Author Archives: lifescape

Succulent Container Garden Designs

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Source: Janet Paik via Houzz

Colorado container gardens can add color and character to your landscape. They’re also the perfect venue for displaying unique and captivating succulents. While large containers can be a focal point on their own, smaller containers can be moved around at your whim, or brought indoors during the winter to preserve less hardy plants.

Designing your succulent container garden is a simple matter of form, color and inspiration.

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Source: Sitescapes Landscape Architecture & Planning via Houzz

Succulent 101

You’re most likely familiar with common succulents, such as Hen-and-Chicks (Sempervivum) or Jade Plant (Crassula ovata), but the world of succulents is vast. From the larger Agaves to smaller plants that replicate exotic corals, there are succulents of every shape, size and color variation. Visit a succulent nursery or peruse this article from BHG to view a wide sampling of your future medium. You’ll be better prepared to envision future container designs.

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Source: Le jardinet via Houzz

Choose the right container

One of the most wonderful features of succulents is their ability to grow in just about any container. From vertical frames to a small, chipped teacup, your container options are endless. There are two ways to approach your container design: create complements or opt for contrasts. A complementary design would match a container to the shape of the plant. Or, you might lean towards a pot that mimics the succulent’s color scheme. To contrast the plants with their containers, have fun and look for whimsical ways to create a relationship between the container and the plant inside.

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Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Same or different?

In some cases, you may want to designate one species of succulent per pot, and then arrange the pots to gain height, texture or color variations. Other times, you may choose to show off your succulent know-how by using a wide range of succulents in the same container, creating a veritable artist’s palate of interesting shapes and colors.

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Source: Better Landscape and Gardens via Houzz

Succulent Colorado container gardens are low-maintenance, requiring very little water or attention. However, Lifescape Colorado offers year-round landscape maintenance so your gardens and containers will always look their best.

Contact us to learn more about our landscape design and maintenance services.

Eclectic Outdoor Garden Styles

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Source: Matt Kilburn via Houzz

There’s no cardinal rule of landscaping that says you can’t mix design styles. In fact, two of the most well-known early-20th century garden designers, architect Edwin Lutyens and plantswoman Gertrude Jekyll, were known for doing just that. Lutyens designed hardscapes and used Jekyll’s intuitive ability to choose plants that would create a unique and special garden space.

You can incorporate some of their techniques to create an eclectic Colorado garden design in your backyard landscape.

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Source Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Understand the role of architectural hardscapes

The hardscape designs form both the skeleton of your finished landscape, as well as unique features. Think carefully about how you can use the classic geometry of hardscaping to create walkways, plant beds, terraces and water features. Then, think a little outside the box to give them a different or creative flair.

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Source: Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces via Houzz

Masculine and feminine

Formal landscape designs lean more towards the masculine. It’s all about straight edges, symmetrical, geometric shapes and solid boundaries. You can appreciate the beauty of a formal hardscape design and then soften the edges by using rounded, draping and flowering plants.

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Source: Pam Adams via Houzz

Be creative

Remember, we mentioned combining classic hardscape geometry with a creative twist? There are many ways to go about this. One example is the use of a traditional concrete walkway that becomes a part of a water feature’s path. Incorporate art pieces during the warm, dry season and use sculptures as a means of adding the unexpected to your landscape. Traditionally, a line of garden containers is planted with uniformly formal plants. You can shift the tradition by planting them with a variation of softer, asymmetrical plants.

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Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Make a graceful entrance

The entrance to the home is often an area where architects lean toward a more formal design, since this makes a more dramatic impression. You can enjoy a very classic and formal entryway, while still experiencing the graceful and feminine energy provided by groundcover that intentionally spills over onto walkways.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to begin creating your own eclectic Colorado backyard design. Or, turn to our landscape maintenance team to keep your garden looking its best all year long.

Organic Gardening Tips & Tricks

A cornerstone of sustainable landscaping in Colorado is making the commitment to organic gardening practices. This involves eliminating chemicals, amending soil naturally and being patient as you learn what works and what doesn’t.

The following gardening tips and tricks shed light on what organic gardening is and the techniques you can apply to your backyard landscape.

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Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Cleanse your toxic gardening stash

This step involves eliminating harmful chemicals from your weed-and-pest-defense toolbox. They may be effective, but they’re also harmful to a myriad of beneficial life forms, including yourself, your family and wildlife. We recommend taking them to a local hazardous waste disposal site.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare your soil

Your plants will thrive when their roots are nestled in properly amended and chemical-free soil. Plants, like humans, need just the right amount of food, water, space and sun. Organic materials help to aerate soil, retain ideal moisture levels and provide nutrients.

