Posts tagged landscaping in durango colorado

Durango Landscaping Contractor Gardenhart Landscape Design Recommends Recycled Plastic and Steel Edge

Durango Colorado Landscaping Companies Use Quality Edging Products for Results

When we look at landscapes everywhere, various elements are delineated by landscape edging, grass areas from perennial beds, vegetable gardens from the compost pile, gravel walkways from shrub beds and many other applications.  I think that the material we use is an important piece of the design.

First, before we discuss the different materials , I should say that here in Durango Colorado, our ground freezes in the winter, so we need to use an edging material that will resist frost heaving.  This process will tend to push some edging material out of the ground, creating an unsightly and dangerous situation.  An installer should use the pins or stake materials provided with the edging.

Lets discuss the general types and their suitability.

1)  Steel, usually available in 10′ sections, green and brown, they are easy to transport and not to difficult to install.  They have slots for the stakes to hold them together and to hold them in the ground.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design has installed hundreds of them over the years as it was the only option.

steel edge Durango Colorado landscape ideas

Stakes hold pieces together and in the ground

Landscape architects Durango Colorado

Defines grass from plantings

Durango Colorado steel edge installation

application next to sidewalk

Steel edge application for sidewalk

2) Aluminum, available in 10′ as well, not easy to find, need to purchase pins to hold it in place and only comes in silver.  Can be difficult to cut and work with.

landscape ideas durango Landscape architect

aluminum edge separates grass from plants

Landscape Architect Durango Colorado  ideas edging

pins similar to steel edge

3) Plastic, comes in a roll, 10′ long ,black , comes with stakes to hold it down and dowels to join the pieces together.  Inexpensive and available in big box stores.  I find it difficult to work with and does NOT stay in the ground, however well installed.

gardenhart landscape & design durango colorado

plastic edging in ground

landscape architect Durango Colorado

edge separates materials

4) Recycled Plastic, 20′ piece, tan in color, difficult to transport for most people, rather expensive and requires special pins to hold it in the ground. I have used it in several applications and am starting to prefer it over steel.  Lots of Gardenhart’s clients like the recycled aspect of the product.

recycled plastic edge ideas landscape how to install edge

installed above grade

Durango landscape ideas borders planting areas

similar to Trex but for edging

In summary, we at Gardenhart Landscape & Design, strive to use products that represent the wishes of its clients while providing a high quality landscape design and installation.  We are open to learning about new developments in our industry and providing them to our clients in the Four Corners area of Southwestern Colorado.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Durango, Colorado


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Hiring A Landscape Architect, Designer Or Contractor in Durango Colorado

Choosing the Best Landscaping Professional in Durango Colorado

You may be confused by the many companies and individuals listed under the general heading or an internet search for landscaping.  Not surprisingly, there are different skill sets for architects, designers and contractors. In this post I hope to offer some understanding of the differences between them and help you to hire an appropriate

Gardenhart Landscape & Design builds rock wall skid steer moves boulders for wall landscape design

Landscape Contractors use equipment to construct the design

company or individual for your project.  One note of caution, currently Colorado does not license or regulate the title “Landscape Architect or Landscape Designer” so anyone can use these titles to describe their abilities, regardless of their education and work experience.

I will outline  the skills involved in each of these areas as well as their education and what situations they are most suited for.  Of course, there is always some overlap within all aspects of professional life, but this will get you started.

Landscape Architect: Most likely with a Master’s degree from an accredited university, a member of a large firm that does large-scale public works projects, parks, airport design, regional transportation designs etc.  Capable of guiding public meetings and creating numerous concept and design drawings.  Also able to produce residential design and planting plans as well.  They are more often hired by municipalities and developers for their abilities to promote and sell the concepts to the public or investors.

Landscape Designer:  Hopefully holds either a Bachelors of Arts or Science in Landscape Architecture from an accredited university.  They may also hold horticultural degrees from colleges or vocational schools, but it is important for them to have some formal schooling.  They are capable of producing detailed drawings, to scale, showing all aspects of the proposed work, along with recommended plants and hardscape materials.  They will be more informed about what plants do well and the climate demands of the specific location.  They may not want to install the project, but want to sell you the design and let you find someone to do the rest.

