Garden Photo of the Day

Lori’s garden in Colorado, revisited

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

Remember when we visited Lori Fairbanks’ garden in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, last fall? Refresh your memory HERE. Today she’s back with more!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

She says, “These are photos from June, which is such a nice time for my xeric gardens. My husband and I bought the lot next to our house in 2005, and he built me a garden shed at the top of the empty lot. It seemed a shame not to have a garden leading you to this really lovely shed, so I planted one!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

“I have no sprinkling system on this part of the property, and since this is dry Colorado, I decided to plant the bones of the garden with dwarf spruces and pines, but then surround them with non-thirsty plants. It has taken a few years for these gardens to mature, but they are worth the wait. We have a split rail fence meandering through this garden, so we have named it the “OK Corral.”

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

“I have also included some pics of a garden on the opposite side of our property, and this is definitely not a low water garden. This is where I grow most of my Japanese maples, in the understory of the natural Gambrel Oak forest that grows on the mountain behind our house. I am fascinated with Japanese maples, and even though they are kind of tough to grow in Colorado, I have found that if you water consistently and often, and site them with shade in the afternoon, you can grow them here. I wouldn’t say they are vigorous growers here, but they are healthy. I grow some in pots (that go into my shed during the winter) and the more hardy ones I grow in the ground.”

Beautiful, Lori!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

I, for one, LOVE revisiting your gardens here at the GPOD, but I also love seeing NEW gardens! This is prime time to take some photos in your garden. So get out there with your cameras and send some in! Email them to [email protected].

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Lori Fairbanks

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View Comments


  1. user-1020932 07/10/2013

    for it being dry Colorado it certainly is lush and full. all beautiful and LOTS of work to make it so.

  2. grannieannie1 07/10/2013

    Since we have to actually buy rocks when we want them in our garden, it is always exciting seeing a natural rock garden with rock paths, rock walls, dry riverbed etc. Yours certainly qualifies as pure Rock Excitement!
    You've succeeded at creating a beautifully unpredictable garden, just the type I'd love to meander in.

  3. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 07/10/2013

    love the blue spruces, yarrow, and salvia. you make me miss Colorado!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/10/2013

    Hi, Lori, love the work you and your husband do in your hardscaping and the construction of the great garden shed. There is just something wonderful about the addition of those sorts of elements because they give permission for the creation of more swaths of garden...can't have that shed feeling lonely and unadorned, right?
    Your natural stand of the Gambrel oaks seem like the perfect companion tree for giving some shade to the Japanese maples. The oaks seem to have their own somewhat contorted growth pattern which adds to the interesting look of everything.

  5. user-1020932 07/10/2013

    i hope people are not unhappy with revisits because i really like comparing previous seasons and seeing the changes and growth/performance in the garden.

  6. mtngdnr 07/10/2013

    I just revisited Lori's earlier photos. If the fuchsia flowers in question are those by the path, they look very much like the English daisies that I added to my garden this spring. Mine are a deep fuchsia and have a bright yellow center just like those in the photo. Your property is beautiful Lori!

  7. sheila_schultz 07/10/2013

    The wood and stone are perfect compliments for your mountain gardens, Lori. It all comes together to create such beauty. Your hard work has definitely paid off.
    We were driving through your neck of the woods over the weekend and loving all the amazing wildflowers in bloom. You are so lucky to have beautiful flowers both in your yard and covering the mountainsides!

  8. GrannyMay 07/10/2013

    Lori your OK Corral is more than OK! I love how you have made two very different gardens, one to reflect the constraints of your climate, the other to push the boundaries of what can be done in spite of the climate. Both are beautiful!

  9. tractor1 07/10/2013

    That must've been a monumental chore arranging all those rocks/boulders, but it sure paid off, the look is captivating. And I love all those plantings too.

  10. 7lfair 07/10/2013

    Thanks so much for all the nice comments. I do love creating and maintaining gardens, but it is really hard work at times and its nice to have other gardeners appreciate that work. I try to be a good steward of mother earth, while keeping my gardens healthy. Being very careful and conscious of water usage is an important part of that. And since we live on a mountain, adjacent to indigenous forest, we are constantly in danger of wildfire. We have cleared and re-cleared the Gambel Oak forest, natural grasses, and even down domesticated trees that put our property and our neighbors at risk. In doing this, we have lost shade that was beneficial to the gardens. To compensate, we planted even more xeric and sun loving perennials. Its a constantly changing situation when you are working with nature, isn't it? Thanks again for taking the time to view the gardens.

  11. tractor1 07/10/2013

    Land management... kudos!

  12. cwheat000 07/11/2013

    Lori,your gardens are lovely. It is so much fun to see what can be done in a different climate with different challenges. Looks like you have found some beautiful solutions.

  13. Nurserynotnordstroms 07/11/2013

    Thank you for sharing your hard work with us. I love the way you stacked the rock wall. We have to buy rocks for our yard and haul them home. Your efforts have really paid off. It must be hard to garden on a mountain but somehow you have perfected that monumental task. I appreciate your efforts. Have a happy tomorrow.

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