Tag Archives: Colorado Landscape Designers

Build & Transform Your Garden Into a Wildlife Friendly Space

Being able to create a habitat where birds and other creatures can safely live is an incredibly fulfilling part of being a property owner. Even our smallest of neighbors can add charm to our landscapes, ward off pests, and help nurture our gardens. At Lifescape, we love the idea of intentionally landscaping for wildlife; it’s never too late to entice birds, butterflies, and more to come visit and perhaps stay awhile.

Tips for Transforming Your Garden into a Wildlife Friendly Place

If you’re ready to take the leap into wildlife landscaping, the following tips will help you bring and keep nature close.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Scale down your lawn. Lawns are an unnecessary, oftentimes harmful addition to residential areas. Not only do they eat up an alarming amount of egregious synthetic pesticides annually, but they also provide none of the shelter and food sources wildlife require to survive. In lieu of a manicured lawn, a wildlife-friendly garden or habitat reverts back to healthier pre-development land conditions and will attract the birds, butterflies, and wildlife you seek.

Add concentrated areas of vegetation. Research native plants, so you can intentionally plant islands with groundcovers, wildflowers, and other vegetation. Integrating groups of islands is a good way to provide animals with sufficient cover.

Provide water. Water is arguably the most essential component of a wildlife habitat garden. The water sources you provide will greatly benefit any wildlife you attract. Ponds are a wonderful water source and can transform into breeding grounds for reptilian and amphibian species.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Provide supplemental housing and food. Nesting boxes and houses give birds and their young additional security from predators. Birds also benefit from well-placed feeders, especially in winter when food is scarce.

Control your pets. Cats and dogs can be detrimental to your wildlife garden. Cats are known to hunt and kill birds and small mammals just for sport, and keeping them indoors will help keep both them and our feathered and furry friends safe.

Are you looking to trade in your perfectly manicured lawn for a thriving wildlife habitat? Lifescape is here to help plan and implement your vision.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control with Integrated Pest Management

A new movement in pest control is eliminating the need for pesticides and insecticides. Integrated Pest Management is a method of preventing pests through planning, maintaining, and employing only natural or low-toxicity controls. Instead of chemical-ridden products, this pest management system yields healthy plants without compromising human, animal, and environmental health and safety.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Blanket applications of pesticides and insecticides may be a quick-fix when it comes to killing and warding off bugs, but they are also the cause of some disturbing side effects. The toxic chemicals found in these one-dimensional, broad-spectrum solutions contaminate the environment, build up pest resistance, and destroy beneficial pests.

Integrated Pest Management involves heedful planning, smart garden design, and proper maintenance. Gardeners that adopt these effective and comprehensive techniques from the beginning can enjoy lush, beautiful gardens that are working with the environment instead of against it.

  • IPM begins with choosing plants that are pest-resistant and that are best-suited for the region and climate.
  • Position plants to give them the pest opportunity to thrive. This means thinking about the exact conditions they need and the location in the garden that can provide them.
  • Phase two of IPM involves caring for plants carefully by weeding, pruning, and ensuring the right amounts of sun, water, and fertilizer. The healthier the plant, the less susceptible to pests and infectious diseases.
  • Learn your insects. Know which types are destructive and which feed on harmful insects for natural pest management. If you spot intruders, try picking them off plants by hand first and pruning any damaged areas.
  • If you need more natural enemies such as mantids and ladybugs, purchase and release them in the garden.
  • Provide habitats for these beneficial insects and encourage their re-breeding by incorporating a variety of flowering plants.
  • If pest problems still arise, consider spot-treating with natural pesticides such as soaps or oils that are known to treat the particular pest identified to be an issue. Be sure to read all labels and understand what plants can tolerate what natural insecticides.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Contact Lifescape in Colorado to discuss an IPM system will ensure a gorgeous and prosperous landscape.

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are a breeding ground for gorgeous, low maintenance plants ideal for Xeriscapes. There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from with colors, textures, and forms you can endlessly feast your eyes on.

What is Xeriscaping?

Xeriscapes are landscapes centered around low maintenance plants, which are tolerant in droughts and require little water. Even though once established, these plants can survive in harsh conditions with little water, they do need to be carefully watered during the establishment period.

Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Low Maintenance Plants Great for Xeriscapes

Here are some suggestions for several beautiful flowers, shrubs, and grasses to help transform your landscape into a self-sustaining oasis.

1. Yarrow. This group of Rocky Mountain native perennials are smashing in a variety of colors ranging from yellow, to white, to red. Once established, Yarrow require very little water and often spread on their own.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

2. Iceplants. Not to be confused with the invasive Iceplant that plagues Southern California, the Iceplant native to Colorado is a mat of leaves that range from grey to green. We especially like the shiny, delicate flowers that coat the leaves, ranging from red, to purple, to pink.

