Tag Archives: Garden design

Curb Appeal Makeover Seminars at Mesa County Public Library



Join me on April 15th at 6:30pm at the central branch of the Mesa County Library and April 24th at 6:30pm at the Palisade branch for an informative talk on Curb Appeal Makeovers.  Learn how to improve your home’s exterior so when your home is on the market it will sell faster and for a higher sales price.

Plant Select Videos

Plant Select logo black Plant Select has released three short videos showcasing the plants that have been chosen over the years to receive the coveted Plant Select designation.  If you are looking for plants that are adapted to our harsh climate, bring visual interest and beauty to your landscape, take a moment to watch these videos.  I have long been a supporter of the Plant Select program as a garden designer because they find, trial and market plants that really work hard in our gardens.   Gardening in Colorado can be very challenging and the plants we grew up with back east or down south just don’t thrive at our altitude and intense sunlight.  These plants really give you the most bang for your buck.  When your landscaping dollars are tight, its comforting to know there are some fool-proof, tough-as-nails choices out there.  The videos have been separated into three categories:  

Plant Select groundcovers

Plant Select perennials

Plant Select Grasses, Vines, Shrubs and Trees

If you want to see these plants in person, many of them are planted at the CSU Extension Tri-River office in Grand Junction.  The office and gardens are located on Hwy 50 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, in Orchard Mesa across from the City Market shopping center.  

Pockets of Greatness

Mojave Sage underplanted with Prairie Zinnia in my garden









Agastache blooms in October.

Agastache blooms in October.


Local garden centers like Bookcliff Gardens, Valley Grown, Meadowlark Gardens and Chelsea Nursery also carry a wide variety of Plant Select plants.

A Good Luck Story

It’s not everyday that I get to design a landscape for friends but this summer that’s exactly what I did.  Tom and Barbara were downsizing and wanted to move closer to town.  They found a very nice home on a large corner lot that would fit their lifestyle perfectly.  They are entrepreneurs and have several businesses they run out of their home.  So a good sized shed (think man-cave) was needed, room to grow the many herbs and plants they use to make essential oils, and plenty of parking was on the “must-have” list.  They asked me to evaluate the property, make suggestions based on their must have list and create a beautiful, water-wise and useful garden design.

So I took lots of digital pictures, measurements and ideas home with me to start the design process.  The color scheme of the existing house was perfect so I worked on creating unity throughout the entire property on those colors.

I will take you through the process of before the design and after so you can see the changes.


This is the view of the west side of the front yard when I arrived on the scene.  Tom had placed tires and pots where he wanted the shed and the curb of the future circle driveway.

New west side

This photo shows the new shed painted to match the main house, the new 6′ privacy fence and the planting bed between the house and new circle driveway.

In the backyard, Tom and Barbara were looking for privacy and a cozy patio where they could entertain family and friends.  They wanted a hot tub to soothe their aching muscles and plenty of room the the grand kids and dogs to run around.  Oh, they also wanted shade which is s necessity in this high desert climate we call home.









This is the uninviting scene from the back door looking out to the backyard and neighbor’s home.

Backyard west view patio

This is the design I created to bring privacy to the backyard along with a no maintenance patio laid with pavers.

Backyard patio

Barbara enjoying new patio
















The finished patio has everything the Lucks’ wanted and more.  Plenty of room for their outdoor dining set, potted herbs and flowers, shade and privacy.

Lucks foundation bed2 New Foundation bed
















The front curb appeal went from not much to show stopping.  Barbara tells me her neighbors rave about the improvements and love all of the colorful flowers and shrubs.   Above is the foundation bed before and after.  Below is the street side planting bed before and after.

001 Lucks driveway bed
















Simple things like matching the new shed and fence to the dark chocolate color of the main house made the property feel coherent.  Painting and taking the scroll embellishment off of the wrought iron fence at the front curb helped bring that element into the garden design as well.  

This transformation took several months and lots of work on the part of everyone involved but the outcome is wonderful.  We achieved all of the goals we set out in the beginning of this project and Tom and Barbara have a home they can be proud of.