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.

High Plains Flower Garden

Denver, CO

This terraced flower garden in Boulder was designed to convey the blooming liveliness of a traditional English garden for the climate of Colorado. Flowers take center stage in a garden designed so that plants are in bloom year-round. A series of patios provide ample sites for outdoor entertaining and showcase the owner’s collection of antique outdoor objects. Subterranean rain gardens and water collection systems ensure efficient drainage on this multi-level site.

Garden for Entertaining

Denver, CO

The owners of this modern home in Denver, Colorado wanted beautiful, drought tolerant native plants in a xeriscape front yard combined with a backyard garden perfect for entertaining. Dakin used her deep knowledge of plants to guarantee low-maintenance splendor in the front yard. Her background in art served to create a design that would showcase the owner’s collection of fascinating outdoor objects and art from around the world. Blooming, feathery native plants in front contrast with the sophistication of a backyard that accommodates both food production and outdoor living.

Elegant Food Garden

Denver, CO

Initially, the owners of this garden wanted food-producing beds and greenhouse relegated to the back corner of the garden. However, Dakin designed beds and sourced a greenhouse so elegant that vegetable production ended up taking center stage, showcasing beauty and abundance. Soils for the vegetable beds were sourced from urban compost from Denver, providing a productive and sustainable base for a thriving and decorative garden

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.

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.

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.