Skip to content


While Colorado is a wonderful place to live, it presents a host of challenges for gardeners.  Colorado has hot, dry summers with limited precipitation.  Winters can be harsh with low temperatures and low precipitation amounts coming mostly in the form of snow.  Temperature extremes can happen at any time of year.  We are at a high altitude which means very high sunlight intensity.  Most of Colorado has poor soil, either very rocky and thin or clay soils.  All of these conditions make growing many plants difficult.  These factors make the use of native plants ideal.
Native is defined as from a particular place in a given time.  Native to Oakes Yard and Garden Design means before European settlement and in the region of Colorado.  These plants have evolved to do well in this difficult environment.  They may have longer roots to reach water, thicker leaves to resist damage, or specific adaptations to be able to flower and go to seed by the time the weather gets colder.  All of these reasons make native plants a great choice for your garden.  The native garden can be just as colorful and vibrant as any other garden, it just needs to be designed correctly.  Native plants are available in every color and shape you can imagine.  They flower from early spring through autumn.

Using natives does not have to be 100 percent.  If a native will compliment and fit into an existing area, why not?  Oakes Yard and Garden Design believes that using natives in any way can benefit the entire ecosystem.  Natives provide food, shelter, nesting habitat, and  combat habitat fragmentation.  Backyard gardens have an increasing importance to wildlife and with small changes to what we plant we can help. They also provide for us a sense of place.

Oakes Yard and Garden Design will use Colorado native plants whenever the design allows, and that could be trees, shrubs, perennials or grasses.  We will never say no to a plant that makes sense in the situation no matter where it is from!  It is important to understand that every decision we make regarding out outdoor spaces matters.  How much water we want to use, how much work we want to go into those spaces, who will be using them and how?  Designs are based on these questions, the location and the budget.

As much as possible Oakes Yard and Garden Design buys from and works with local businesses.  We cooperate with local stone, rock, soil, mulch, plant and material providers to help keep costs down and support our community.  When possible our plants are sourced from growers who do not use Neonicotinoids. Almost all plant debris and removed sod are recycled through a local company who turn yard waste into compost and mulch. Nursery containers are also recycled for next years plants!