CASE STUDY: COLORADO RESIDENCE

CASE STUDY: COLORADO RESIDENCE

FIRM: Connect One Design

WEBSITE: www.connectonedesign.com

Email us at sales@theplantium to submit your Plantium case study.

This Colorado residence used The Plantium’s tools to organize a large number of plants that needed to perform a variety of complex tasks including four season interest and thriving with a pre-determined low water use water budget.

What value did The Plantium bring to this project?

“With over 2,500 shrubs and perennials on the project, the plant list tool in The Plantium helped organize and track 8 different conceptualized planting bed designs among 28 total beds. It was also a lifesaver when it came time to procure material and substitutions were being made left and right. I could search for suitable substitutions, verify contractor-suggested substitutions, and make notes on everything that was accepted. Between building the list and working through the contractor substitutions, The Plantium saved us at least 16 hours on the planting design and installation process.” Elise F.

Where is the site located?

Located at 8,100’ in elevation just outside Aspen, Colorado the home is nestled into a gentle hillside. The aspect varies throughout the site and the soils are rocky, sandy clay. The pH is generally average to slightly acidic. It is USDA zone 4 so most of the environmental challenges are related to cold winter temperatures and a low water use water budget. The dry shade bed designs were by far the most challenging.

What were some of the planting design constraints?

The front of the property is sheltered, while the rear of the property is on an exposed, west-facing slope, so we could not continue the same palette of plants from the front to the back. In the rear of the house the planting also had to transition in a purposeful way to a revegetated native grass and wildflower meadow bounded by blue spruce and quaking aspen. To ease the abruptness of the transition, the planting design intersperses cultivars of the wildflowers appearing the meadow. Overall, the project had to meet a water budget goal as well. We could only use limited to no high water plants and had to limit medium water use plants to shadier areas. The remainder of the beds had to accomplish the following goals using low or low-medium water use plants.

What were the planting design goals?

The front of the house is intended to blend with the adjacent mature aspen groves, while providing the client with significant textural and color interest throughout the growing season. A varied palette of plants, all under 4 ft. tall, provides foliar and flower interest to the front entry while allowing the stately white trunks of existing and newly planted quaking aspens to make their own statement against the architecture.

The landscape transitions to a more modern approach in the rear of the house. The planting design is intended to bolster the sweeping forms and modern aesthetic of the hardscape design with bold, curvilinear planting blocks. We wished to avoid the monotony of large, monoculture plantings. Instead, we opted for groupings of a handful of plant types carefully chosen conveyed a strong sense of color or texture throughout the year. Each large grouping is placed to contrast with adjacent plant blocks. In this way we achieved a modern design with a more gardenesque level of interest and diversity.

What were the overall design outcomes?

While deceiving in the installation photos because everything is blooming at once, we are excited to see the progression of color throughout the planted garden beds in the next growing season. The larger mass plantings will have great textural qualities while also blending back into the native revegetation areas, creating a seamless look from afar but a more intricate feel up close. Stay tuned for pictures and lessons learned after year one and year three growing seasons!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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