Daily Garden: My Mom’s Colorado Hillside

Do you ever travel and the first night you wake up and you are not sure where you are?  Yesterday I woke up to the sounds of a big band and Frank Sinatra singing “Young at Heart” in the distance, and a loud fan blowing refreshing air.   It was surreal and for a moment, I had no idea where I was.  But it was the fresh dry air that helped me get my bearings and realize I wasn’t in steamy New England, but rather in high and dry Colorado.   Ahhh….

I am here with my daughter for a family wedding — my little girl will sprinkle flowers before the bride and she is excited. But I wanted to share with you my parents garden — because it is beautiful and full of great things.

My dad created this house number sign from some family heirlooms.  The stone fence posts were quarried by my paternal great grandfather in Kansas, and they have lots of sea shell fossils in them which is so fascinating.  The middle stone was brought here from the farm in Kansas that my dad’s family originally acquired in the Homestead act of 1862 (I think).  The barn wood beam is reclaimed from my mothers family ranch in Montana and the skull….well, when my parents bought this house, it was one of those things the previous owners left in the house….hanging on the wall in the kitchen (random!) so my parents moved it. I love what my dad created from all these priceless (to us) pieces.

colorado garden lupine view of mountains

My parents live on a hill with beautiful views of the valley and the mountains. The house is surrounded by a hills of scrub oak (you might remember my post about the play area my dad built for his grandchildren in the scrub oak forest), from which the garden is carved out of.

colorado garden lupine view of mountains

My dad says that deer don’t like big band radio – so he has it running constantly in the garden.  I’m not sure what is wrong with the deer, I kinda liked the sounds of it drifting into my bedroom.  It was sort of relaxing in that “on vacation”, other worldly’ sort of way.

The main feature of my parents garden is the huge waterfall that cascades down the hillside towards the back patio.  There are koi in the pond and I even spotted the biggest tadpole-frog thing I have ever seen — it was about 8 inches long — there is one large toad on the way.

colorady waterfall garden

I love this house and garden even though it is not the one that I grew up in.  This garden is so much more part of the house.  There are great views from every window and with all the doors open (and there are many) the fresh air and sounds of tumbling water, big band radio and the passing breeze flow right through the living spaces.

wagon wheel garden

I’ve got a few more days to enjoy this before I head back home to air conditioned insides all closed up to the outside.  I am feeling newly refreshed in my desire to turn my own house and garden and those of my clients into places that flow more easily into each other despite the bugs and humidity.

poppies and aspen trees

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

2 Comments

  1. Shellene on June 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    What a wonderful blog! I can feel your love of family and garden through out.

  2. Michelle D. on June 12, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for walking us down your memory lane.
    And those orange poppies ! Whoa !
    Those must be endemic to Colorado. I remember that the sides of main street in Telluride ( before main street was paved ) was covered with these.
    love ’em!

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