An Exemplary Garden at 7,400 feet Altitude
PLEASE NOTE THAT I’M SORRY TO REPORT THAT THIS PROPERTY BURNT IN THE WILDFIRE OF SEPTEMBER 2010 WHICH DESTROYED OVER 6,000 ACRES AND 169 HOMES WEST OF BOULDER. BOTH THE HOME AND THE GARDENS WERE DESTROYED. THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN JUST A FEW WEEKS PRIOR TO THE FIRE.
Boulder, where I live, is approximately 5,430 feet above sea level, or just over a mile. This flatlander is a rather nervous high mountain roads passenger but the other day I looked forward to the opportunity to see a garden at 7,400 feet. What was being accomplished at this site far exceeded my expectations. The property, at nearly the top of a mountain road, was being gardened both ornamentally and for food growing.
The food growing was being done under greenhouses due to the much cooler climate at this altitude. Passive water storage provides heat inside the greenhouses during the colder months to grow produce year-round. Most of the house’s gray-water was being collected and run downhill by underground pipe to the greenhouses where it is used to water the vegetables. The owner uses compost tea extensively. Nearly every cultivable space for plant growing is being used.
Ornamental areas included a zen garden, a rock garden, a lily pond, and a patio pot-garden, rock garden room.
Kudos to the owners who have lived at the location for eighteen years for accomplishing a feat quite remarkable.
As for the ride, I was a bit squeamish.
This is the entrance leading to the greenhouses, which are set below the front of the house.
Here are two of the three side-by-side greenhouses.
Here is the interior of one of the greenhouses.
Asparagus is being grown between two of the houses.
This is a glass-bottle retaining wall built between the house and the greenhouses. It contains the pipe which provides the gray-water.
This is another greenhouse interior photo.
A potato is growing in an old tire.
A climbing bean is next to the house in an oak half-barrel.
Alongside the house is another protected vegetable area.
The lovely back patio looks down upon this lily pond.
The patio overlooks this rock garden on the other side.
The zen garden, which is half raked gravel, serves as the greeting area at the entrance to the house and yard.