In a daze near Denver…sculpture on a grand scale

THE GARDEN OF SCOTT AND PAULA DEEMER IN NIWOT

Scott, owner of a Boulder landscape design-build company, and his wife Paula have transformed a distressed property in foreclosure into a beautiful and highly functional indoor-outdoor living experience inspired by the fusion of art and nature. Warning–this is another garden whose photos just would not allow me to delete them! A riot of foliage, form and texture makes a statement in its rocky surroundings. The garden is not only filled with art but is home to many specimen plantings whose forms are natural artwork.

GBF Deemer 12
The home’s clean lines and muted palette allow the landscape to shine
GBF Deemer 18
Sitting on a rise at the end of a cul-de-sac, massive rock installations create structure and planting terraces in the modest front garden
GBF Deemer 9
The front walk has a life of its own
GBF Deemer 1
Boulders grooved to accept curvy lengths of steel produce small flat planting pockets–loved this idea
GBF Deemer 8
Creeping color is tucked into the rock work, softening edges
GBF Deemer 13
Access and view from the driveway
GBF Deemer 2
Peony and catmint loving their time together
GBF Deemer 10
Casual gravel path right of the front walk from the lawn–almost a small secret garden perfectly visible from the basement windows
GBF Deemer 14
Massive stones tucked against the house bridge the elevation as the lot falls off away from the front porch
GBF Deemer 15
Wider angle of the same area with plantings at every level
GBF Deemer 11
Lovely mix of conifers, iris, perennials and woody shrubs
GBF Deemer 3
Eye-catching combo tucked between driveway and the front porch–Japanese maple, daphne and a twisty blue spruce
GBF Deemer 5
Color gets a bit more intense as you approach the front porch
GBF Deemer 19
Notes of burgundy in both flower and foliage are found throughout the garden
GBF Deemer 4
A pair of these huge planted metal bowls flank the porch
GBF Deemer 7
The view from the porch to the mountains on the horizon, we’re in for a brief rain
GBF Deemer 6
Selenite desert rose crystal

This very large piece of crystal (usually only found as one or two of the little ball formations) was hauled back from Mexico by Scott and foreshadows many other unique pieces of art we will see in the Deemer’s home and gardens. This lovely couple graciously opened their home to the Garden Bloggers Fling participants, allowing us to wander through to view their collection of modern paintings and sculptures and soak in the home’s modern mid-century vibe. As welcomed as we were I would not post photos of the home’s interior or art in deference to the family’s privacy. I did take some shots from the balcony off the second story master bedroom and will share those further on.

Only steps from the sleek modern kitchen is an outdoor world the Deemers enjoy through every season. Multi-level living and entertainment areas have been developed with extensive rock hardscaping and lush plantings and large windows on the home’s rear allow almost all of the shallow and wide back garden to be visible from the interior living and kitchen spaces.

GBF Deemer 37
Modern but very comfortable dining spot with the kitchen and outdoor grill close at hand
GBF Deemer 45
Stunning stone and plasma cut steel fireplace evoking the nearby Rocky Mountains
GBF Deemer 39
The mixed material garden “floor” adds interest and offers wee planting spots

The back garden runs the width of the home but not the full depth of the lot which slopes uphill. The Deemers have left a naturalized meadow strip behind the landscaped areas. The home is flanked by two undeveloped lots and the cul-de-sac is adjacent to an open meadow area. The meadow area is a favorite pass through for many types of Colorado wildlife. The massive stones used throughout form a natural feeling retaining wall and soft line of demarcation between the tamed and the wild parts of their backyard oasis.

GBF Deemer 49
The fire pit is surrounded by enough open space for seating–yet another garden floor, this one small gravel
GBF Deemer 26
Looking as if this all has just found its place naturally even though I know every stone and plant was meticulously planned–it is hard work to make it all look so easy

GBF Deemer 25

GBF Deemer 27

A massive set of stone steps allow the basement to be accessed from the back garden. The elevation change is significant. Both side of the steps are beautifully planted, again using the stone to create planting pockets. Another twisty blue spruce is perfectly placed to grow as a backdrop for the patio’s grill.

