2024 Homestead Magazine


Homestead Magazine


Showing Its Soft Side

Bocce and pétanque courts are becoming more popular landscaping features. MountainScapes typically top-dresses them with crushed oyster shells.


Story By
Julie Fustanio Kling
Photos By
David Swift

More and more landscapes in the mountains are being paved with natural pathways and planted with native grasses to create no-fuss, eco-friendly designs, according to Sean Macauley of MountainScapes, Inc., one of the premier full-service landscape companies in Jackson Hole. He should know—he started MountainScapes 20 years ago and now employs more than 55 people to install and maintain lawns, gardens and more and more lawn-free recreational spaces than ever before.

Drought-resistant natural grasses frame a smaller lawn, making it easier to irrigate and more eco-friendly.

Last year, MountainScapes planted edible gardens, laid ground oyster shells down for bocce and pétanque courts, and placed granite boulders in water features and along paths leading to fire pits. “While irrigation is an important part of our business, we are seeing designs with more drought-tolerant species, and we are seeing lawn sizes shrink in favor of native grasses, patios and fire pits,” Macauley says.

A custom fire pit is made from natural stone and shaded by a raised flower bed with aspen trees.

“I feel comfortable that we are a step above other companies because of the customer service we provide and the employees we’ve retained,” he adds. It is especially rewarding for his loyal staff to see the landscapes mature as they come back year after year to maintain flower beds, adorn patios with flower pots and mow the bluegrass lawns they’ve planted.

Ornamental grasses can create simple, linear designs and look great in monochromatic gardens.

With tree and shrub inventory stored “over the hill” in Idaho, MountainScapes sources its plant materials locally. Colorado spruces, aspen and cottonwood trees, perennials and other plant materials soften the lines between manicured land and meadows, mountains and waterways. For a splash of color, Macauley recommends nepeta (catmint), crabapple trees and red-twig dogwoods, which all do really well in our mountain climate among the wildflowers. Whether you are looking for a minimalistic, monochromatic look or a garden that will fill your flower vases all summer, MountainScapes can work with your landscape architect or create a custom design that will glorify your garden.