Tag Archives: Colorado garden design

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Xeriscaped or grass-free landscapes present some unique challenges when it comes to adding plants and features. You have to consider watering as well as design requirements.

The poppy mallow flower, or winecup, is perfect for Xeriscaped lawns, as it provides color and texture while also being drought-tolerant. It is a purple flower with a white dot at the base with five petals. The stems of the poppy mallow spread out up to three feet, covering a large area with bright blooms that are open during the day and close at night and after pollination.

Plant Highlight: The Poppy Mallow Flatters Xeriscaped Lawns

Source: Wikimedia

There are several design options when using poppy mallow flower in your yard. You can use them as specimen plants to be enjoyed on their own, as groundcover for a large space, or mixed with a mass of other plants and flowers. You can weave it through a rock garden, place on a sunny slope, or hang it from retaining walls.

When grouping with other plants, consider adding contrasting textures. The thick lacy stems of the poppy mallow along with its bright blooms could work well with small or grass-like plants or plants with blue or gray leaves, such as Blue Spruce sedum. White, yellow, and blue are all colors that will complement the poppy mallow’s purple blooms.

As a native to the High Plains area of the United States, which includes Colorado, poppy mallow flower is a great option for Xeriscapes. They tolerate sun and drought and thrive at high elevations. You’ll enjoy their bright and colorful blooms from summer through the fall.

For help with selecting plants for your Xeriscaped yard, contact Lifescape.

Consider Elegantly Placed Vertical Gardens for Spring

Smaller yards are coming back in vogue due to people living in denser neighborhoods and desiring to minimize landscape maintenance. Let’s say you want to exercise your green thumb this spring, but you don’t have a lot of space. Consider vertical gardens to take advantage of unused space and give your landscape an elegant look.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

A popular vertical gardening strategy is known as espaliering, which means “to train trees, shrubs, and vines on a frame, so they grow into a flat plane,” according to Houzz. This is commonly seen as grapevines growing over an arbor, but there are many other plants you can use and ways you can train them to spread. Some ideas include:

Informal espaliers. Informal espaliers allow plants, such as bougainvillea, to grow in a free form pattern. These should be placed at eye level for greatest effect. A great example of an informal espalier is when vines are trained to grow along the cracks of a stone wall.

Formal espaliers. Unlike informal espaliers, formal espaliers have a very defined shape and direction. Popular patterns include single branch, u-shaped, tiers, fences and fan shapes.


Source: Houzz

Privacy screens. These espaliers not only look good and are easy to construct, but they also provide privacy, which can be an issue in suburban and urban environments.

Dramatic backdrops. This type of espalier is a great way to soften a large wall in your garden or even a wall of your home. The plant is trained to grow along the wall, resulting in a mass of leaves and foliage covering the area, which creates a dramatic look.

Many plants can be espaliered, including seasonal vegetables, fruit trees, evergreens, perennial vines, berries, and more. What sorts of plants would you like to espalier in your yard? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Maintain Landscapes Naturally & Efficiently with Greenscaping

If you want your lawn to reflect your clean lifestyle, greenscaping is the way to go. Knowing where to start, however, is another matter entirely. Each year, American homeowners spend countless hours every year mowing, raking, clipping, and landscaping. Just by trying to keep our landscapes and property values up to par, we create an unnerving amount of waste.

Additionally, yard waste contributes to already overflowing landfills known to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide, harmful gasses associated with climate change. You can take charge of your own environmental impacts by greenscaping — grasscycling, mulching, and composting. Not only can you better your environment, but you can save money in the process!


Grasscycling is an incredibly simple way to reduce yard waste. All it entails is mowing your grass to no lower than 2 to 3 inches tall. Then, you leave the grass clippings where they fall and allow them to naturally decompose. Healthy grass shouldn’t be cut more than an inch, and because grass clippings are composed of 90 percent water, they will decompose and return nutrients to the soil quickly. One study has also suggested that grasscycling takes up to 38 percent less time than conventional mowing.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay


Organic mulch made from chipped or shredded wood waste and dried leaves can greatly benefit your landscape. Mulching is the act of spreading thin layers of organic waste around plants and trees to help retain water, reduce weed growth, regulate soil temperatures, and constantly add nutrients back to the soil. As we discussed earlier, grass clippings make for excellent mulch. Another recycling idea is to donate unwanted plants to local schools, churches, and charities.


