Beautiful Backyard Garden Structures

Landscape designers often speak about the importance of adding three-dimensional interest, as well as color and texture, to outdoor spaces. This can be done by integrating a well-manicured lawn or rock garden to the bottom of your landscape, planting trees in a range of sizes at the low- to mid-line of your garden, or adding garden structures to draw the eye upwards.

In addition to enhancing the visual appeal of your Colorado landscape, beautiful backyard garden structures will also improve the function of your outdoor spaces. Here are five examples of potential garden structures you might consider adding to your landscape.

Source: Elaine M. Rushlow C.K.D. via Houzz

Arbors. Arbors can be as simple as a graceful arch or square laden with climbers that welcome guests through your front gate, or they can be more significant in stature, accommodating a bench, chairs or a dining area below. Arbors are fabulous focal points that can separate one area from another.

Traditional Landscape by Pendleton Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers The Collins Group/JDP Design

Source: The Collins Group/JDP Design via Houzz

Pergolas. Similar to an arbor, pergolas have four supporting legs and are a bit larger. Posts and cross beams cross the top of the structure to form an open roof. Often, they’re accompanied by climbing plants or can be augmented with fabric or natural materials if more shade is needed. Pergolas are often used to highlight existing features, like a pool or fountain, or to create a boundary for a seating or dining area.

Tropical Landscape by Chicago Design-Build Firms Aquascape Inc.

Source: Aquascape Inc. via Houzz

Gazebos. Gazebos take the outdoor garden structure to a whole new level, providing a more sheltered space for dining, entertaining, or quiet reflection. They’re usually round or hexagonal and can be completely exposed or completely enclosed, depending on the climate or your visual preferences.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pavilion. Not to be confused with gazebos, pavilions are usually completely square or rectangular in construction and have a sold roof similar to a house. Pavilions provide a larger sheltered outdoor space for entertaining.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Lath house. A lath house, or lattice house, is built using an open grid, suggestive of a windowed greenhouse, but completely open to the elements. It adds visual interest while preserving an unobstructed view of your surrounding landscape.

Lifescape Colorado offers the landscape design and construction services required to add one or more of these beautiful structures to your Colorado landscape architecture. Contact us today to get started on your new landscape design project.

Popular Outdoor Design Trends for 2014

Who determines what’s trending and what’s out in the world of landscape design? In the case of the most popular outdoor design trends of 2014, we’re taking our information from the American Society of Landscape Architects, and there’s no arguing their survey statistics. ASLA has their pulse on the heart of landscaping trends across the country.

We wanted to share some of their findings to help inspire your Colorado landscape design. Here are some of their findings in no particular order:

Traditional Patio by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Lifescape Colorado.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Create a variety of outdoor spaces. If you look at the results of the survey, you’ll see that:

  • 94.2% of those surveyed said that gardens and landscaping are the most important feature
  • 92% put emphasis on their outdoor living spaces, like exterior living rooms, kitchen/dining areas and patios
  • 75.8% have made space for outdoor recreational areas

 

These statistics reveal that some of the best designed landscapes are those that accommodate for a range of relaxation, vegetation and activity. Even if you can’t complete these grand plans all at once, you can work from space to space, completing them as your time and budget allows.

Traditional Patio by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Lifescape Colorado.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Outdoor lighting matters. It might surprise you to know that 98.3% of responders listed outdoor lighting plans as being a very important part of their landscape design. So often, homeowners place little or no thought into their lighting design and how it will affect both the aesthetic and functionality of their outdoor space. We’ve written about the importance of lighting many times before. This feature is a critical component of nighttime safety, as well as the key to creating the right ambiance for each of your outdoor areas.

Rustic Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Lifescape Colorado.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Low-maintenance, native plants. We’re thrilled to see that low-maintenance landscapes (95.4%) and native plants (84.5%) were the most popular landscape elements for 2014. Not only will low-maintenance and native plants make your life easier, but they will also help you conserve more water. Native plants can withstand our extreme Rocky Mountain climate, while benefiting local wildlife populations.

Lifescape Colorado is a full-service landscape design, build and maintenance firm. Please contact us to implement these trends and more into your Colorado landscape design.

5 Reasons Organic Gardening Matters

Are you interested in practicing a gardening technique that doesn’t involve toxic fertilizers and pesticides? Do you want to grow a landscape that conserves one of our most precious resources? If so, it sounds like you’re interested in designing a sustainable landscape in Colorado.

