Front Porch Landscaping Ideas

The front porch has a special place in American history. It’s the ideal place to drink a cup of coffee in the morning or converse with family while dinner is cooking. Porches also encourage neighbors and passersby to stop for a moment and say hello. These front porch-landscaping ideas will get your porch in shape for spring and summer.

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Source: HGTV

Extend your porch. Don’t have much of a front porch to speak of? You can extend it. Whether you extend it forward a bit or wrap it around the side, a larger porch creates space for comfortable furniture, as well as planters and container gardens. Things to consider:

  • Include lattice or some kind of skirting around the bottom to keep critters out
  • If you wrap it around, add another set of stairs so you have more than one way to enter/exit
  • Instead of a formal walkway, use stepping stones or space large pavers for access to auxiliary steps
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Source: Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc via Houzz

Consider the design. Porch design isn’t all that different from interior design. Consider how the porch is used and amend your decor and furnishings accordingly. Because this is a prelude to your home’s interior, the porch decor should complement your foyer and/or front living spaces.

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Source: HGTV

Create a seamless transition. Create a seamless transition from your driveway and walkway to your porch by planting flowering shrubs and plants that grow as high, or slightly higher, than your porch floor. However, plants shouldn’t be high enough to impede the view. Consider blooming times and a balance of evergreens, so your porch has year-round interest. Lavender, jasmine and sweet peas are beautiful and will also emit a sweet fragrance when they bloom.

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Source: TruexCullins via Houzz

Use containers. Container gardening is ideal for porches. Using pots and containers in varying heights and sizes, you can create a layered and interesting front porch landscape. Hanging baskets are also a visual bonus. Make sure to plant ferns, impatiens and other shade-loving plants.

Contact Lifescape Colorado for professional front yard landscape design ideas for your porch. We also offer year-round landscape maintenance to keep your yard looking its best.

Tips for Landscaping Your Home for Selling

Enhancing curb appeal is the outdoor equivalent of staging a home. In fact, The National Association of Realtors found that 71 percent of homebuyers find curb appeal to be very important.

Here are a few tips for designing a front yard landscape that will lead buyers happily to your door.

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Source: Westover Landscape Design, Inc. via Houzz

Maintain what you have. If your yard is already landscaped, maintain it on a regular basis. Overgrown lawns and piles of leaves are unattractive and remind buyers of all the yard work that needs to be done. A well-groomed yard looks great and won’t conjure a single thought about weekend chores. If you aren’t able to do the work yourself, or the house is currently vacant, invest in a professional landscaper to keep it up week after week.

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Source: EASA Architecture via Houzz

Think low-maintenance. Not only will a low-maintenance landscape help you in the long run, but it will also be a wonderful selling point for your real estate agent to boast about. A water-wise garden design filled with native plants and shrubs is the way to go.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Create a budget. If you need to create your landscape from scratch, determine your budget, and then stick to it. Remember that you’re selling your home, so while curb appeal is important, you don’t want to create your ultimate dream landscape.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Strategic planting. The overall goal is to design a welcoming landscape. It should be cheerful and lead the eye right up to your front door. Choose colorful flowers and plant them strategically around your mailbox, at the corners of planters and walkways, flanking the front porch, etc. If you have a hard time selecting plants on your own, consult with a landscape professional or use an online resource to help plan your layout.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

How about those containers? Consider using container gardening and your investment will payoff two-fold. Not only do containers enhance curb appeal, they can be taken with you when you move or after the house sells.

Getting ready to sell your home? Contact the Colorado landscape design professionals at Lifescape Colorado to landscape your home for your big sale.

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.