crafting an outdoor haven

get the word on thoughtful landscape design

We may be biased, but the Front Range deserves special recognition for nearly everything: a gorgeous landscape, a record-breaking real estate market and endless accolades of being one of the best places to live.

Although many new residents may be drawn to the Front Range for its easy access to the mountains, the flipside to such an awe-inducing and rugged terrain is an unforgiveable climate. Periods of drought intersperse seasons of heavy snowfall and undulating temperatures, making it tricky for residents to design and maintain a lush outdoor haven.

Below are just a few ways to create an outdoor oasis that is both stunning and honors the natural beauty of the Colorado landscape.

// address wants vs. needs //

The first and most important task of landscape planning is determining how you want the outdoor space to function. Residents that want a peaceful escape with intimately cozy areas may need a completely different layout than residents planning on hosting large, at-home gatherings.

Create a list of wants and needs based on how you plan to use the space. If you imagine an open area for your four-legged friends to enjoy, consider a modern fence design that both blends into the landscape and outlasts Colorado’s inclement weather. If you are seeking a place to plant a vegetable garden, take into account the amount of sunlight and water readily available.

// go native //

Residents may feel temptation to recreate a garden based on more lush and fertile landscapes, but let’s face it: Colorado is dry, summers are hot and the forecast can change in a matter of minutes. A state of extremes leaves room for only the toughest plant life outdoors.

Not only do native species support Colorado’s unique ecosystems, but these plants reign supreme in the harsher climate, requiring little outside maintenance and fertilization. However, it’s important to note the specific life zone you’re in before purchasing plants for your landscape. Colorado’s varied elevations will determine what plant life can succeed in your backyard.

// define the hardscape //

Part of what makes the Front Range unique is the availability of sunshine throughout every season. Even in winter, the sun cuts through the clouds and, by the afternoon, has melted most of the snow on the ground.

This phenomenon encourages residents to carve out an all-seasons outdoor living space through hardscaping. Unlike plant life, the hardscape portion of an outdoor space includes man-made elements such as a patio, gazebo and water features. To blend into the area’s rocky and mountainous landscape, residents can use natural stones such as flagstone, pea gravel and even boulders to craft an elegant, yet wild outdoor sitting area.

// bring a pro //

When it comes to creating a Colorado-friendly backyard, even the handiest homeowners can benefit from professional insight. Whether it’s tackling an overgrown patch of invasive weeds or creating a 3D rendering of a backyard design, Denver and Boulder are home to skilled landscape companies that are fully attuned to the Front Range’s unique needs. Below are just a few places to start:

Down to Earth Landscaping – Functional, precise and elegantly designed outdoor spaces are the bread and butter of Down to Earth’s offerings. Denver.

Wild Heritage Gardens – As “a landscape company with a conscious,” Wild Heritage assumes an earth-first mentality, offering chemical-free solutions and native pollinator gardens. Louisville + Boulder.

Lifescape Colorado – By highlighting native species and specializing in Xeriscaping, sustainability is at the forefront of Lifescape’s designs. Denver.

Heartwood Tree Care – The expert arborists at Heartwood focus on the intrinsic value of trees by offering care that extends their life and vibrance. Boulder.