In early summer, the rock garden in this Boulder, Colorado, backyard is carpeted with flowers and foliage. Boulders encrusted with green-and-silver lichens form the framework of the garden. In the foreground, the large, maplelike leaves of Heuchera micrantha 'Palace Purple' contrast with the dainty pink-and-white flowers of Gypsophila repens and soft green thyme leaves. Behind, Veronica liwanensis forms mounds of lavender-blue flowers.
Designed by landscape architect Martin Hakubai Mosko, the garden is perched on a berm that serves a practical purpose: screening a view of a public trail at the top of the hill. This provides privacy for the residents but allows glimpses of the natural beauty of the designated green space just beyond their property line. Mosko used low-water plants to harmonize with the naturally semiarid landscape. He also chose plants that visiting deer don't like to eat.
DESIGN: Martin Hakubai Mosko, Marpa Associates, Boulder, CO (303/442-5220)