5 Favorite Colorado Native Perennials

A drought-tolerant landscape does not have to be defunct of color! There are several plants native to Colorado that are perfect for xeriscaping and offer year-round visual interest with vibrant colors, engaging textures and sculptural shapes. Here are five of our favorites that call Colorado home.

Rocky Mountain Columbine

This beautiful perennial has striking white and lavender petals surrounding a brilliant yellow center and grows up to two feet tall. As our state flower, the columbines not only celebrate the state of Colorado, but their fragrant blooms also attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

colorado native plants

Source: Better Homes & Gardens


Liatrus form clusters of pink-lavender blooms atop narrow stems and grows in bunches, with each flower reaching a height from two to five feet. Requiring little water, all this hardy, low maintenance plant needs is well-drained soil. While deer typically stay away, butterflies and bees love the bright feathery spikes of liatrus.

colorado native flowers

Source: BHG

Purple Coneflower

Butterflies and bees are never far from these whimsical perennials with blooms in shades from white to pink and red to dark purple. The shape of a coneflower blossom is similar to a daisy, but the petals turn downward while the dark center reaches skyward. Great for hot-summer regions, these carefree perennials handle drought beautifully and only need light watering. In full sun, purple coneflowers bloom all summer long and can reach a height of four feet!


Source: BHG


These drought-tolerant plants can thrive even in poor soil and tend to do very well in sunny rock gardens or as a groundcover. Some varieties are low growing while others grow up to two feet tall. Sedum is perfect for full sun, high heat areas that many other plants cannot handle. Its delicate flower clusters sport shades of pink, purple, white or yellow.

colorado native plants

Source: RockWallGardens.com

Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Royal blue, red, pink or violet tubular blossoms cluster on the penstemon’s majestic spires and offer a dazzling burst of color. With their trumpet-like shape and sweet nectar, penstemons create a playground for hummingbirds. Drought-tolerant and easy to maintain, this Colorado native is fantastic choice for xeriscapes.

native colorado flowers

Source: Colorado State University Extension

Lifescape can help you create a colorful, energetic Colorado landscape that is also low-maintenance and drought-friendly. Contact the landscape design professionals at Lifescape today to find out more.

Making Beautiful Use of Your Side Yard

Is your side yard being put to use? Too often this space is neglected, but with a custom design that creatively uses space, that patch of land can be transformed into a beautiful and functional part of your Colorado landscape.

Add an arbor or gate. 

An arbor can act as an entranceway, attractively setting off the side yard from other yard areas. If the side of your yard is open to a busy street, a decorative gate can provide the privacy you need while adding to the aesthetics of your landscape.

Decorate it with permeable pavers and planters. 

Decorative pavers placed in interesting patterns can bring a whimsical or charming element to a boring side yard paths. Colored gravel is another great option for adding personality to this space.
Decorative urns used as planters or even fountains can dress up the side yard while also having the convenience of mobility. Urns can be moved if you want to change it up or if you need to open up the space.

Water Features

The sound of running water is always pleasantly serene. Adding a fountain to the side yard is a wonderful way to engage the senses and bring life to this space. If it the fountain can be seen through a window, it can be enjoyed while indoors, too.

Green it up. 

Plants add vibrant beauty while also adding privacy if it’s needed. Vertical planting on walls or fences can make the most of even narrow spaces. An overhead trellis covered with vines can create a romantic walkway that is protected from the elements. It can run the length of the side yard, or it can be implemented only over a sitting area.

Create a Cozy Dining Niche. 

A small table and a couple of chairs can instantly turn this space into usable outdoor living area. Hardscape features, such as pavers or crushed stone, can be added with the help of a professional landscaper to provide added stability for furniture. Surround the area with lush greenery and it becomes a quiet haven for enjoying your morning coffee or having an intimate lunch with a friend.

landscaping design ideas

Source: Carolyn Wesling via Houzz

Transforming your side yard can be a breeze when you have the help of a landscape design expert. Contact Lifescape today to learn more about our outdoor living design and hardscaping services.

5 Fantastic Built-ins for Luxury Outdoor Living

An outdoor living space can become a beautiful extension of your Colorado home. When planning an outdoor living space, consider incorporating built-in features, which offer space-efficient function and long lasting beauty and durability against the elements.

Built-in Seating

Not only does built-in seating free up space but it is also more durable than most outdoor furniture and is incredibly versatile. Plus, seat cushions can be switched out each season for a whole new look. Don’t forget to add colorful pillows and few throws for cool evenings.

landscaping denver

Source: Boxhill Design via Houzz

Built-in Outdoor Pizza Oven or Smoker

With a built-in outdoor pizza oven, you can make delicious, European-style pizza in your own backyard. Or, with a smoker, you can take grilling out to the next level with mouthwatering smoked flavor. No matter what your aesthetic, the design can be customized to match anything from European to Southwestern.

luxury outdoor living colorado

Source: Chipper Hatter Architectural Photographer via Houzz

Built-in Outdoor Fireplace

A built-in outdoor fireplace adds comfort and ambiance to spaces for enjoyable outdoor living year-round. Double-sided fireplaces allow for even more access to warmth and beautiful flickering flames. Fireplaces can be complemented with built-in log storage to protect logs from getting wet while keeping them in convenient reach.