Landscape Contractor:  The owner will often have some schooling in landscape or horticultural programs and has learned lots by working in the industry for several years, figuring out things as needed but many of these contractors may or may not have design experience beyond what they have seen others do. Many landscape companies do lots of different types of work, sprinkler installation and repair,  tree care, aerating and fertilizing , lawn mowing and weeding etc.  Other companies will specialize by installing landscape features such as retaining walls, water gardens, flagstone patios, outdoor kitchens along with lawn and planting areas.

If you have read this far, you probably are interested in finding out about me, David Hart owner at Gardenhart Landscape & Design, working out of Durango Colorado, in the southwest corner of the state. To be clear with regards to the above post, I consider myself a “Landscape Designer”.

landscape renovation repair of retaining wall durango landscape designerColorado landscapingl

Gardenhart Landscape & Design re-builds a boulder wall near Durango Co.

I graduated from Utah State University with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture in 1983 and have lived in the Durango area ever since.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design is a design-build firm, providing comprehensive oversight from start to finish.  We incorporate a natural, native look into all of our projects, using best practices in the industry.  These include native plants and stone, low water and fire resistant design principles and a deep understanding of the local soils and climate.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design


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Best Trees to Plant in Durango, Colorado

Gardenhart Landscape & Design Recommended Everlasting Tree Varieties to Plant in Southwest Colorado

There are many great resources regarding recommended trees to plant in the Durango area.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design’s recommendations are based on years of landscape design and installation and appropriateness in our area with special attention to deer & disease resistance, overall hardiness, ease of care, beauty and  size.  Gardenhart’s list includes:

  1. Ginnala Maple
  2. Wasatch Maple
  3. Western Hackberry
  4. Russian Hawthorn
  5. Green Ash
  6. Thornless Honeylocust
  7. Brandywine Crabapple
  8. Gambell Oak
  9. English Oak
  10. Schumard Oak


  1. White Fir
  2. Meyer Juniper
  3. Utah Juniper
  4. Limber Pine
  5. Austrian Pine
  6. Eastern White Pine
  7. Southwestern White Pine
  8. Scotch Pine

This link directs you to the unsuitable trees as recommended by the City of Durango.  The list of trees on the link are not planted in Durango because of one or more of the following undesirable characteristics: Prolific seed production, invasive habits, fruit, pods, thorn bearing, weak limbs and/or structure and insect and disease problems.

According to Ron Stoner, one of the city of Durango’s favorite trees is the Wasatch Maple.  It is very hardy and looks great!

landscaping in Durango Colorado

Fall Maple Color

Durango nursery lists all zone 3 shrubs and trees.

If you have other questions about type, location and watering schedule for certain trees, let me know.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design


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Best Perennials to Plant in Durango, CO That are Resistant to Deer & Rabbits

What to do about deer eating bulbs

delicate and tasty bulbs

Best Perennials to Plant in Durango, CO That are Resistant to Deer & Rabbits

How do you deal with the critters that are hungry?  Early spring when there is little to eat, the deer and rabbit are pervasive.  It is very difficult to keep them out of gardens and from eating my early blooming bulbs.  They both eat my daylillies and tulips  on the  south  side of my home every year. Daffodils, rhubarb and grape hyacinths generally go unscathed.  Amazingly also they will nibble on the fresh new growths of rose bushes, of which there is only one in our yard.

Several of our local Durango gardeners like to use a product called Bobex, which is sprayed on your plants.  It makes the plants unappetizing to these critters and they are less likely to eat them up. I do not have personal experience with this product, but some swear by it.  I also think that there are several other brands that work the same way, I would ask at your favorite garden center for their personal preference. Organic Gardening Magazine has several ideas on how to control garden pests.

Locally,  Durango Nursery and Supply’s recommended zone 3 perennials that are more resistant to deer is a very helpful list.  The only really proven way to control the deer and rabbits is to put up a very big and sturdy fence.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design


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Durango Colorado Tree Pruning Tips

Durango has been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day foundation for 36 consecutive years.  In 1978 Durango City Council  adopted a resolution to assume ownership & maintenance responsibilities for trees on City property and in the Right Of Way.  Park Department personnel determined in 1980 that a formal tree management program was needed and they have taken the appropriate actions since.   The four requirements to obtain this designation from the Arbor Day Foundation:

  1. Ordinance for Tree Protection  and Licensing program
  2. Hold annual Arbor Day ceremony
  3. Establish Parks & Forestry Board
  4. Hire full-time Forestry Staff.

