Mountain Vibe Landscapes

Creating an alpine getaway in your own backyard
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For many of us in Colorado, practical matters require living in the metro area. But in reality, our hearts are in the mountains. We have a deep connection to the tranquility and restorative powers of the unique majesty of our Rocky Mountains. 

Each of these four landscape projects started with a homeowner’s desire to create the soul-nourishing balm of a natural mountain vibe. And although each of these projects is unique in scope and structure, the results for each are stunning.

Transition from Manmade to Natural

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This landscape is an artful blending of opposites and illustrates a purposeful transition of space from man-made to natural.

Modern composite woodgrain decking, concrete retaining walls and neatly potted plants provide a hard contrast to the freeform composition of the natural water feature.

A burbling waterfall is surrounded by a loosely stacked wall of rocks of varying shapes, sizes and colors with a variety native plants, flowers and trees tucked among the crevices.

These elements, along with the rustic split rail wood fence surrounding the property, create the feel of a tranquil mountainside sanctuary.

Telluride Feel

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The homeowners of this expansive Greenwood Village home desired a Telluride feel for their backyard space.  We tackled the project with a  purposeful blending of three zones.

Stepping out from the home, the straight lines of the expansive patio transition smoothly onto a dreamy swath of neatly manicured lawn. The area to the right hugs the graded, natural window well and allows light to pour into the walk-out basement.

The curving staircase connecting to the main part of the house is outfitted with large slabs of stone much like those seen on rocky trail heads. Layers of boulders retain the hillside, creating a magical series of terraces filled with quaking aspens and a variety of plants and flowers that bloom year round.

Rounding out the landscape, along the edges of the property, native grasses resplendent with texture and color provide an alluring transition back to Mother Nature.

Mountain Modern Landscape

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For this project we planted a variety of different ground covers, shrubs and trees at graduated heights to provide rich color that add interest and guide you through the landscape of this home.

Nubby ground cover planted in and amongst stones adds a whimsical touch and mimics the effect of natural moss growing along a mountain trail.  

Huge boulders, rich in swirling texture and color, make a bold statement as they hug the buff colored stone slab staircase.

The reclaimed wood siding on the exterior of the home, along with touches of patinaed metal throughout, lend a mining/industrial modern touch to the outdoor space. 

Organic Composition

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The homeowners of this project dreamed of a backyard space that felt like a lush mountain resort. We set out to create an organic, gracefully curving  landscape organized into distinct zones. 

The staircase descending through the garden is a freeform series of (intentionally chosen) slabs of stone, leading to the manicured lawn and patio beyond. A variety of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees provide year-round interest and color and mimic the look and feel of a natural mountain environment. 

On the other side of the yard, the stone wall and steps draw the eye through the artistic composition of the landscape.

To round out the resort feel, an outdoor kitchen, spa, fire pit, fireplace and seating area were added, making the space an entertainer’s dream.

Dan DeGrush is a Senior Landscape Architect with  Lifescape ColoradoFor more than 44 years, Lifescape Colorado has been Colorado’s trusted source for landscape architecture, construction and property care. View their profile or contact Lifescape Colorado at 303-831-8310 or

Content for this article provided by Lifescape Colorado.

Categories: Landscaping & Gardening, Native Content