luxury outdoor living denver

Source: Molly Wood Garden Design via Houzz

Built-in Outdoor Bar

A built-in outdoor bar provides a wonderful space for mixing up cocktails or hosting a buffet-style dinner. These bars can especially come in handy when entertaining, from formal outdoor parties to casual impromptu gatherings with friends. And with weatherproof materials, outdoor built-in bars are easy to clean and maintain.

luxury outdoor living colorado

Source: Spinnaker Development via Houzz

Built-in Storage

Built-in storage can be used for recreation equipment, cushions, pillows, swimming pool inflatables, or other outdoor living or entertaining essentials. Plus, well-designed storage can easily double as built-in seating, making it an especially great use of space.

hardscape design colorado

Source: C.O.S Design via Houzz

Built-in Games

Built-in games can incorporate your favorite recreational activities directly into your outdoor living design. Colored tiles can be used to make oversized checkerboards or chessboards, for example. Other options include putting greens and or bocce courts. With these built-in designs, fun is always right outside your door.

luxury landscaper colorado

Source: Randy Thueme Design Inc. via Houzz

Let the landscaping and hardscaping experts at Lifescape help you create a custom outdoor living design for your Colorado home.

July is Smart Irrigation Month in Colorado

July is Smart Irrigation Month here in Colorado, which means it is the perfect time to take a closer look at your landscape and watering methods. Droughts are unavoidable, but by making wise design and irrigation choices, you can keep your yard healthy while also helping to conserve water. Here are tips on how to minimize water usage and save money while maintaining an attractive landscape.

Smarter Irrigation Methods

  • Use Drip irrigation: When water is sprayed into the air, some evaporates before it reaches the ground and some settles on foliage, where it also evaporates before it can make it to roots. The result can be a lot of wasted water while plants are still thirsty. One solution for flowerbeds and other non-grassy areas is a drip irrigation system, which keeps water close to ground level so it penetrates soil.
  • Water during the Coolest Hours: Even with drip irrigation, water can evaporate if it’s running during the hottest parts of the day. Water plants in the early morning and in the evening hours to get the most out of watering.
  • Add Smart Controllers: Instead of guessing when your landscape needs water, consider investing in a smart controller. These use information about your Colorado landscape size, soil and plant type, amount of sunlight and rainfall to determine the correct amount of water and the best watering schedules. This technology ensures optimal conditions for efficient irrigation.
  • Keep Irrigation in Good Repair: Check sprinkler heads and other components regularly for leaks, which can damage plants and drive up your water bill.

Water-Wise Landscaping in Colorado

Drought-tolerant plants that can handle the hot and dry Colorado climate are another way to achieve a beautiful and interesting landscape that is also water wise. Drought-friendly yuccas, for example, can add a variety of shapes, sizes and colors for low-maintenance interest to landscapes. It’s also worth considering alternatives to traditional grass lawns, such as groundcovers, that require much less water. Combine these with a well-designed hardscape, and your yard can be transformed into a beautiful oasis all year long no matter how little rainfall.

xeriscaping colorado

Water-wise Xeriscape design by Lifescape in Colorado

From smart irrigation to water-wise landscaping, Lifescape can help you celebrate Smart Irrigation Month with drought-friendly design upgrades and professional landscape maintenance. Contact Lifescape today to learn about our many services.

Unique Outdoor Seating Ideas

Take the opportunity to add unique style to your Denver outdoor living area with seating that’s not only comfortable but aesthetically intriguing. Here are some of our favorite ideas for unique outdoor seating.

A cool bench and table combo – Perfect for casual meals with friends and family, this seating option offers a flexible eclectic style that can be customized to match your space.

denver outdoor living design

Source: Jane Ellison via Houzz

A rockin’ built-in bench – We love this idea for Denver landscapes. Natural stone seating blends in beautifully with hardscaping and foliage for a truly organic look.


landscaping denver

Source: Finnerty, LLC via Houzz

Stylish & whimsical outdoor swings – These nest-like swings bring out your inner-child while offering chic style.

unique outdoor seating

Source: Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA via Houzz

Waterside fire pit nook – This fire pit nook with built-in seating and surrounded by water allows you to truly bask in nature’s elements creating a gorgeous space for intimate evening gatherings.

denver landscaping

Source: Pekarek Crandell Architects via Houzz

Underwater seating – Add a resort-like element to your pool with built-in underwater stools. For added luxury and entertaining opportunities, complement them with a built-in table and fire vessel.

pool construction denver

Source: Rosebrook Pools, Inc. via Houzz

Tree of seating – Circular seating provides the most seating in the smallest amount of space, and encircling a tree adds a fun natural element to the design.

denver outdoor living

Source: Universal Developing via Houzz

Curved deck that doubles as seating – Add a few outdoor pillows and a modern deck design that is curved just right can turn into unique, casual seating.

landscaping denver

Source: Contemporary Patio via Houzz

Colorful seating – Create a fun and playful ambiance by using brightly colored cushions and pillows. Mix and match colors and patterns to your creative heart’s content.

landscapers denver

Source: Harold Leidner Landscape Architects via Houzz


Let the landscapers at Lifescape help you achieve your dream outdoor living space. Contact us today at (303) 831-8310.