Designing Your Landscape Layout

As with any major home or commercial project, a beautiful landscape starts with a good design and layout. This multi-step process requires both attention to detail and the ability to conceptualize and visualize. Here are some important steps to keep in mind throughout the process.

The Practical Aspects

First, potential landscape problems and challenges should be factored in so that these can be fixed during the construction process. Issues Colorado residents may need to address, for example, may include erosion on slopes and drought conditions and water restrictions. This could require adding berms or other features to hillsides and removing thirsty lawns in favor of extra hardscaping or drought-tolerant groundcovers.

The natural attributes of the area should also be considered at this stage. A scenic view, for example, is a feature that can influence which layout will be best.

The General Layout

Many types of landscape layouts can be used as the general blueprint for the design. Often in the end, several elements are combined to create the most appropriate, visually appealing layout for a particular residence. An Arc-and-Tangent layout, for example, combines up to four layout types. It uses curves, circles, arcs as well as straight lines to form well-structured, harmonious landscapes.

colorado landscape architect

Source: Landscaping Network

A rough sketch of the desired layout can be made at this point, along with notes about the types of landscaping materials that will be needed.

Filling in the Details

After the general layout has been planned, it is time to attend to the details. This can include designing specific areas, such as garden beds or water features, and choosing plant types.

You might also receive new inspiration at this point and think of additional features you would like to add, such as a footbridge, fire pit, lighting, hot tub or similar fixtures that enhance beauty and comfort.

landscapers colorado

Landscape design by Lifescape Colorado

When you are ready to bring out the best in your landscape with a layout that is beautiful and functional, contact us at Lifescape Colorado. Colorado landscapes are our specialty and we do it all, from design to architecture and construction. We also offer garden maintenance and irrigation services, so you can spend your valuable time enjoying your landscape.

Colorado Golfing – A Personal Putting Green

Do you love golf? Would you like to enjoy getting a few strokes in without leaving your home? You can do just that by incorporating your very own putting green right into your Colorado landscape. Not only does it create a beautiful scene, but it adds unique functionality to allow you to use your landscape even more. Not to mention, it will always be a big hit with friends when entertaining outdoors!

putting green construction colorado

Source: Slater Associates Landscape Architects via Houzz

Design Versatility

Your personal putting green can be as large as your landscape and wishes allow. You may choose to have a simple, flat playing space with just one to three holes, or you might consider a more complex design. Choosing the latter will ensure you will never get tired of your course.

Earth mounds, for example, can be added to provide the extra challenge you would find on a golf course. These also add visual interest and can even serve a dual-purpose on sloping landscapes by preventing erosion. Sand pits and other challenging golf course features can also be constructed.

The putting green can be created anywhere in the yard. Ideally, however, it should be placed near other outdoor living areas. This makes it accessible, and when guests use it during an outdoor party, they will not feel secluded from other guests. A smart design will keep in mind the chance of wayward golf balls by making sure that houses, cars and guests are not put at risk.

Using natural dividers, such as stone walls or wood arbors can subtly differentiate the putting green from other areas while maintaining a cohesive landscape appearance, and well-placed landscape lighting can give you the option to play at night.

Putting Greens can be Drought-Friendly

Artificial turf is often preferred for creating the greens because it is easy to work with and maintain. Unlike natural turf, it requires no irrigation, which is a particularly valuable bonus here in our drought-prone Colorado climate and during strict water restrictions.

Whether you dream of your own personal putting green or a gorgeous space for luxury outdoor living and entertaining, our professionals at Lifescape can handle the job from start to finish. Contact us to learn of the wide range of services that we offer.

5 Low-Water Ferns for Colorado Landscapes

When imagining a drought-tolerant landscape, many people do not picture ferns. There is also a myth that you cannot grow ferns out west. However, you can indeed grow ferns in the west and several types do fine with little watering. Here are few of the low-water ferns that can grow in Colorado.

low-water ferns

Source: Norm Plate via Sunset magazine

Autumn fern: Found in woodlands and forests, it grows to two feet and boasts interesting colors. Fronds are multi-colored in spring, with hues of pink, copper and yellow, which turn green in summer. In autumn, rusty brown replaces the green and red spores appear on the undersides in winter.

Giant chain fern: A very tall fern in its natural habitat, it will grow up to six feet high in a cultivated landscape. This is an excellent fern for creating natural dividers or any space that could benefit from height.

Western sword fern: Western sword grows its tallest in moist years, but can still handle dry times. It is native to western forests and can add a woodsy feel to the landscape.

Colorado male fern: This low-maintenance fern grows up to three feet high in optimal conditions of shade and moist, fertile soil. It can handle some sunlight, but to avoid extra watering, consider a shady area first.

