Create a Peaceful Garden Retreat for Relaxation

We’re fortunate to live in a climate that accommodates outdoor living for much of the year. Take advantage of this by amending your Colorado garden design to include a peaceful garden retreat. You can use it to read, journal or to sit quietly and enjoy the abundance of Mother Nature.

These tips will help you design and implement a relaxing retreat. You can always transform the most barren of landscapes into a luxurious oasis.

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Source: This Old House

Have hope! Many clients are working with well established landscapes, which makes it easier to visualize the results of landscape remodels or add-ons. However, This Old House has an inspiring slide show about a couple who created their garden sanctuary from a completely blank and barren slate.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Plan well. As always, the best Colorado garden designs begin with a plan. Because you want to retreat, plot the exterior perimeter of your sanctuary and plant it with tall trees and shrubs to create a living privacy boundary. In addition to creating privacy, this boundary will block the view and buffer the sounds from streets, neighbor’s yards or even your own backyard activity areas.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Include seating. If you only have a small space or corner available, a single comfortable chair and table is a must. If your space is larger, consider adding benches or a chaise lounge. Incorporate a dining area that can be used for meals, projects, or socializing.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Build a water feature. Is there anything more soothing than the sound of water? From a small statue to a waterfall or koi pond, your water feature will be welcome addition for years to come. It also will help provide a sound buffer for homes located along busy streets.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Invite Mother Nature. Plant a fair amount of native plants known to attract pollinators, like butterflies, bees and moths, as well as birds. Science has proven the healing effects of our connection with nature. Plants, feeders and birdbaths can help forge these connections.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to begin designing your peaceful garden retreat today.

An Overview of Seeds for Spring

Are you planting a fair amount of seeds this spring? If so, these Colorado gardening tips can help you order just the right type and amount of seeds you need to yield a luscious and interesting landscape all year long.

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Source: Strumelia’s Blog

Organize the seeds you have. Before you go too crazy with your seed catalogs or online seed shopping, take a careful inventory of what you have. While some seeds can sprout indefinitely (like hundreds of years-old Anasazi beans from our Colorado cliff-dwelling natives), most seeds have an expiration date. Cull through your collection and throw out any seed packets that have expired dates. If you have bagged your own seeds, or collected seeds from friends, check online to see how long they last. Keep in mind that you have to wait a precious two or three weeks before you’ll even know whether old seeds are viable.

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Source: Ellwood Thompson’s

Order now! Some seeds can be purchased year-round, others are so popular that they sell out pretty quickly. If you have your heart set on the exact species you laid out in your winter garden plans, order ASAP to make sure you get the seeds you want.

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Source: Insteading

Use heirloom seeds. Seeds have been hybridized, genetically modified and changed to grow and/or look better. As a result, many of them don’t pollinate (read: won’t attract butterflies and bees), and may even lack important phytonutrients. Planting heirloom seeds, which have been passed down for generations, preserves plant species that are going extinct. If you’re planting edibles, heirlooms are often tastier and healthier than their modified counterparts. Plus, you can harvest your own seeds for next year, or participate in local community seed exchanges.

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Source: Alan Levine via Auntie Dogma’s Garden Spot

Plant perennials. Planting perennials that do well in our Rocky Mountain climate is an excellent way to see a return on your investment. Colorful perennials that do well in our area include Lupine, Columbine, Blue Flax and self-seeding Pinks — these do especially well when temperatures get chilly.

Once your landscape is blooming, contact Lifescape Colorado to learn more about how our landscape maintenance services can help keep your garden vibrant all year long.

Top Garden Trends in 2014

Garden planning requires two perspectives –reflecting back to learn from what didn’t work in years past, and gazing forward to embrace modern gardening trends. Here are the top garden trends of 2014. Which ones will you implement in your Colorado garden design this year?

5 Top Garden Trends for 2014

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Source: All-America Selections

Plants of the year. Are you stuck in a plant rut, growing the same varieties year after year? Nearly every garden-oriented organization has a plant of the year. Here are a few of this year’s selections that do just fine in our climate:

  • Northwind (Panicum virgatum). This tall ornamental grass turns a beautiful golden color in the fall.
  • African Sunset Petunia. Looking for a burst of vibrant color? In the right conditions, these fiery orange blooms will proliferate through the first frost.
  • Sparkle White Guara. Delicate white blooms tinged with pink belie this plant’s ability to withstand heat and drought.
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Source: HGTV Gardens

Color of the year. Interior and outdoor design go hand in hand, which is why the same bold colors we see in modern textiles and paint colors are cropping up in gardens. Case in point, Pantone announced Radiant Orchid as its color of the year. As a result, you’ll see plants with similar color profiles in homes and garden shows.

