Outdoor Living in Style

The perfect escape in your own backyard

By Kaleigh Lawson

Coloradoans know what it’s like to live in a vibrant state. With more than 300 days of sunshine, bluebird skies and a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains, how can one go wrong? Our ideal climate gives residents the opportunity to transform backyards into idyllic outdoor oases. Whether the outdoor space is extensive or cozy, the opportunities are endless when creating a haven perfect for entertaining friends or relaxing with a book. “I think of the space as an extension of the home,” says Lynn Gregory of Chelsea Gardens. A modern home might lead to a more streamlined, contemporary garden, and a historic bungalow might translate into an English garden with luscious, whimsical flowers. Whatever the style of your home and backyard, choose plants and a design that work with the climate, the amount of light in your space and nearby wildlife. “If there are deer or bunnies, they have voracious appetites but not for everything. It is good to know which plants are unappetizing,” says Shelli Nelligan-Anderson owner of Stems Garden Design & Maintenance. No matter the size of your space, use these featured Colorado gardens as inspiration for creating an outdoor refuge full of Colorado wonder.

r design, photo by michael deleon

Climate Control
The views of Boulder’s Flatirons were kept in mind when creating this outdoor space−winner of an American Society of Landscape Architects award in 2009−that seamlessly blends the refined interior spaces to the natural landscape with large movable glass walls. Colorado’s arid climate was considered when choosing the drought-resistant vegetation that lines the glass walls and frames the spectacular view.

chelsea gardens, photo by hanselman photography

Take Cover
This space features a pergola intended to shield the homeowners from the melting rays of the afternoon sun. Vines intertwine around the pergola for extra shade while offering a natural privacy screen.

B gardening landscape design, photo by laurie smith photography;

Secret Garden
Designed for solitude, this outdoor space offers a quaint area for reading. The ‘river’ of rocks was designed to run from the seating area through the rest of the back yard and water feature. Vibrant flowers and furniture brighten the space by providing pops of color. Even Bear, the dog, loves it.

designs by sundown & blue design group

Take a Lap
This Denver home keeps entertaining in mind with multiple seating areas and a stunning focal point, the lap pool. The red brick paving draws from the home’s exterior while the outdoor lighting adds drama as the sun sets.

weston landscape & design, photo by A.V. schmit rock solid design

Illuminating Thoughts
Fire pits are not a new outdoor trend, but they are a necessity for rustic lighting in Colorado. Incorporating a fire pit into your outdoor space not only adds mood lighting, but also offers a perfect spot to roast marshmallows.

photo courtesy of covillo landscape

Pillar of Style
Celebrating their 40th anniversary, Covillo designed this outdoor space with luxury in mind. Columns surround the dining space providing solitude and an elegant backdrop for an afternoon soirée or evening entertaining guests.

r design

The Wings of Design
This outdoor space in Erie was inspired by the idea of flight. Details, such as lighting, water features, a lap pool and more, bring this contemporary home to life. “The shapes of the walkways, patios and gardens transition into the prairie landscape,” says Ransom Beegles of R Design. Plants and native grasses were chosen to enhance the home and preserve the spectacular views.

stems garden design & maintenance, photo by mafalda m. santos

Small-Scale Living
Apartment-dwellers and loft-lovers often encounter smaller outdoor living spaces, such as balconies; however, there are still countless ways to create an ideal outdoor oasis. Succulents are a wildly popular and maintenance-free plant fit for pots. Create
visual interest by potting succulents at varying heights and utilizing multiple small pots or large planters. Try adding a bit of color by filling in smaller spaces with ‘ice plants’. These little succulents are flowering perennials with small, colorful buds.

photo courtesy of urban roots

{ Resources }
Designs by Sundown
R Design
Chelsea Gardens
B. Gardening Landscape Design
Weston Landscaping & Design
Covillo Landscape