3. Spanish Gold Broom. The Spanish Gold Broom is a shrub native to the Mediterranean. The medium-sized, deciduous shrub flourishes with small, yellow blossoms in the late spring. Even in the dead of winter, the stems remain a bright, vivid green.

4. Yucca. Yucca is an easy favorite, and it’s no wonder why. You can choose from a variety of the true evergreen, and the leaves can range from dark green to a demure, blue-green. With this plant, you can bring form and structure to your Colorado landscape all year long.

5. Blue Avena Grass. The striking texture of this grass gives it a unique appeal, and it has an effortlessly graceful look that requires so little maintenance you can just sit back and enjoy its noteworthy beauty.

Don’t let the dry season get the best of you. Lifescape is here to help you design and establish your new xeriscape. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Cleverly Designed Outdoor Rooms for Entertaining

An open-air room allows you to bask in beautiful weather while relaxing and entertaining as if you were in the comfort of your home. Designing an outdoor room is much like designing any other space of the home, except the inspiration and backdrop is your landscape.

Source: Houzz

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

Here are some inspiring design ideas for creating delightful outdoor rooms that are just as aesthetically pleasing as they are comfortable and convenient.

A custom stone slab waterfall and a stunning stone fire pit make for a uniquely beautiful outdoor room. Built-in wooden benches make it easy to get cozy with friends and family by the fire.

Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

This picturesque hardscape design features a patio, chimney fireplace, and tiered retaining walls that create privacy while offering opportunities to bring colorful plantings upwards.

A creative lighting scheme that includes underlighting beneath built-in benches gently illuminate an outdoor dining room to set the mood with a gorgeous glowing ambiance.

A covered porch creates a 4-season space that allows you to feel comfortably protected while in nature. This transitional eclectic covered porch brings style, entertainment, and great views of the surrounding landscape all under one roof.

A water feature or outdoor sound system can be used to produce a pleasant auditory experience that adds to the environment and masks traffic or other unsettling sounds.

A little running water makes an elegant outdoor room all the more charming and enjoyable, while in another example, a creative water feature doubles as a concrete dining table.

Outdoor rooms are not only for homeowners with big backyards. This rooftop retreat is a prime example of the outdoor room design possibilities for urban abodes. Plenty of plants and warm wood create a space that combines the serenity of nature with fantastic cityscape views.

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

Source: Lifescape Colorado via Houzz

With winter waning and spring on its way, it’s a wonderful time to think about how hard your yard is working for you. Our team here at Lifescape would love to help extend your living space beyond the walls of your home with a smart and chic outdoor room design. Contact Lifescape in Colorado to learn more about our services.

Top Plants & Flowers for Butterfly Gardening

It’s hard to imagine a sunny garden scene without the ephemeral flutter of butterfly wings. In fact, it’s impossible. Without butterflies, which are very important pollinators, many of our favorite blooms would never grow in the first place.

Introduce Plants and Flowers That Attract Butterflies & Other Pollinators

The benefit of adding butterfly-friendly plants is that you will also attract a host of other pollinators, including honey bees, bumble bees, and birds. It transforms your garden into a veritable playground for winged creatures, and you and your guests will delight in the additions.

Keep in mind that butterflies prefer a break from the wind and open, sunny spaces so creating these environments will also help to attract them. Organic gardening practices are also very important since insecticides kill pollinators.

Here are suggestions for plants and flowers that attract butterflies and do well in our Rocky Mountain climate.

Asters (Asters, spp.) . These cheerful flowers are in the same family as sun flowers or daisies. They bloom towards the end of summer and well into fall, which make them an attractive candidate for gardeners who want to add a bit of interest when other blooms are beginning to fade. They are drought-tolerant and prefer sandy, well-draining soil – another boon for our area.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).  Every yard is enhanced by this robust species of plant that blooms with white to purple flowers. They grow six to 15-feet tall and can withstand temperatures below 20° F. Butterfly bush also remains evergreen during the winter months, which is another bonus.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus). Those interested in a Xeriscape may recognize this plant species. Rabbitbrush grows wild throughout Colorado and much of the Southwest. A desert and high-desert plant, it is decidedly drought-tolerant.

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). This is another native Colorado plant and it serves a very important role; Milkweed is a host for Monarch butterfly larvae. These are an endangered species, so adding milkweed to your garden is a wonderful way to support their comeback.

Other plants that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees include Culver’s root, blue sage, bee balm, and purple prairie clover.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to design a landscape that includes the plants, flowers, and other landscape features that attract butterflies.