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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.

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.


What is a Garden Coach anyway?

Have you ever wondered if you are pruning your roses the right way or at the right time?  How about planting perennials or shrubs at the proper depth?  How about fertilizing your trees or watering your yard in the winter?

Is there anyone out there that can help you with all of these questions and more? Yes there is.
Landscape designers and architects are great at designing beautiful landscapes complete with decks, sidewalks and waterfalls.  They can provide you with a detailed architectural drawing of their design and have it installed for you.  What they probably won’t do is show you how to plant the design and how to maintain it properly.  They are not in the business of teaching you to become a better gardener.  That’s where a garden coach comes in.
 Garden coaches help their clients find their “inner gardener”.   I started my business in 2006 after going on several house calls for the CSU Extension Master Gardener program.    As you may know, master gardeners will come out to your home at your request to diagnose problems and offer solutions to your landscape dilemmas.  They are a valuable resource in our area and I highly recommend using their service when you have trouble in your yard.  When you want to learn how to avoid problems in the first place, then an hour or two with a garden coach might be a good way to go.
Rootbound plant
Garden coaches provide hands-on demonstrations and show you the proper techniques for maintaining your current landscape and help increase the functionality of it.  We help homeowners with irrigation schedules, fertilizing needs, planting requirements and more.   We can show you how to transplant shrubs and perennials, how to divide overgrown perennials and how to deadhead your flowers.
If you are new to your home and don’t know what is in your landscape, we can identify what you have and assess the current health of those plants.  We can help you determine what should stay and what should go depending on your family and lifestyle.
Other services garden coaches provide are escorted trips to the garden center.  We show you how to “pop the pot” to check for healthy, uncrowded roots from annuals to container bound trees.  Good garden centers and nurseries don’t mind customers checking the roots of their plants.  Garden coaches can also teach you how to examine the trunks of trees to be sure they are free of cuts, wounds or diseases.
Shopping with client at Bookcliff Gardens

Shopping with client at Bookcliff Gardens

We can also design landscapes.  From new construction to re-designing an existing landscape, we can create a garden that is beautiful, functional and easy to maintain.  There are many plants that thrive in our high desert climate that give you lots of “Bang for your Buck”  There are trees and shrubs that have beautiful flowers in spring, berries in the summer and colorful fall foliage.  Some of our xeric perennials attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds with their showy flowers and have a heavenly scent for us to enjoy.

Before garden design

Before garden design

After garden design

After garden design

So now you know what a garden coach is.  We’re kind of like your Grandmother who taught you how to crochet or make cinnamon buns like mine did.  We can help you become a better gardener and enjoy your landscape year round.