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Bloomin’ in the ‘Burbs: A subdivision garden


When Rhonda Grassi and Nancy Welch moved into their Erie home 12 years ago, they could see 13 houses from their front and back yards.

That’s life in a subdivision.

But the couple had full reign over the landscaping of the new home, and Welch, a Realtor and interior designer, has experience with landscape design. So they set out to bring privacy and intimacy into their large lot in Arapahoe Ridge by using layers of trees, foliage, bushes and flowers.

“This was all dirt when we moved in,” Welch said, standing in the backyard. “It takes time. We know, 12 years ago, we planned this well.”

Today, the backyard has a border of mature trees along the fencing, and their large, curved patio is bordered with flowers, ferns and shrubs. The landscaping creates an intimate spot for dinners, parties and lounging within the big backyard. They love fresh-cut flowers, drying flowers and trading bouquets with neighbors, so the backyard has a big patch of baby’s breath as well as zinnias, petunias, tulips, purple morning glories, a stargazer lily and peonies.

The focus is very much on color.

“I want color all the time,” Grassi said. “We always have something blooming.”

“People think you can’t have color without annuals,” Welch added. “But you can.”

And while the whole thing started with a plan, it’s also become a lot about spontaneity, adding and moving things around. Welch also swaps plants with neighbors.

“A lot went into it in the beginning,” Welch said. “We had a major plan. But you swap things out. You move things around.”


email no info send march17th/09

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