Colorado Eco-Friendly Mountain Landscapes

by Allen Quay

in Sustainable

Colorado landscape design blends majestic views of the Rocky
Mountains with magnificent architectural styles to create an outdoor
sanctuary that enhances your home’s natural surroundings.

Amazing settings and large home lots are the ideal backdrop for some of the nation’s most creative garden designs, but landscaping in Colorado also requires strategic landscape planning to accommodate the area’s often extreme climate.


Xeriscaping in the Mountains

Sustainability is an important concept in Colorado landscapes. The typically dry conditions create a demand for garden designs that minimize the need for water and irrigation. The Denver Water Department introduced xeriscaping in 1981 to address these needs without
sacrificing the beauty of a thriving outdoor space.

Colorado landscape design

The principles of xeriscaping can be applied to most any garden style by choosing drought tolerant, native plants and supplementing grass lawns with native groundcovers.

With careful planning and planting, as well as proper use of moisture-retaining mulching, a xeriscape design can decrease water consumption by as much as 60% – minimizing the overall environmental impact of your outdoor space.



Suitable Garden Designs for Colorado

Custom-designed homes are the heart of Colorado’s most desirable communities, leading to a wide assortment of appropriate landscaping styles. Neighborhoods like beautiful Buell Mansion, Castle Pines Village, and Cherry Hills Crest feature sprawling ranch homes, majestic stone estates, and stucco finishes with Old World flair. The one thing these unique residences have in common is amazing views of the Rocky Mountains.

Your garden style should complement the design of your home while enhancing the mountainous views and natural setting. Colorado landscape design ideas may have southwestern flair, Mediterranean style, or could boast a modern garden feel. The key to creating an effective outdoor space is integrating the right plants and materials with functional and enjoyable features.

Native Plants and Sustainable Materials

The prevalent risk of wildfires discourages many Colorado homeowners from landscaping with large trees, but there are some drought-tolerant varieties available. Evergreens include the alpine fir and ponderosa and New Mexican white pines, while deciduous choices are the green ash, Turkish filbert, red oak, and western catalpa.

Other native plants in a Colorado landscape design that require minimal water and maintenance include:

Colorado landscape design

Rocky Mountain maple

Eastern redbud

Japanese barberry

Mountain mahogany

Wilton carpet juniper

Western sagebrush

Virginia creeper

Varieties of cacti

Perennials like garden mum, foxglove, baby’s breath, coral bells and English lavender

Lawns of tall fescue or perennial rye-grass can be integrated with paths, patios, and similar hardscape features. Consider porous materials like crushed rock, gravel, bark, or flagstone combined with an environmentally-friendly cement and sand mixture to encourage drainage.


Colorado Outdoor Features

Outdoor design features, along with accessories and decor that complement your home, are the final touch to creating an enjoyable and functional outdoor living area.

Colorado landscape design

Retaining walls are quite common in this mountainous region and can help achieve a cohesive look when designed with materials that blend well with your home. Retaining walls can also create an ideal setting for plantings, groundcovers, and flower beds.

Water features are also popular – ranging from natural streams and tranquil waterfalls to elegant fountains and ponds.


Rock gardens and boulder accents are a natural, low-maintenance addition to a Rocky Mountain landscape design, while swimming pools provide an enjoyable setting for friends and family during the arid summers.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Allen Quay September 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thanks for your comments Zachary!

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