Composting turns ordinary yard waste into a natural soil additive that your soil will soak in like a sponge. Compost allows soil to better absorb air and resist erosion. You can create your own compost pile right in the backyard! To get started, just throw in food scraps, fruit peals, manure, grass clippings, and leaves.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Lifescape Colorado is dedicated to helping you make your landscaping dreams come true. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Design Your Hardscape with Visual Interest

Hardscapes can be just as awe-inspiring as the plants that surround them. While the purpose of a hardscape is largely functional, it can be designed to significantly enhance the look and feel of a landscape.

Once the location and traffic patterns have been decided, the focus can be turned to creating a pleasing combination of textures and tones. From mixing materials to interplanting, there are several design strategies for making hardscapes more attractive.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Here are some creative paver, stone, and gravel design ideas for turning hardscapes into works of art.

Soften concrete pavers with green in between. Grass or other foliage joints can instantly add aesthetic value while creating commanding contrasts for a dynamic design.

Traditional European garden elements can be reinvented in a contemporary setting for a striking effect. A sleek allée of pollarded trees becomes a bold focal point in this elegant modern landscape.

Naturally interesting rock formations can become decorative points of interest to break up hardscapes. A moss garden turns this corner into a charming display of nature’s finest carpet. A naturalistic free-form boulder planter will blend in seamlessly while adding sculptural appeal.

Garden beds can be cleverly incorporated into hardscapes to create a cohesive and engaging design. This unexpected succulent bed leverages a curve to bring more green to the scene. A modern courtyard is punctuated by narrow garden beds that make for chic accents in the hardscaping.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Even steps can be an opportunity to customize and enhance a hardscape design. Blue fescue and colorful perennials turn these paver steps into a garden in themselves.

Create your own unique blending of materials. A stunning modern-style hardscape design employs gravel, thin pavers, garden spheres, and interplantings. A simple yet striking design takes advantage of a few different materials to create textures, patterns, and pops of color.

Our team here at Lifescape would love to help you remodel your Colorado landscape with a custom design that features artful hardscapes, beautiful beds, and other personalized features and touches that express style and improve quality of life. Contact Lifescape online or by calling 303.831.8310 to set up your consultation.

Design & Plan Your Landscape with Lifescape Colorado

Lifescape is a comprehensive outdoor living solution. Our passionate and experienced team of professionals takes projects from conception to completion making sure every element and design decision aligns with the client’s wants and needs. Committed to the environment, every project is also carefully conducted to preserve resources and reduce carbon footprints.

Here is how Lifescape approaches each phase of the landscape architecture and design process.

During the initial consultation, we like to walk through the project site with our client and begin discussing goals, budget, and any concerns or challenges. This is usually a great time for clients to share any photos with our team to discuss innovative ideas for achieving the type of space the client envisions.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

We dig a little deeper in the next phase, taking measurements and inventory of materials and elements already on the site in a thorough analysis. Using all this information and the criteria set by the client, we develop a conceptual plan and a project budget. We incorporate options and ranges to give the client the opportunity to customize with decisions related to project scope, materials, and special features.

Once we arrive at the final material selections and project scope, we are able to devise planting and construction plans. Every detail is meticulously calculated and blueprinted to ensure a smooth and economical execution.

Before construction plans are set into motion, our project construction operations manager reviews the designs and plans with the client and together they set a starting date for the project.

An additional pre-construction meeting with the client, manager, and on-site foreman offers the chance to discuss how the project will be directed and architecturally supervised. Change orders are reviewed and addressed swiftly, and a punch list is created and the construction agreement is pending until completion.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

The service team then takes over from here. This team of horticulturists administers aftercare and completes any necessary work per the warranty walk-through. The client can work with our maintenance team to design a custom program for regularly maintaining their landscape.

As our service team takes care of weeding, pruning, trimming, watering and any other maintenance needs, you enjoy more time actually enjoying your beautiful new landscape.

If the white winter in Colorado has you dreaming of a lush and colorful spring landscape, contact Lifescape online or by calling 303.831.8310. We’d love to discuss a potential landscape architecture project and set up your initial consultation.