This client contracted with us to redesign the front yard of their home, located on a large corner lot overlooking open space with breathtaking views of the Colorado Front Range. Their goal was to eliminate the grassy slope and replace it with a terraced retaining wall and new stairs since the original ones had experienced some settlement and cracking. They also wanted to replace the large, overgrown shrubs with lower maintenance plantings. To accomplish their goal, we explored different shapes, layouts, levels and material options that were in keeping with the Spanish-Southwestern landscape style.
Geometry and Materials:
Spanish-Southwestern style landscapes are a combination of formal and informal. They can be formal with straight lines that provide a more human scale against the large, open landscape. Plant design can make the space less formal, softening the formal hardscape lines. We chose to use a geometric combination of straight lines and bold curves that echoed the arched entryways. For hardscaping materials, we matched the brick in the house with a complementary local, red flagstone that tied in with the clay roof tiles and was reminiscent of southwestern landscapes. A cracked, settled section of the stairs was re-poured while the remainder of the original stairs was reused. The harshness of the concrete was softened with a tinted sealant that complemented the house color and brick was added to the stair risers. More formal plants were used adjacent to the entry stairs with less formal, more natural plants used elsewhere such as dwarf pines, yucca, ornamental grasses and succulents to blend with the surrounding natural landscape.