Tag Archives: Colorado Landscape Designers

Top Native Flowers of Colorado

Any experienced Colorado gardener knows spring gardening is tricky business. We can have weeks – or even months – of mild weather, only to find ourselves buried in snow on Memorial Day weekend. Thus, spring planting requires planning for the right plants for your particular zone, and a backup plan for those times when winter drops back in for a last hurrah.

Use Hardy Native Colorado Flowers to Bring Spring Color to Your Landscape

One of the best ways to ensure spring planting isn’t for naught is to use plants and flowers native to Colorado. These plants have adapted to our soil, climate, and water conditions, so they do the best job of keeping their roots grounded and their blooms on straight when snap freezes or unexpected storms come our way.

The following native Colorado flowers are all perennials, and a safe bet for earlier spring planting.

Blue Star (Amsonia jonesii). Blue Stars will start blooming in early spring, and will continue to bloom through the summer under the right conditions. You’ll be thrilled to learn that they’re drought tolerant. As an added bonus, Blue Star’s foliage turns yellow in autumn, providing additional months of interest.

Top Native Flowers of Colorado

Source: Flickr

Pussytoes (Antennaria parvifolia and A. rosea). Here is a lovely option if you’re looking for attractive ground cover or something pretty to spring up between your pavers or rock gardens. Pussytoes have cream to pink blooms, and they start blooming as early as March. Pussytoes will continue to provide color through mid- to late-August. They like partial shade and well-draining soil.

Sticky Geranium (Geranium viscosissimum). If you are looking for a plant that yields maximum color for a significant chunk of time, the Sticky Geranium might get your vote. Blooms range from pale pink to deep purple in the early spring, and their leaves turn red in fall.

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Spreading Vervain (Verbena bipinnatifida). This plant blooms the longest of all. Spreading Vervain will provide rose and purple flowers from early spring through late summer and even through the first frost. It also attracts butterflies and other pollinators, which adds another attraction to outdoor spaces.

Looking to design a Colorado landscape that blooms from spring into fall? Schedule a consultation with the Lifescape design team, so we can get started.

Tips for Brightening & Sprucing Up Garden Pathways

Once the last snow melts and sunny days outnumber the cloudy ones, garden pathways can look a bit bedraggled. Often, our clients’ pathways need more sprucing up than their plant and flower beds do.

Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Tips for Updating Garden Paths and Walkways

Whether you are doing a little post-winter maintenance and repair or are looking to expand your garden path and walkway design, we have a few tips and considerations to share with you.

Choose the right material(s). Don’t just lay down the material you like the best on sight. Consider how a path is used and the level of maintenance you are interested in providing. Pea gravel or rocks are attractive, versatile, and makes a satisfying crunch underfoot, but they can scatter and will require tidying up and replacement from time to time. Decomposed granite is durable, affordable, and works well for natural Colorado landscapes, however, it will need to be weeded throughout spring and summer because established weeds are difficult to remove.

Work with a landscape designer who can balance the aesthetics you want with the reality of your lifestyle. The Lifescape team is always available to assist with landscape maintenance as well, which can allow you to select whatever pathway material you like.

Replant if necessary. You may have found plants you used as path and walkway borders didn’t work as well as anticipated. Perhaps they overgrew the path too quickly, were sticky or prickly, or shed messy fruit or blossoms that stuck to shoe soles and feet. Spring is the time to transplant these offenders to a better site, and select plants that are better suited to the environment. If it’s a high-traffic area or you have small children, plant low-growing plants that can take a beating. Plants like creeping thyme or Corsican mint fit the bill, plus they release a delicious fragrance when crushed.

Add lighting. Pathways are much safer if you add attractive lighting to pathway borders. It keeps them functional after the sun sets and will also add to your landscape’s ambiance. Consider solar lanterns to spare the expense of electrical work.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Are your garden pathways ready for a little makeover? Schedule a consultation with the Lifescape design team.

Inviting Front Yard Structures for a Welcoming Spring

When you think of attractive landscape structures, odds are you envision gazebos, fountains, fireplaces and other hardscape designs found most typically in a backyard. Your front yard, however, may also be begging for a little structural attention and curb appeal.

5 Ideas For Creating a Gorgeous Front Yard This Spring

Creating a gorgeous front yard is always a good idea, whether you are planning to sell your home in the near future or are simply ready for a front yard facelift.