Long Ear Holly fern: An evergreen fern that adds a touch of green to the landscape through all seasons, the Long Ear Holly is not only drought-tolerant, it also handles freezing temperatures. Grow several together for a wonderful cluster of shiny green fronds.

low-water ferns

Source: Tish Treherne via Sunset magazine

Many ferns enjoy moist soil, but that does not mean they like soggy, muddy soil. Whether they are grown in a container or directly in the ground, the best soil is rich but well-drained. Most ferns also prefer indirect sunlight or shade to full sunlight, and this should always be considered when using these in a landscape design.

Interested in a drought-tolerant landscape? The landscaping professionals at Lifescape Colorado can assist you in choosing the best low-water plants and designing a landscape that is beautiful while also water-wise and low maintenance. Contact us to discover more about our services.

Kid-centric Colorado Landscapes

Encourage kids to spend less time in front of a screen and more time in the great outdoors with a kid-friendly landscape. And with the help of a professional, you can achieve a fun landscape that is also sophisticated in style. A thoughtful design can creatively integrate style with functionality that’s fun! Here are some fantastic kid-centric landscape design ideas.

Set the Stage for Creativity 

Most kids love to draw, and you can provide a space just for that outdoors with a custom backyard fence design that includes a chalkboard paint wall. It’s a no-mess, no-stress solution for uninhibited creativity.

landscape architect colorado

Source: Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture via Houzz

This unique and versatile deck serves as a stage for kids to perform on while also making a great lounge area that adds chic interest to the landscape.

deck building colorado

Source: Clive Nichols via Garden Design

A House of Their Own

A playhouse gives kids a space where they can let their imaginations run free. Clever playhouse designs like this hobbit house can blend with the rest of the landscape, pleasing both kids and parents.

lanscape architect denver

Source: Marion Brenner via Garden Design

Having a tree house is a childhood dream we can all relate to. A tree house can be custom designed by landscape professionals to complement the home exterior and landscape while achieving a cool design with exciting features like a zip line or a slide.

colorado landscaping

Source: Keith Willig Landscape Services, Inc. via Houzz

Play in Harmony 

To avoid play areas from clashing with the remaining landscape, playgrounds can be custom designed to look natural and blend beautifully with the natural surroundins. In this example, a magnificent tree trunk playground was designed to appear as if it was gracefully growing out of the ground.

playgrounds colorado

Source: V.I.Photography & Design via Houzz

Another great strategy is to incorporate terraced gardens into playgrounds to create a lush and seamless look that blends in harmoniously. Using the same type of wood for the garden retaining wall as the play structures creates a seamless look.

colorado landscape architect


If you are interested in putting the fun in a functional, kid-friendly landscape or any other improvements to your landscape or outdoor living spaces, contact Lifescape Colorado to learn about our professional landscape design services.

Outdoor Hot Tub Designs for Luxurious & Beautiful Landscapes

outdoor living denver

Source: Gibeon Photography via Houzz

A long relaxing soak in a luxurious hot tub provides a welcome relief from the stresses of everyday life, but there are additional reasons to add this amenity as an outdoor living feature. When creatively designed and integrated, an outdoor hot tub area can allow you to enjoy your yard even in the dead of winter while adding extraordinary beauty to your landscape. Here are some design ideas for luxurious and beautiful outdoor hot tubs.

Attractive, Creative Decking

Deck designs can go far beyond flat platforms surrounding the tub. Multi-level decking and built-in benches, for example, can create a tiered design that offers extra areas for seating while adding architectural interest. Brick or concrete may also be used along with, or instead of, wood to match hardscapes.

decks colorado

Source: Fine Decks Inc via Houzz

Going with the Landscape Flow

Hot tubs can be designed around hills and slopes for stunning results. Installing hot tubs and spa areas at one of the highest points of your landscape, for instance, can allow you to enjoy your luxurious hot tub while also taking in spectacular mountain views. Concrete can be used around the deck’s perimeter as a retaining wall and a seating area.

hot tubs colorado

Source: Process Design Build, L.L.C. via Houzz

Rustic, Earthy Charm

If your design tastes lean towards rustic and woodsy, consider a cedar hot tub rather than concrete or fiberglass. Cedar and other types of wood tubs are attractive enough to be used as stand-alone features, but can also easily blend with other landscape design features. Set against a backdrop of greenery or other privacy features, the hot tub area can become a heavenly retreat.

outdoor hot tub denver

Source: Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Luxurious & Artful Ambiance 

An outdoor stone fireplace or fire pit near the hot tub can bring an extra level of luxury, coziness and ambiance to this space. Ambiance can also be added with creative, artful decorative hardscaping around hot tub areas.

landscape architect denver

Source: Bianchi Design via Houzz

hardsacpes colorado

Source: David Dietrich Photography via Houzz


Are you interested in redesigning your landscape, yard or hardscapes to add luxury and beauty with an outdoor hot tub? Lifescape Colorado can create a custom design that fits your style and helps you realize your dreams for your Colorado landscape. Contact us to learn about all of our landscape design services.