Outdoor Living Room

Denver, CO

Rock walls and flagstone patio create a sheltered outdoor living room in this lush fairy garden. Graceful Japanese maples combine with soft groundcovers and the unexpected spikes of an agave. A window-well view is transformed into a painterly scene backed by a stone wall that extends into the rest of the garden. A special sump-pump enables drainage from the window well.

Syncline Garden

Boulder, CO

Using onsite drainage as inspiration and guidance for design, this garden of gray greens and hot-colored blossoms incorporates a sculptural fountain as well as a green roof prairie that melds with dramatic views of the syncline mountain beyond. Excess bluestone paving was turned on its side to create an undulating, sculptural rain garden planted with moisture-loving plants. Dakin created special compositions of plants and stones at ground-level window-wells: “paintings” for the home’s occupants, accentuating an architecture that brings the outside in.

Rattlesnake Canyon

Lyons, CO

This garden mirrored the rugged landscape of the site, located in the rain shadow of Long’s Peak. All stonework for walls and patios made use of rocks collected onsite, while native plantings mirrored the natural growth, collected and identified by Mark Fusco, Senior Horticulturist at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Striking modernist lines and climate-adapted, drought tolerant plantings pay homage to the stark beauty of the arid foothills.

International Style Garden

Boulder, CO

This net zero energy Architect’s house and garden were designed around existing trees. The priority for the front yard was to create a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance garden using a textured topography of spireas, accentuating twin crabapple trees that bloom dramatically in spring. Backyard decks and plantings create a colorful woodland garden for dining and basking in afternoon sun.

Fire & Water

Denver, CO

This project centers on the elemental forces of water and fire. Both fountain and fire pit are outdoor sculptures with built-in seating. The fountain spills water on rocks at its base, providing a soundtrack for garden-dwellers.

Secret Garden

Boulder, CO

Because of this home’s close proximity to neighbors, this project focused on creating a private haven for the owners. Inspired by Victorian gardens, Dakin added a shade pergola with decorative screens and planted wisteria to provide a verdant backdrop for outdoor gatherings or breakfast on the deck. Plantings focused on texture, close growth and the play of light and shade, transforming this in-town yard into a protected haven complete with edible plants.

Tudor Transformation

Denver, CO

The reimagination of this garden for a stately Tudor house in an old neighborhood in Denver turned the front yard into the backyard and transformed tired lawn monoculture into a diversified Parterre food and flower garden. Walking paths and raised beds made use of bright southern exposure, creating a formal garden that both harmonized with the historic home architecture and fit with the contemporary lifestyle of its owners, who wanted a garden that was both beautiful and productive.

Sculpted Space

Foothills of Boulder, CO

This garden for a Midcentury home includes a berm that wraps around the house, screening the front of the home from the street and serving as seating for an amphitheater in the back, where owners host gatherings and project movies. Tufted native grasses contrast with geometric hardscape and lush moments of floral growth.

Cottage Courtyard

Louisville, CO

The narrow backyard of this tiny, modernistic cottage is shaded by mature trees. Adding a patio for outdoor living and dining along with shade-loving plants and playful geometric paving in the front yard extends the character of this high-design, low footprint living space.

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