GBF Deemer 41
No spot is too insignificant to have a bit of cool color–notice the steel waves used to mitigate the steep slope and provide small flat openings for planting
GBF Deemer 33
This striking green goddess makes her home on the shady side of the steep stairwell in full view of the basement’s windows–Scott calls her Athena of the Marina
GBF Deemer 24
Looking back toward the dining patio and the Rocky Mountain fireplace
GBF Deemer 48
Up a stone or two from the fire pit-wonderful grouping of specimen conifers create their own skyline
GBF Deemer 40
Raised beds for veggies–the espaliered apple will eventually screen the mechanicals 
GBF Deemer 34
Fruit trees, veggies and herbs are somewhat obscured from the entertaining parts of the garden
GBF Deemer 32
This planting of weeping conifers (spruce?) marks the far side of the lot–I think they look like a group of ladies with heads bent together sharing a juicy bit of gossip about whatever is going on in the field beyond

As if the show-stopping fireplace, gorgeous fire pit area and off the beaten path veggie garden is not enough–we’re going to do a deep dive into one of the most well suited for its site pools I’ve ever seen.

GBF Deemer 30
Pool view from the garden’s midpoint

The pool was designed to appear as if it is a natural swimming hole occurring in the mountains at the base of a small waterfall. The uphill side rock formations have continued across the width of the garden as does the naturalized meadow wildlife runway. The pool is not treated with chemicals but instead employs a biofiltration system utilizing beneficial micro-organisms to remove impurities.

GBF Deemer 47
Backdrop plantings are kept low behind the pool to be able to see passing wildlife 
GBF Deemer 20
Great spot to dip your toes after long day of garden gazing
GBF Deemer 31
One of many outdoor art pieces tucked in amongst the plantings
GBF Deemer 38
The far end of the pool with screening plantings in place should the neighboring lot be built on in the future
GBF Deemer 51
Little burgundy iris surrounding by variegated reeds
GBF Deemer 44
A shady secluded spot
GBF Deemer 36
Looking back from the pool’s far end
GBF Deemer 29
A weeping copper beech tucked up against the home

The photos taken from the master bedroom balcony (visible in the next to last photo) offer a wider view of all of the garden’s elements. They emphasize many of the features of this garden that I find most appealing including the variety of foliage color on both coniferous and deciduous trees, the proximity of all the different entertaining spaces to the kitchen and the ability to have more utilitarian areas (like the veggies) a little bit out of sight but not too far away to work in easily. The most central parts like the fireplace and dining patio aren’t visible due to tree cover up against the balcony. Oh…and the view of the surrounding countryside is fabulous. No commentary needed on these–just take it all in.

GBF Deemer 21

GBF Deemer 42

GBF Deemer 35

GBF Deemer 28

As the homeowner is a designer-builder of rock rich custom landscapes it would have not been a surprise if the tons of massive stonework totally dominated this garden, leaving precious little attention given to the plantings. This was not the case and it is clear that much thought was given to careful selection of trees, shrubs and perennials and their placement in relation to the hardscape. A rich and diverse plant palette glows against the stone, softening the hard edges and enveloping visitors as if they have entered a forest. Probably not a garden for a young family with little ones needing running room and lawn for throwing a ball around but certainly a garden meeting the Deemer’s goal of a sanctuary where they can live in harmony with nature and art. For Scott, the landscape is “sculpture on a grand scale.”

GBF Deemer 22
Scott Deemer greets us with his garden clippers in his back pocket just in case…

Like what you’ve seen in the Deemer’s garden? Go to http://www.outdoorcraftsmen.com to see a gallery of other Colorado landscapes Scott and his team have designed and built.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “In a daze near Denver…sculpture on a grand scale

Leave a Reply to peggyjoan42 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s