Coral Bells

Today, we’d like to introduce a plant that’s beautiful, easy to grow, can survive hot dry summers, as well as cold snowy winters and isn’t too particular about its watering needs. It might sound too good to be true, but Coral Bells (Heuchera ssp.) are a beautiful addition to any landscape. These perennials are a prime example of a low-maintenance Colorado native plant that can provide aesthetic appeal to garden landscapes year after year.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Let These Beautiful Flowers Deck Your Garden Walk

Coral Bells (also called alum root) are native American plants that grow in multiple areas of the country. They’re as appreciated for their beautiful foliage as they are for their colorful blooms. You’ll want to pay careful attention to the varieties you choose, since some of them have more dramatic blooms than others. However, what’s sacrificed in terms of flowers is made up for by the stunning ground cover their foliage provides.

Typically, Coral Bells have tiny clouds of white, red, pink, or coral blooms that are bell-shaped, growing from a slender stalk that shoots up and above their abundant foliage. They love the sun, but prefer partial shade when they live in an area that’s as hot and dry as ours. Colorado gardeners will appreciate that Heuchera plants prefer sandy and well-draining soil, since we have plenty of that in this area! They can be watered sporadically during the summer and go without water for a bit after a good summer storm.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Pardon My Garden

You won’t be the only one attracted to the delicate blooms of the Coral Bell; bees and hummingbirds will flock to them during their late spring and early summer flowering seasons. Once the blooms have faded, you can cut back the stalks to enjoy the foliage. These plants will remain happily in their beds through the winter, and all you need to do is remove their dead foliage each spring. Every three to four years, you’ll want to divide them and transplant the divided halves.

Don’t forget that Lifescape Colorado is more than happy to take care of your garden maintenance once your landscape design and build-out is complete. Contact us today for more information about our services. 

Dealing with the Effects of Heat in Your Colorado Garden

As long as you’re planting drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plants, why not seek a specific kind of plant? The Drought Evader. We love this term coined by Gary Paul Nabhan in a recent Mother Earth News article. It describes plants that not only survive drought, but can also harness minimal watering to speed up its flower-to-veg cycle, bearing delicious fruits with significantly less water.

Using this as our inspiration, let’s look at four Colorado gardening tips you can use to deal with the effects of heat in your garden spaces.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use drought evading veggies. Regardless of how conscientious you’ve been about your xeriscape, odds are the vegetable garden is still gulping more water than you would like. That’s where drought evaders come into the picture. Examples of crops with early-maturing, short-seasons include:

  • Egyptian Flat Beets
  • Black Mexican Corn
  • Armenian Cucumbers
  • Charleston Belle Peppers
  • Native Sun Tomatoes


You can also speak to your landscape designer regarding other drought-evading vegetables that do well in our climate.

Contemporary Landscape by Sausalito Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Cultivate Alley Crops. Alley cropping involves planting shade-yielding plants alongside lower-growing plants in order to reduce the soil evaporation rate and conserve water. You can use this technique in your vegetable garden by planting taller fruit and nut trees on the edges and lower growing vegetables in between them.


Design by Lifescape Colorado

Water deeply. Most plant roots are healthiest when they grow deep in the soil, tapping the moisture that lies inches or feet underground. If you water deeply and less frequently, your plant roots will move deep into the soil looking for the moisture they need. If you water more often and shallowly, roots will spread outward — rather than downward — and are more susceptible to drought and heat stress.

Landscape by Other Metro Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers jenny_hardgrave

Source: jenny_hardgrave via Houzz

Try Intercropping. Native Americans taught the pilgrims the beauty of intercropping using corn, beans and squash — or The Three Sisters. This holistic planting method can work for a range of plant species and can actually increase crop yields. Mixing annuals and perennials in plant beds establishes “polycultures” that are able to harvest more sun and rain.

Contact Lifescape Colorado today to help your landscape better cope with drought and heat.

Natural Pest Control Solutions for Colorado Gardens

Landscaping with sustainable practices in mind can help eliminate toxic pesticides that are harmful to the environment. There’s a learning curve involved, but the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences. In addition to polluting the air, soil and water, pesticides also wipe out huge populations of beneficial insects that help eliminate harmful garden pests that can damage your plants.

Take a moment to learn about some of the natural pest control solutions you can use to eradicate the pests you don’t want, while keeping beneficial insects and critters alive and active.

Contemporary Patio by Jersey City Design-Build Firms Brunelleschi Construction

Source: Brunelleschi Construction via Houzz

Use birdhouses and bird baths. Talk about a two-fer; birds who prey on garden pests want nothing to do with your fruits and veggies. We’re fortunate to have a whole host of insect-loving birds here in Colorado, such as bluebirds, nuthatches, grosbeaks, chickadee, swallows and more. Providing a habitat for them near your garden gives them ample access to the creepy crawly things they love to feed their hatchlings. Plus, you get to watch the interesting and playful behaviors displayed by these intriguing members of the animal kingdom.

