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Rocky Mountain Splendor
Landscape Architecture by Stanley Consultants, Inc.


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The owner's desire for custom elements included stone slabs quarried in Oklahoma used for the steps down to the hot tub and sunken garden. The colorful slabs, up to 8" thick, 4' wide and 8' feet long, were set in place by a crane. A local Steamboat Springs metal fabricator crafted a steel handrail resembling tree branches to add to the custom look of the landscape.


This Rocky Mountain home is in ski country, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (pop. 12,088), which lies in the northwest part of the state. The home's colorful landscape is adjacent to Fish Creek, whose high alpine waters flow down Fish Creek Canyon to spill over 280 foot falls, one of the most popular destinations in Steamboat.

The intent of the landscape design was to capture the essence of the Rockies for the year-round enjoyment of the Texas-based owner and his family. Highlights of this idyllic environment include a recirculating stream, numerous sculptural pedestals, nine colorfully planted iron planters, a stainless steel spa, three fire elements, a secret garden and a variety of hardscape treatments that incorporate a snow melt to afford easier wintertime use. The sophisticated lighting system and fire elements are controlled via smart technology that the owner can operate remotely from as far away as his primary residence in Houston.

The home is set within an alpine landscape of large specimen spruce, pine and aspens, with wild mountain rose dominating the understory canopy. Maintaining this environment and adding interest and color was an early challenge. The solution was a plant list with a wide variety of resilient perennials. Year-round color was a high priority for the owner. Spring, summer and fall are a riot of color and the existing wild rose adds interest during the winter. The thematic landscape is divided into six garden zones that include a sunrise garden, a sunken garden, an alpine garden and a tranquil secret garden entered through a twig arbor upon paving stones etched with the names of the owner's grandkids. Seating is of the natural kind: hand picked granite boulders placed by the landscape architect and the owner.

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The bronze elk sculpture in the circular drive is highlighted by solar lights set in the colored concrete border


A recirculating stream brings sound and tranquility to the entry and secret garden. The stream is directed through a biofilter at the top of the pool where specifically designated wetland plants naturally clean the water to a high degree of clarity.

Sculpture plays an important role in the design. Sited sculpture pedestals and floodlights were placed throughout the landscape for future art installations. The signature sculpture is a life-sized bronze bugling elk at the newly installed circular drive.

Equipped with an outdoor stainless steel spa, fire pit and fire bench, the backyard is the center of year-round outdoor activity. Roasting marshmallows for s'mores with the kids or just relaxing at the fire bench, listening to the creek and keeping an eye out for elk, bear, deer and fox after a day on the slopes have become favorite pastimes.

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The home is set within an alpine landscape of large specimen spruce, pine and aspens, with wild mountain rose dominating the understory canopy. This is a view of the entry garden.


The role of the landscape architect in this unique project was significant. The owner wanted a design collaboration; early design meetings often included the local property manager, who provided valuable insight on "snow country" design challenges, such as a snow shed from the metal roof to the patio below. New gutters and downspouts were an outcome of this collaboration. Design concepts were presented to the owners, not only in plan view sketches but with 3D imaging to give a true representation of the concept.

The landscape architect was also instrumental in budget review and contractor selection. Regular construction meetings throughout the construction allowed the landscape architect to review and approve the hardscape layout, plant selection and placement of the numerous boulders.

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A recirculating stream brings sound and tranquility to the entry and secret garden. A biofilter at the top of the pool, along with wetland plants, clean the water to a high degree of clarity.


The owner's desire to have a landscape like no other allowed for custom features like stone slabs quarried in Oklahoma used for steps down to the hot tub and sunken garden. These colorful slabs, up to 8 inches thick, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, were set in place by crane. A local Steamboat Springs metal fabricator crafted a steel handrail resembling tree branches to add to the custom look of the landscape. Experienced hardscape craftsman took special care to precisely cut and fit pavers around boulders, the spa, steps and the fire pit. These design details and construction implementation exemplify the high quality desired by the owner. An owner willing to collaborate, a construction team with a high degree of professionalism and local experience and creativity and oversight by the landscape architect throughout the process has created this Rocky Mountain paradise.

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The upper reach of the entry garden has a meandering pathway and pathway lighting.


Team
Landscape Architect: Stanley Consultants, Inc.
Contractors
Landscape: Mountain West Environments
General: Snow Country Construction
Masonry: CMR Masonry
Pavers: Pioneer Pavers
Electrical Design/Lighting: Midwest Electric Systems
Bronze Elk Sculpture: Luna Bronze
Concrete Foundations: Frontier Structures
Excavation/Earth Work: Native Excavation
Fire Feature: Hot Stuff Hearth & Home
Hot Tub: Diamond Spas
IT/Audio/Smart House Consultant: Cloud 9 Integrated Systems
Ornamental Steel Handrails: Steamboat Steel & Sign
Ornamental Steel Skirting: Axis Steel
Mechanical Systems/Snow Melt: Masterworks Mechanical
Stone Hardscapes: AK Stone

Manufacturers
Lighting: Kim, Bega, Meteor
Paving: Belgard

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Plant Pallet




As seen in LASN magazine, November 2017.






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