In the March issue of Lawn and Landscape Magazine they have focused on tree care.  This article on preventing tree topping gives several great reasons why this is not a sustainable practice.

Some photos of tree topping:

I notice this tree topping practice and cringe.  You might as well simply cut down the tree instead, because by utilizing this practice you are decreasing the health and vigor of the tree and thus make it  susceptible to diseases and insect infestation, thus it will  most likely die.  Fortunately, Durango has some control over the pruning practices that occur within city limits.  In order to prune trees in town for hire, the individual must obtain a licence from the city.  This process requires a written and a practical test overseen by the City Arborist.

If you are considering hiring a person to prune your trees and shrubs, be sure to ask for and see their licence from the city of Durango. You can call the city at 970-375-5010  to see if they hold a current licence or view their list.  This is a good way to determine the licensee’s understanding of horticulture and their skill with a saw and pruner. Also, you can report questionable persons or their work to the City Arborist, whose number is 970-375-7383.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design


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Snow Loads in Durango Colorado; when to remove the snow

Durango snow on roof

Snow removal from roof

Snow loads can be dangerous.  It is important to know how heavy the snow may be, because it can do some serious damage if you are not careful.  Check out these articles for recent roof damage around Durango Colorado:

This article has great information regarding the snow weight and what that may mean to you:

I found this article to be interesting because of several roof failures we have seen here in the Durango area.  The article mentions some of the larger structures that have collapsed recently, but I am aware of a lot of problems that do not make the newspaper.  While roof  failure is a significant possibility, there are other reasons for not wanting tons of snow on your roof.   Many roofs are leaking from snowmelt and ice dams.  This is a serious problem that can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and it’s contents.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design has worked on several roofs to remove the snow and thus stop the flow of melting water into the residence.

Another concern of mine is snow accumulating on manufactured homes and modular structures that are not constructed for snow loads typically found in Durango and the surrounding La Plata County area.  Many of these homes are built in other parts of the country and transported to Durango that do not have building codes that require roofs to withstand up to 40 lbs.  per square foot.  So, help out your friends and neighbors, remind them to monitor their roof loads so we all can get through this winter season safe and look forward to SPRING!

I really appreciate metal roofs and how they assist the snow load to move off the roof.  I see a lot of houses in Durango that have a shingle or shake roof that accumulates the snow.  If you are thinking about building and need suggestions about what kind of roof to use, I recommend a metal roof that has a good pitch to it.  This will alleviate a lot of hard shoveling and getting up on the roof to remove that load.


David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design


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Gardenhart Landscape & Design Sustainable Snow Removal Suggestions for Durango Colorado

Snow has arrived in Durango, Colorado this morning and it looks like it will continue for several days. These are the types of storms that require diligent snow removal and often tire out the average homeowner. Gardenhart purchased a large snow blower last fall and was able to keep many of its clients driveways and sidewalks clear and safe for pedestrians last year.

Snow removal  is a chore that does not always provide satisfaction,  like planting a new tree. You work for an hour shoveling the drive, only to have it covered again in the morning. Durango is known to have back to back storms that can deliver significant snowfall over several days.  So it is best to keep on top of shoveling before significant accumulations make it icy, thick and difficult to move.

Gardenhart Landscape & Design uses a snowblower, not a plow on their truck for several reasons. First, it is much more suited to driveways and sidewalks than a plow. Plows are  efficient for roads and parking lots, not smaller areas.  Another reason is that it blows the snow away from the area being cleared,  instead of piling it up at the edges. It also tends to do less damage to adjacent plants and sprinkler systems.

So,  give Gardenhart Landscape & Design a call at 970-749-1555 if you find yourself getting behind in the snow removal chore, we would be happy to help dig you out!  Find out more information about Gardenhart at and on Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

Gardenhart Landscape & Design Owner David Hart using his Snow Blower

David Hart of Gardenhart Landscape & Design helps remove snow in Durango Colorado

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