Eclectic Exterior by Wayne General Contractors Janiczek Homes

Source: Janiczek Homes via Houzz

Raise chickens. Even a hen or two will do their part in eating predatory garden insects. They also like greens and veggies so it’s usually best to feed chickens hand-picked garden pests, and then let them have free reign of the beds in between crops to eliminate pests and fertilize the soil.

colorado landscaping services


Identify good guys. It’s worth your while to identify beneficial insects so you know who to keep and who to pick off. Some of Colorado’s native insects are your best ally in eliminating harmful pests. Examples include:

  • Spiders
  • Assassin Bugs
  • Lady Bugs
  • Green Lacewings
  • Syrphid Flies
  • Ground Beetles
  • Preying Mantids
  • And so many more!

You can consult this fantastic guide from CSU to learn more.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Organic insecticides. There are plenty of organic pesticide options as well, including diatomaceous earth (DE), horticulture oils and Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Make sure you discuss them with your landscape designer to learn more about how to use these insecticides.

Lifescape Colorado is committed to helping you design and maintain the most sustainable landscape possible, so make sure you contact us today for more information about our services.

Tips for Growing a Thriving Herb Garden

Herbs are satisfying plants to grow since many of them are colorful, fragrant and, of course, edible. Most herbs are also easy to manage and thrive in our Colorado climate. So, to grow a healthy herb garden this summer, make sure you follow these helpful gardening tips below.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Choose the planting area wisely. Things to consider before growing an herb garden include sunlight, watering and soil needs. For example, if you’re growing culinary herbs, you might want to place the garden closer to the kitchen. You should also make sure you group plantings carefully. Tall-growing bushy herbs may cast shadows over short, sprawling herbs, so it’s important to learn about growth habits before planting different herbs next to each other. 

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Plant invasive herb varieties in containers. Mint is an easy-to-grow herb for your culinary or cocktail garden, but it’s also a good example of an invasive herb. Prevent it from taking over your garden by planting it separately in its own pot. If you want mint nested among your other herbs, you can place the pot within them. However, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for volunteer mint plants if any stems touch the garden soil.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Apply mulch. Using mulch is one of the best ways to conserve moisture in the soil and prevent weed growth. It also helps protect plant roots of perennials when the weather grows cold. The amount of mulch you should apply depends partly on the plant you’re growing, but no soil should be visible through the mulch. Natural mulches should be replaced when they break down.

colorado landscaping services

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Amend the soil and apply fertilizer. Some herbs will grow in rough conditions, but most enjoy rich, well-draining soil. If herbs are not looking as green or healthy as they should, try adding rich compost to the soil. If you don’t see improvements in a week or so, add a small amount of liquid fertilizer to give your herbs a boost.

Planting and maintaining the perfect herb garden can take a lot of time and effort, but we can help. Contact Lifescape Colorado today to learn more about our landscaping and gardening services.

Shady Garden Plans

We all love a little sunshine, but during mid-summer days, a shady garden plan is essential for making the most of your outdoor living space, as well as for enjoying plants that are less tolerant of direct sunlight. The following tips can help you create a Colorado landscape design that balances sun and shade.

Traditional Landscape by Far Hills Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc.

Source: Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc. via Houzz

Start with the shade you have. Lot orientation, existing trees and architectural features already provide a certain level of shade. Depending on how involved you want to get, you can create a garden plan that’s season specific, or you can create a more well-rounded plan that will provide visual interest for the whole year. If you like the idea of changing areas of your garden plan on a seasonal basis, working with a professional landscape company will make your job a lot easier.

Contemporary Landscape by Bainbridge Island Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Bliss Garden Design

Source: Bliss Garden Design via Houzz

Watch your landscape throughout the year, and specifically through the warm weather months. You may find that a particular area enjoys a good deal of shade already, which makes it a prime spot for adding a small patio, a cozy seating area, or perhaps a water feature for an outdoor heat retreat.

Traditional Landscape by Bolingbrook Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors

Source: Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors via Houzz

From trees to ground cover. A garden plan that aims for shade and shade-tolerant plants, should include plants ranging from tall trees to barely-there-ground cover. For example, a beautiful and fragrant Witch Hazel tree (Hamamelis virginiana), which grows about 15-feet tall and provides winter color, can be your primary canopy. Below this tree, you can grow plants and flowers ranging in all shapes and sizes, including Hosta (18-22 inches), False Speria (12-14 inches) Bethlehem Sage (12-inches) and a shade-loving ground cover of your choice. The different plant heights, colors and widths are a picture unto themselves.

Traditional Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Source: Glenna Partridge Garden Design via Houzz

Don’t forget the soil. Your shade garden can only be as healthy as the soil its planted in. Make sure you’ve amended your soil with organic components. Water won’t evaporate as quickly from a shade garden. Your soil should be well-draining so roots don’t rot in standing water.

Would you like some assistance adding a shade garden to your Colorado landscape plan? Contact Lifescape Colorado today for assistance designing your dream outdoor space.