HGTV Dream Homes Past

HGTV Dream Home 2007: Alpine Landscape

Tucked high in the majestic Rocky Mountains, HGTV Dream Home 2007 boasts rugged, low-maintenance landscaping.

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The HGTV Dream Home 2007 has landscaping that takes care of itself, Saffell says. "We don't have a lawnmower up here. It's carefree maintenance."

A fir forest pushes up against the back of the house, so Dengler placed the dining room in the rear of the house and surrounded the room with glass "so as you sit in the dining room you feel very connected to the woods."

And then, of course, there are the jaw-dropping views of the Continental Divide. Instead of putting decks in their customary, rear-of-the-house location, Dengler put a burst of them on the front of the Dream Home. He also spanned the porch across the facade, and fit as much glass as possible into the front of the home, all for the sake of the view that stretches across evergreen forests, alpine meadows and jagged jumbles of rocks before meeting the Divide's snow-capped grandeur.

Saffell says his team did not install extensive landscaping, largely because of the climate and site limitations. The houses faces east — toward the Continental Divide — and north, so the site is in deep shade by 3 p.m. in the winter. The sunlight it gets on those short winter days, though, is of the brilliant, high-altitude variety that makes skiers reach for sunglasses.

Everything Saffell's firm planted, he says, is "natural materials you would find in the forest, put in a manicured way so they don't look rough."

A trio of tall, spare lodgepole pines mark the front of the house, all of them thriving on the slope long before the house was built. To that dramatic detail, Saffell's team added Engleman spruce, Colorado blue spruce and Douglas fir trees, as well as that hardy cinquefoil.

They also used boulders from the homesite to add decorative touches to the small property, including the path from the driveway to the front door.

"Instead of just pouring concrete and making it a suburban walkway, we built the path out of natural boulders that came out of the hill right there," Saffell says. "So you walk up stairs made of natural materials. There's no concrete. It's like you're climbing a little mountain to get into the home each time, minus the effort."

In the back of the property — the hot-tub zone — they installed space for seasonal gardens, where flowers and herbs of the owners' choosing can burgeon during the short summer.

"Our growing season is the bare minimum," Saffell says. "It's about seven days. In other words, it can frost any month of the year. In 1988, it snowed every month of the year." Needless to say, potted plants are popular in Colorado's high country.

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