    1. Show off your blooms. A beautiful arbor, draped with spring’s bountiful blooms, is an iconic garden visual. Arbors and pergolas can also make a wonderful entrance to your home, focusing your guests’ attention on landscape highlights, the walkway, and the front door. Combined with a fence, they can also create a sense of privacy and mystery.
    2. Demonstrate your artistic side. Lawn art is often confused with tacky gnomes and ceramic deer when, in fact, high-quality garden sculptures can create focal points that catch and surprise the eye. Invest in a local artist, and add a new piece of sculpture to your front yard.
    3. Optimize the corners. Cut out the corners of your lawn (hooray for water conservation!) and plant them with drought-tolerant plants and shrubs that will provide colorful interest year-round.
    4. Install a water feature. Those corners you just cut out are also a great place to install a water feature. It will help to mask traffic or neighbor noise and is attractive to passersby, porch sitters, and bathing birds alike.
    5. Update your front yard lighting. Does your front yard lighting consist of a porch light or a few flood lights? Start thinking more holistically, and add front yard lighting for both safety and ambiance. Choose welcoming lights for your porch, entrance way, and to light the path(s). Consider uplighting to highlight a tree or two, the aforementioned art or sculpture or to illuminate your newly installed fountain.

Are you ready add a new structure or two to your front yard? The team at Lifescape is ready to design, build and maintain a front yard that heartily welcomes spring.

Geometric Designs Dazzle Your Landscape

Geometric designs have been used in landscape designs for thousands of years. Greeks and Romans used boxwood hedges, which were manipulated into the shapes and arrangements they wanted, whether it be a manicured plant in the shape of an animal or part of an intricate labyrinth. Stone tiles were laid in perfectly executed diamonds, or linear walkways ended in circular seating areas complete with a fountain.

Ideas for Garden Hardscaping with Geometric Designs

Garden hardscaping with geometric designs has continued into the formal English garden, as well as contemporary gardens, providing a tidy aesthetic. Look how the following gardens have included geometric shapes into their hardscaping plans.

Circles. We mentioned the idea of linear walkways that lead to a circular open area, often containing a water feature or planter bed. Here is an example of this from the Lifescape gallery. This lush garden proves that you can blend the formality of geometric designs with a more casual landscape to find a happy medium. The gray gravel is less formal than pavers, and while the plants in the center follow the shape of the circle, they are loosely pruned for a softer edge.

Geometric Designs Dazzle Your Landscape

Source: Lifescape Associates

Squares. Squares are the most popular geometric shape used in landscapes. They are easy to achieve, whether it is a square of lawn bordered by a plant bed or square pavers arranged in specific design. Here is an example a more formal installation where square pavers are set with smooth river stones in between for contrast. You can achieve an informal version of this using wood dividers and rock, like we see in this West Coast garden. This idea would work very well for a Colorado Xeriscape.

Photo via Houzz

Geometry on the lawn. One way to apply geometry, and minimize water hungry lawn square footage, is to implement pavers with your lawn. The pavers create both movement and contrast. They can lead the eye to a focal point like your home, a bench, or a beautiful plant bed.

Would you like assistance using geometry as a foundation for your hardscape design? Schedule a consultation with Lifescape Colorado.

Garden Focal Points: Create Visual Interest in Your Yard

Ideally, landscape design is about creating focal points in gardens and yards. The hardscape and plant materials used are carefully selected and implemented in a way that takes visitors on a visual journey.

A meandering path may lead to a quiet seating area or a water feature. Perhaps an arbor or pergola frames a carefully placed piece of garden art or sculpture. Focal points are often the difference between an average backyard and one that is remarkable.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Tips for Creating Focal Points in Gardens and Yards

The following tips can help you to think about how and where your Colorado landscape can benefit from a thoughtful focal point or two. As always, Lifescape is always here to assist you with your outdoor design conundrums.

Look for – and eliminate – competition. Evaluate your current landscaping to see if there is any competition in your various plant beds. You might find that a little pruning and/or transplanting is required to help your feature plants truly shine. Look for a balance between complementary colors (those that are opposite one another on the color wheel) and contrasting hues, which will also add visual interest.

Optimize your corners. What’s lurking in the corners of your yard spaces? You may find the answer is a big, fat nothing – or nothing worth speaking of, anyway. The corner is a perfect spot to add an outdoor sculpture by a local artist, from which you can compose the rest of the plant bed. They are ideal for placing small outbuildings or sheds that are painted attractively. Corners also make a wonderful niche for a seating area and perhaps an outdoor fire pit or water feature.

Plant smaller ornamental trees. Ornamental trees that do well in our Rocky Mountain climate create attractive focal points. A Wasatch maple (Acer grandidentatum) does well in drier soil while a Rocky Mountain Birch (Betula occidentalis) thrives in moist soils, perhaps the perfect host for your shade garden.

Is your landscape beginning to feel more like a hodgepodge than a well-planned living canvas? Contact Lifescape Colorado and we’ll help to highlight its natural focal points.