Remember traveling? Let’s reminisce: In the Before Times, hopping on a plane—sans face mask, hand sanitizer, and constant worry—to venture to a faraway place was a somewhat regular occurrence. You’d spend a week or two sipping fruity drinks on sandy beaches, wandering along centuries-old cobblestone streets, or experiencing a new-to-you city through its local fare. Back-to-back meetings and piles of laundry were put on hold, and maybe you’d even silence your phone for a while.

I’m optimistic that those days will return (soon!). But, in the meantime, you might be relying on your home’s outdoor spaces to provide a similar sense of escape. After all, one of the greatest perks of living in Denver is soaking up the sunshine most days of the year. To get the design inspiration flowing for your al fresco areas, this springtime issue is brimming with beautiful outdoor oases—from a Snowmass mountain home just a stone’s throw from the Roaring Fork River, to five delightful backyard spaces in a range of styles. It also highlights the power of plant life with one writer’s first-person account of using foliage as a coping mechanism and a beginner’s guide to creating four different types of flourishing gardens.

I hope this issue offers a brief reprieve from the daily grind and encourages you to find space to escape for a bit—even if it’s just to your own backyard.