Are you wondering how to landscape the backyard of a home that has a great view? If so, read on for a few ideas, do’s and don’ts.
This morning as I was glancing though some pictures that I took of some homes in Woodland Park, CO back in August. I realized that I rarely took snapshots of the backyard while I was outside. Practically all the pictures that I took that showed the landscaping were taken inside the house looking out. After thinking about it for a few moments, I realized that this was most likely because most of the homes in Woodland Park, Colorado have gorgeous mountain views.
If you are looking for ideas for landscaping a backyard or side yard of a home that has a view, keep the following principles in mind:
The view of the landscape from inside the house looking out is what will count the most.
When you are outside, you will want your landscape to include features that will allow you to enjoy it. Homes with awesome views are frequently located on lots that slope. In order to maximize the views, these homes commonly have at least two levels.
On the lower level, you do not want to plant trees or build structures that will block the view from the inside. In Colorado, lower levels are commonly a walk out basement. These basements feature windows and doors so that they will not feel like a basement.
These pictures were taken in the basement.
In the bedroom picture, notice how the rock garden provides a nice, natural transition from the house itself to the grass.
The transition continues as the slightly curved bed with dark mulch seems to pull your attention out, away from the house and slightly up. Then your eyes naturally gravitate up towards the tree line, the mountains off at a distance and the skyline. Even though this is a snapshot that will not win any photographic competitions, the view is incredible.
Here is a view from the lower living area.
If there is a deck, it will commonly be on the main level or the upper level so that it does not obstruct the view. Additionally, when you are landscaping a sloping lot, not only do you not want to block views, you will want to take into account how the landscaping looks when viewed from above. As you will see in the picture, this is a relatively new lawn and landscaped site.
Notice in the picture below how the landscaper made use of:
- Curved lines to create interest in the yard when looking down from the deck.
- The white boulders contrast nicely with the dark mulch in the beds. Over time, the shrubs in the beds will grow large enough to provide a little privacy between the owner’s home and the neighbor. Yet, they will not grow so large that they will block the view.
- Big rocks and boulders are common in the mountains, so they fit nicely with the mountain theme.
Allow the natural view to be the focal point.
When you are dealing with a home that has a view, keep your landscaping simple. Allow the natural view to be the focal point. Avoid cluttering the backyard by adding too much stuff.
The view should dictate the theme of your landscape.
I almost feel guilty for needing to say something that seems obvious. When you are working with a gorgeous view, your theme should be related to the view.
Ocean view – coastal theme
Mountain view – mountain theme
Lake view – lake theme
Desert view – desert theme
City skyline view – city theme
When you are working with a gorgeous view, your theme should be related to the view. This may sound obvious, I have seen people that have combined an ocean landscaping theme in a mountain community. When someone choices a landscaping theme that does not match the area, it almost seems like the owners wish they were living somewhere else.
For example, there is a little town close to where I live. One family ones several businesses and a small shopping center. The town used to be an agricultural area. You can see pretty views of the mountains and Pikes Peak off at a distance. The landscaping outside the business has an ocean theme complete with white pelicans. The businesses are not related to the ocean, fishing or even boats. It simply comes across as weird. (I’ll try to take a picture to include here the next time I am in the area.)
The effect is so unsettling that I am challenged to even call it an eclectic style. Whenever I drive by that area and see the ocean themed landscaping, I find myself appreciating towns that have restrictive planning and zoning related ordinances.
So, to summarize this point – if you have a gorgeous view or if you live in a resort area known for its views, don’t select a completely unrelated theme for your landscape.
Select colors that complement the existing landscape colors rather than contrast.
The home is the primary focal point on any given lot. In a mountain area, natural colors work the best because they allow the house to blend into it’s surrounding. Again, look at the picture above that shows the neighbor’s house. The colors of the stucco and rock siding, windows and roof all blend into surrounding landscape nicely. Trees and shrubs common to the area also allow the home to compliment the landscape that surrounds it. It provides for a very natural feel. When you live in the mountains, that is generally what you are seeking.
Below is a photograph that I found on UnSplash with a city view in the background. The flower bed of cosmos are beautiful yet simple. Both the skyline and the flowers are soft pastel shades.
If you are blessed with beautiful views, make sure that your home and landscape compliment the scenery rather than detract from it.
If you have any suggestions or photographs that you would like to share that demonstrates landscaping a backyard or home with an awesome view, please feel free to share.
About the Author:
Sondra is a real estate broker in Colorado that specializes in Colorado outdoor lifestyle properties, a writer and a photographer. She also operates a small diversified ranch with free-range chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. Regardless of the challenges that the animal “helpers” create, she is determined to create a beautiful, relaxing yet functional landscape.