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The Big One: Mountain magic

January 4, 2021 -  By

Company: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes
Location: Edwards, Colo.

Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes installed this residential project in 2004 and has been maintaining it ever since.

The main challenge for the maintenance team is the abundance of deer and a short growing season. Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes applies Liquid Fence animal repellent at every maintenance visit during the growing season.

Perennials on the property’s half-acre of ornamental garden beds must be hardy enough to resist or sustain damage from deer feeding, says Lauren Crary, gardening account manager for Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes.

“Over the years, the deer tend to prefer different plantings, even plants they’re known to not typically eat,” she says. “Our perennial palette is constantly changing.”

The perennials must also pack a year-round punch with color, too, with a growing season that typically runs from late May to late September. Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes selected plantings such as crocosmia, ligularia penstemons and asters.

“We find plants that are hardy and colorful and stagger them to bloom at different times throughout the property, making sure that every part of the garden has something interesting at all times,” Crary says.

This project earned Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes a 2019 Gold Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

The owners desired year-round color with the use of hardy perennials for the entry and throughout the property.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

The property has a 180-degree view of gardens, horse pastures and the Colorado mountainside.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

A half-acre of gardens surrounds the yard.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Yellow ligularia line the path to the shaded nook on the property.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Red bee balm plantings encourage hummingbird feeding.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Plantings line the pathway to a shaded nook on the property.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes applies animal repellant to keep deer feeding on plantings to a minimum.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

The family wanted a vibrant, colorful backyard to entertain.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes maintains the property’s half-acre of ornamental gardens with deer-resistant plantings, such as the daisies in the foreground.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

Red bee balm, asters, ligularia and crocosmia highlight the garden.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

The crocosmia and penstemons are deer-resistant perennials that also attract hummingbirds.

Maintenance project (Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes)

Photo: Rocky Mountain Custom Landscapes

The water feature is an irrigation ditch that channels into a into a nearby stream.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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