Organic Inspiration

Outdoor spaces are the perfect areas to reassemble leftover materials into unique pieces. Trudy and Jim constructed this charming little bench from leftover flagstone from the patio they installed after they purchased the home.

There’s no doubt about it: This garden was made for an artist.

Outdoor spaces are the perfect areas to reassemble leftover materials into unique pieces. Trudy and Jim constructed this charming little bench from leftover flagstone from the patio they installed after they purchased the home.

There’s no doubt about it: This garden was made for an artist. So it seems especially fitting that Trudy Chiddix, a sculptor and ceramist, and her husband, Jim, have lived in this Evergreen home and enjoyed its surrounding 26 acres for more than 15 years. The home itself is remarkable: Built in 1942 and reminiscent of Norwegian stave architecture, it was primarily a summer residence in the 1940s and ’50s. As Evergreen grew up and more families called it their permanent home, the house—dubbed “Hiawatha,” perhaps after the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem—became a year-round residence.

“When we bought the home, the previous owners had done a lot of work on the house itself,” Trudy

The table, set with local flair: Owner Trudy Chiddix not only surrounds her table with good friends, but she covers her tabletop with goodies she and her friends made.

says. “But the gardens were not very developed.” Linda Zakes of Sundance Landscaping and master gardener Sandy Bruggeman soon created a garden worthy of the architecture. “We put in most of the perennial beds early on,” Trudy says. The gardeners re-planted irises from the property’s hillside, alongside day lilies from a friend’s garden. “I love gathering plants from family and friends,” Trudy says.

The brightly colored beds and potted flowering plants are a pleasing complement to the land, a near-perfect study in Colorado landscape: A canyon stretches behind the home; a trout-filled creek tumbles past the back patio;  and hillside trails adjoin Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, beautiful open space. “We love to have friends over to hike up the canyon,” Trudy says. “We put our feet in the creek later and then have brunch or lunch.”

Not surprisingly, Trudy has a hard time identifying what she loves best about her garden. Perhaps it’s the hummingbirds attracted by the flowers and the feeders. Or maybe it’s the colors and fragrances. Ultimately, she decides, it’s the inspiration she finds here. “It’s this active, magical spot,” she says. “The trees, flowers, birds, rocks. As far as I’m concerned, Mother Nature is the ultimate artist.”

Categories: Art, Artist, Colorado, Entertaining, Family Relation, Garden, Hospitality, Landscape, Landscaping & Gardening, Outdoor Living, Person Career, Person Relation, Stylemakers