You can also make your own compost at home. Starting a compost pile requires very little space and is an easy way to make your own fertilizer. It will provide the materials both your soil and beneficial microorganisms need to make a healthy plant bed. Consider starting an earthworm bin for further soil enrichment.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pests-be-gone

Other options for eliminating pests include:

  • Trap cropping. This article from Houzz describes how co-planting crops can lure pests to “decoy” plants. They can also attract the right natural pest predators. Don’t try this unless you have a pest problem, otherwise you will lure new pests to your garden.
  • Natural predators. You can use ladybugs, praying mantises and nematodes, which are all natural predators of common garden pests.
  • Weeding. Be proactive about weeds. Laying the right ground cover, like mulch, will prevent weeds from taking root. Follow these instructions from organicgardener.com to control weeds organically.

 

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Source: GreenCraft Associates via Houzz

The result of your efforts will be a beautiful, healthy and sustainable garden. Want professional help with sustainable landscaping in Colorado? Contact Lifescape Colorado today.

Go Green Between Patio Pavers

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Source: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Pavers are popular hardscaping tools, especially during the cold, winter months. They come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors and also work well for everything from water features to driveways to winding garden paths. Going green between patio pavers is a sustainable landscape practice, as well as an attractive way to add natural beauty to your hardscape.

The following examples show how balancing solid pavers and green space can enhance backyard designs.

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Source: Windsor Companies via Houzz

The lawn that wasn’t

Water conservation is all well and good until you crave the feeling of green grass beneath bare feet on a warm summer’s day. By using large flat pavers, with generous space in between, you can design a “pseudo-lawn” area in your backyard. The space will require significantly less water than a traditional lawn, but will still provide the essence of a green area.

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Source: Shirley Bovshow via Houzz

Natural water features

A water feature appears more integrated with the landscape when surrounded by natural stone pavers bordered with greenery. Grass isn’t your only option between pavers. A drought-resistant alternative that grows well in Colorado, Dymondia margaretae, will add a lovely green and silver accent, as well as texture. It forms a weed barrier, grows quickly and is soft on the feet.

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Source: Rossington Architecture via Houzz

Hidden walkway

For areas where ground cover is more fragile, we recommend installing your pavers flush with the ground. In addition to providing sound footing, they’ll be low enough to avoid nicking lawnmower blades. They are also much less of a trip hazard.

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Source: Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping via Houzz

Green borders

If you’re planning on installing a solid patio or walkway slabs, use drought-resistant ground cover to form attractive borders and interruptions. Aesthetic improvement isn’t the only goal. These areas form a more permeable surface, allowing valuable water runoff to return to the ground where it’s needed.

Contact our team at Lifescape Colorado if you want to go green between your pavers. We provide Colorado hardscape services in addition to landscape design and year-round maintenance.

Landscaping Ideas with Recycled Materials

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Source: sustainable garden design perth via Houzz

If you’re looking for creative and sustainable ways to enhance your Colorado landscape, look around your home, garage and neighborhood to see if there are materials, furnishings, or cast-off items that can be cleverly re-purposed.

The following backyard landscaping ideas demonstrate how one person’s cast-offs can be creatively transformed for your garden design.

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Source: Landscaping Network

Planters

Plants can grow in just about anything, as long as they have access to adequate water and nutrients. For a rustic and unique look, keep your eye out for old pallets that can be converted into a vertical garden. Managers at local grocery or hardware stores will be more than happy to have you take them off their hands. You can build a cold frame, perfect for a cool season vegetable garden and/or prepare your seedlings for spring planting, by recycling old storm windows.

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Source: HGTV

Hardscape designs

From functional to artistic, there are plenty of ways to use recycled materials for unique and attractive hardscape designs. If you’re in the process of re-designing your backyard landscape, you can slice an old concrete slab into sections and convert it into planter beds, a water feature, or walkway slabs. If you see a home being demolished, ask the contractor what they plan on doing with the old bricks, pavers and stones. If you offer to haul them, you may score high-quality materials for a walkway, patio space or garden bed.

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Source: HGTV

Backyard art

You may not think of old corrugated metal as artsy, but with a little paint and ingenuity, scrap metals can be used to build an attractive fence or privacy screen. Old windows can be hung for their artistic value or as colorful latticework for climbing plants.

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Source: HGTV

Garden preparations

Gardeners have been re-purposing old containers for mini-planters and to propagate their seedlings for hundreds of years. This article from GreenYour.com has a myriad of examples of how typical household items can be functionally adapted for use in the garden.

Our Lifescape Colorado design team is expert at designing and creating green and sustainable landscape designs. Contact us to implement sustainable backyard landscaping ideas at your home today.