant herbs, soft grasses and vivid perennial flowers in shades of purple and gold enclose a circular walk of purple-flashed brick. This raised garden overlooks the continental divide and prairie open space and is surrounded by a Blue Grama grass meadow.
This back yard has difficult access from the house, and its primary use is to create a beautiful view from the second story deck. The compass garden’s simple design and dramatically limited color palette draw the eye and provide a pleasing contrast with the wilder landscapes in and outside of the yard. Many culinary herbs are in the compass garden, and edible and native plants are integrated into the surrounding landscape.