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Source: Urban Farmer

Sustainable gardening. The more we learn, the more we realize synthetic pesticide and growth enhancers are detrimental to Mother Nature’s balance. In fact, the 2014 Garden Trends Report states composting as the no. 1 garden trend. They have dubbed it “the new recycling.” Use compost to organically amend your soil.

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Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Edible gardens. In line with sustainable gardening is the growing trend towards edible gardens. They just make sense. You can include fruit trees, herbs and fruits. If you plan it right, your edible garden will add year-round visual interest.

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Source: Calvin Craig Landscaping via Houzz

Bee love. If you don’t want to become a backyard bee keeper, you can do your part by cultivating plants essential pollinators love. These include pollen-rich flowers, fruit trees and pollinating vegetables.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance incorporating these top gardening trends into your Colorado garden design.

Big Ideas for Small Space Landscapes

A modern lifestyle often means larger living spaces on smaller plots of land. You can take advantage of this by implementing big ideas for your small Colorado landscape design. Choosing multiple focal points, the right color combinations and a precisely placed hardscape, your small garden space will pack a powerful punch.

Here are five tips for creating a stunning landscape in a small space.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Every inch counts. Your landscape should be precisely plotted beforehand because every inch matters. The difference between 6 to 12 inches here or there can mean a lost opportunity for a water feature or seating area. Using graph paper, sketch a variety of plans so you can see where pathways, hardscape features, planter beds, etc. make the most sense. Use this opportunity to meet with a professional landscape designer to correct potential mistakes before they become a reality.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Identify focal points. Determine a couple of focal points ahead of time. Perhaps there are existing plants, trees, or features you would like to highlight. Maybe you have a unique piece of garden art already selected. Place them strategically to add interest in multiple locations, rather than displaying them all front and center. This will make your space more interesting.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use color to create dimension. When you place bright, bold colors in the foreground, the muted colors in the background seem to recede, lending the illusion of more space. You can use this trick to your advantage when selecting your shrubs, flowers and ground cover. Include plants that yield interest in the fall and winter months.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Create uncluttered flow. Even a small garden space should flow. Create walkways that lead from one area to another. Using the right proportions, paths and open spaces will create a sense of scope and spaciousness.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Make it cozy. Embrace the smallness of your space by making it cozy. A border of tall, lush shrubs with a well-placed cafe table and chairs can create a private, peaceful sanctuary.

Would you like professional assistance making the most of your small garden space? Contact the Colorado landscape design experts at Lifescape Colorado.

Simple Spring Landscaping Tips

Spring is less than a month away, which means spring landscaping in Colorado is just around the corner. While it’s still a little early for planting without the worry of snow or frost, there is plenty you can do to finalize plans, prepare the soil and begin enhancing your curb appeal.

5 Simple Spring Landscaping Tips to Get You in the Mood

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Go ahead and plant. Just do it indoors where your plants will be safe from the remainder of our storms and freezes. Use small pots to sow hardy annuals and perennials to add to your garden in late spring.

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Source: Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects via Houzz

Finalize your plans. By this point, you should have a strategy in place for spring landscaping. These questions can get you started:

  • Are you hiring a professional landscaping company?
  • Will the work be done in phases or all at once?
  • Have you identified the areas that get the most sun, wind and shade, as well as those with drainage issues?
  • What pests will you be dealing with, and are you prepared for them with fencing, mesh, and/or pest-resistant plantings?
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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Clean up your current landscape. Use weekends to begin cutting back ornamental grasses and late-blooming fall perennials. Remove dead plant material and garden debris. When the weather is nice enough, you can start turning the soil bed by bed, being careful of perennial roots and bulbs. You can also use Lifescape’s professional landscaping and maintenance services to prepare your landscape.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare lawns. Nothing is worse than staring at brown patches of lawn once spring is in full swing. Take soil samples to test the pH of your soil. Amend the soil as necessary and add appropriate fertilizers. Your soil will be ready for reseeding in late spring.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Prepare plant beds. Similar rules apply to your plant beds. Remove dead plant material and turn the soil. Cover them with plastic sheets to create a greenhouse effect, which will warm the soil below so it’s ready for late spring plantings.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional assistance with your spring landscaping in Colorado.