Landscaping Tips for Colorado Style Outdoor Living

25 Mar

Colorado, without a doubt, is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Whether you are living in Denver, Boulder, or up in the mountains, both natural and man-made sources of outdoor beauty are well within reach. And while the type of beauty might intensely change with the passing of the seasons, it never ceases to impress.

Within the state of Colorado, natural beauty can be found to exist upon both grand and small scales. The Rocky Mountains are the largest mountain range in North America and offer an awesome landscape beyond replication. At the same time, on a smaller scale, the state also lays claim to countless parks, gardens, and even personal yards that have been landscaped to perfection.

If you are a Coloradan that is hoping to enhance your landscape, you are certainly not alone. In fact, the market for Colorado landscape architects—firms that blend the dedicated crafts of both landscaping and architecture—has been growing at a truly impressive rate. Not only do landscape architects help add value to your home, but they can also help you create an outdoor space that is unique to the Centennial State.

When embarking on any significant landscaping project, there are many things you will need to keep in mind. In this article, we will discuss some of the most useful tips for landscaping in the State of Colorado. By taking the time to learn more about landscaping, as well as the landscaping nuances that are unique to the area, you will be one step closer to creating the outdoor living space of your dreams.

1. Hire a Colorado Landscape Architect

While the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mentality is strong, there are many benefits that can come from getting a little bit of professional help. The best Colorado landscape architects will offer customized design packages, allowing you to be as hands-on or as hands-off as you want throughout the entire design process.

Due to their unique backgrounds, landscape architects are adept at helping homeowners account for both the human needs (livability, access, special features, etc.) and the natural needs (water, sun, survivability, etc.) of any given outdoor space. Once completed, your yard should be a space that is both naturally beautiful and extremely comfortable—without the need to compromise.

2. Choose Native Colorado Plants

Colorado has a notably unique environment, meaning that many plants that you’ll find elsewhere in the country might have a difficult time surviving. Most of the state’s population lives within a BSk Koppen climate, indicating the climate is “cold semi-arid.” This means that plants need to be able to survive long periods of dryness in the summer, as well as long periods of freezing temperatures in the winter. Choosing native Colorado plants will help ensure that your outdoor space will remain beautiful for years to come and, better yet, will also have significantly lower upkeep costs.

3. Find Alternatives to Grass

Keeping costs, aesthetics, and the ability to “integrate” into the natural system in mind, traditional lawn grasses are often rather out of place within the state of Colorado. Though keeping some grass space for activities may be desirable, any Coloradan who is designing a new outdoor space should also take the time to consider grass alternatives. Sand, stone, rocks, brush, and other surfaces can help you fill large portions of your yard without the need for high-maintenance (and unnatural) grasses.

4. Pay Attention to Your Garden’s “Skeleton”

As any experienced landscape architect will tell you, one of the most commonly looked details in people’s yards is the structure of the yard itself. People will often invest significant amounts of money in a landscape only to experience a first “stress test” in which an entire corner of the yard becomes flooded. Variables such as where water tends to congregate, where sunlight is present, and the makeup of the soil all need to be actively considered.

5. Blend Natural and Human Spaces

In both the architecture and the landscaping disciplines, living spaces are becoming much more blended and less distinctive. Finding ways to bring the comfort of the indoors outside and also surrounding designated living spaces with natural beauty can help a designer utilize “the best of both worlds.” Transitional features, such as patios, gazebos, terraces, full length (and even rotating) windows, are all perfect for creating this sort of balance.

6. Prep for Seasonal Changes

Anyone who is lived in Colorado for long will surely tell you that range of weather experienced here is incredibly wide. In addition to receiving heavy snowfalls, the state also experiences regular draughts, floods, and even tornadoes. In order to maintain the investment you’ve made in your yard, choose plants that are durable and can withstand rapidly changing weather conditions.

7. Look for Sources of Inspiration

During the landscape architecture planning process, many people begin with a very grandiose vision that can be difficult to bring to life. They find themselves having a rough sense of what they want, but at the same time, are unsure how to put this vision into words. Looking at examples of your landscape architect’s previous work, using vision-building platforms such as Pinterest, and taking pictures of landscapes you personally enjoy can help make it much easier to turn your dream into a tangible reality.

8. Create a Plan

Lastly, it is important to realize that no component of your landscape exists in a vacuum. The best man made landscape you’ve ever seen almost certainly began with a well-crafted plan. When planning what your future outdoor space might look like, it is crucial for your plan to be comprehensive. Structural details, the intended uses of each space, energy consumption, and more will all need to be adequately accounted for. You’ll be much better off over-planning than completing the project piecemeal and discovering major issues down the road.


Colorado is an incredible place, filled with people continually looking for ways to make it even more beautiful. With a landscape architect and these other tips in hand, you can create an outdoor living space that is both perfect for your lifestyle and perfect for where you live. Choose the right landscape design Denver today!

* The email will not be published on the website.