If that’s the case, we want to share five reasons why organic gardening is so important to the environment.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Enjoy a holistic perspective. When you study organic gardening methods, you’ll realize every aspect of your garden is connected. Healthy, organic soil nourishes more than plant roots — it also sustains healthy bioorganisms underground, which feeds other animals as well. Healthy soil keeps toxic chemicals out of our groundwater supply and air. As a result, your organic flowers will be safer for pollinators, birds and other insects to feed on.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Conserve water. Organic farming isn’t just about maintaining a chemical-free landscape, it’s about building a healthier environment overall. Water conservation is a large part of sustainable gardening methods. You should grow drought-tolerant plants and use healthy watering practices as a part of your organic approach.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Keep glyphosate out of the environment. Glyphosate, found in traditional weed-killers like Roundup, is an endocrine disrupter (it alters the natural hormone balance in animals and humans). It’s so heavily used in Big Ag — especially with corn crops — that this herbicide is now found in our soil, air and water. The less chemicals you use and the more organic products you buy, the less glyphosate will be released in the environment.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Healthier Life. Sure, organic diets mean a healthier diet, which can result in weight-loss. However, those endocrine disrupters we mentioned above — the ones found in pesticides — are also called “obesogens” because they disrupt our body’s weight-loss hormones and have been linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes. The less you ingest, the better.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Enjoy a nutrient-rich diet. When sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables are put against their industrial-grown counterparts, they win hands-down in terms of nutrient content. Remember that herbicides and pesticides can block nutrient absorption, so you can see why organic foods are better for your health.

Lifescape Colorado would love to convert your existing landscape into one that’s sustainable and great for both your body and the environment. Contact us to get started today!

5 Ways to Conserve More Water in Your Colorado Garden

A fundamental part of maintaining a sustainable landscape is to minimize your impact on the Rocky Mountain water table. Water-wise landscaping in Colorado begins with a good plan, but you must maintain these conscious steps year after year to experience your garden’s full potential. The following five tips can help you conserve more water in your Colorado garden.

Beach Style Landscape by Sterling Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Princeton Scapes Inc

Source: Princeton Scapes Inc via Houzz

Choose water-wise plants. Except for a few shade-tolerant annuals and perennials, there’s really no excuse for not growing water-wise plants. Native plants have adapted to our low-water environment, and still have all the beautiful green foliage and blooms you’ve come to appreciate in non-native counterparts ill-suited for our dry climate.

Modern Landscape by Oak Harbor Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Root Design & Landscape

Source: Root Design & Landscape via Houzz

Water deeply. Gardeners are usually content with 15-minute daily watering schedules set on their timed irrigation. Unfortunately, this frequent “shallow” watering yields plants with shallower roots, which require more water. Instead, practice “deep watering,” which requires less water in the long run. Plus, you’ll encourage strong and healthy root growth deep in the ground and save water while you’re at it.

Traditional Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Ivy Street Design

Source: Ivy Street Design via Houzz

Create a xeriscape plan. Xeriscaping is a smart landscaping technique that carefully analyzes your site, including its geography, orientation, drainage conditions, sun exposure, etc. A xeriscape designer will then choose plants that suit a particular area’s conditions. Of course, a xeriscape is also drought-resistant. A well-designed xeriscape will require very little watering once plants are established.

Contemporary Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Aloe Designs

Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Do the finger check. If you’re an avid container gardener, do the finger check before watering. You may find your plants require less water than you think. The first two to three inches of soil should be dry before you even consider whipping out that watering can. You can use this same tactic for flower and plant beds as well.

Eclectic Landscape by Belmont Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Kristen Rudger Landscape Design

Source: Kristen Rudger Landscape Design via Houzz

Switch groundcover. Get rid of that lawn, or at least large portions of it. Lawns are major water consumers. You can augment your lawn with alternative green and/or colorful drought-tolerant groundcover.

Contact Lifescape Colorado if you need assistance enhancing your Colorado landscape. We can assist you with planning, building, planting, as well as year-round maintenance for stunning outdoor living spaces.

Beautiful Backyard Landscaping Design Ideas

Some garden planners can see a beautiful landscape in their mind’s eye, draw a sketch and begin listing where certain flowers and plants should go without a single consultation. Others need a little visual inspiration before they can commence with their Colorado landscape design. If you fall into the latter category, read on for a some beautiful garden design ideas.

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/backyard-landscaping-ideas/#page=5

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Elevate your landscape. Living in the Rocky Mountains doesn’t automatically mean you have a hilly landscape. Many of us city dwellers could use a little elevation to create interest. You can haul soil into your backyard, frame it with pavers or natural stone and enjoy a raised bed for a small lawn and/or garden. It can make a dramatic difference.

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/backyard-landscaping-ideas/#page=1

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Paver heaven. Pavers are a wonderful gift to the landscaping world. When you fill the spaces between them with green groundcover, you can create an area that’s exceptionally drought-tolerant and well-draining. Pavers also provide visual interest and can be used as a seating area, dining space, or a relaxing outdoor room for your family.

Source: Lori Smyth Design via Houzz

Create an outdoor room. With the addition of a fireplace or fire pit, you can increase your home’s square footage. Analyze your space carefully so you can provide appropriate wind blocks, lighting, heat sources, furniture, etc., to make the most of your outdoor room.

Source: Laidlaw Schultz architects via Houzz

Design an pond. A pond or water feature provides soothing sounds, a peaceful area to relax and a space to grow some water plants. They don’t have to be big — small ponds provide equal enjoyment and require significantly less work.

Source: JKT Associates, Inc. via Houzz

Use a living wall. There are all kinds of ways to create privacy in your backyard, but we’re fans of the living wall. A vertical garden is stylish, enhances your view and can be augmented seasonally to retain interest year-round.

As always, you can get in touch with Lifescape Colorado should you need any assistance along the way. We can help you design, build and maintain your masterpiece all year long.