Tag Archives: Colorado Landscape Designers

Creating Privacy with Foliage & Shrubs

Fences and screens are typically the first options homeowners envision when it comes to creating privacy around and within their property. While fences can be an attractive option, they’re also expensive and an unsustainable solution for the long term.

Foliage and shrubs, however, can provide desired privacy with the added benefits of shade, movement, scent, cooler summertime temperatures, and a backdrop for watching birds and other wildlife in your yard.

Tips for Creating Privacy with Foliage and Shrubs

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

If you’re ready to add a little privacy while simultaneously gaining a greener view, the following tips will help you create a bit of solitude using foliage and shrubs.

Evaluate your needs. Maybe you want to mitigate the glare from exterior lights or desire a sound buffer between your home and a busy street. Often, homeowners want to create a secluded spot in their own backyard – less visible from the main seating and activity areas. Knowing what you want to gain from your living boundaries will determine which trees and shrubs will work best. Shrubs like privet form a dense formal boundary. Tall, narrow evergreens form barriers that can legally grow taller than most building codes permit for fence lines. If space is an issue, smaller trees pruned and trained to an espalier are an eye-catching option.

Select plants for the look you want. Do you enjoy the formal look of a traditional English garden or is your look more casual? Your living borders can have a very structured look, such is the case when you plant more formal hedges and shrubs like boxwood (Buxus spp), privet (Ligustrum spp), or yew (Taxus spp). If you prefer a more casual or wild look, you can use these to form the primary border and then augment them with more free-form trees, shrubs, and perennials, keeping year-round interest in mind.

Consider maintenance requirements. While most hedges and narrow evergreens will require regular pruning and shaping, other perennial plants and shrubs will not. Select plants that match your level of maintenance enthusiasm. The Lifescape team is always available to shape and prune living boundaries for you.

Are you looking forward to trading boring fences for more attractive living options? Let Lifescape help to design and implement live privacy and landscape divisions using foliage and shrubs that will last for decades.

Integrate Aromatic Plants Into Your Landscape

Landscape design is a holistic endeavor, orchestrated to provide stimulation and pleasure for all of the senses. Often, amateur designers place the largest emphasis on looks, without taking the other senses into consideration. With the right attention to detail, you can integrate landscaping elements that provide pleasing sounds, tangible delights, fruits, and vegetables to please the palate, as well as herbs and blooms that integrate pleasing aromas.

Plant These Aromatic Plants for Gardens and Landscapes

Every time the breeze blows or a flower opens you have the opportunity to enjoy intoxicating fragrances – compliments of Mother Nature. Here are some recommendations for plants to add to your landscape in order to reap rewarding aromatic benefits. Remember to keep wind direction in mind to guide their scent, whether it be towards an open bedroom window on a summer evening or to infuse a favorite outdoor seating area.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Lavender. Lavender is hardy, withstands Colorado winters, and thrives in dry climates. Its blooms are both colorful and aromatic, and they’re celebrated worldwide in their dried state. Just a few plants will add lavender’s calming scent to your garden spaces. An added bonus are the bees and other pollinators that will buzz and fly about, taking advantage of its pollen.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Rosemary. A staple in most kitchen gardens, rosemary plants do well in arid climates but aren’t fans of the cold. For this reason, you’re better off planting rosemary in portable containers that you can protect and insulate from the harshest winter weather. They are pretty hardy, so a few days indoors or in a decently-lit garage shouldn’t hurt them. In addition to their outdoor aroma, you’ll enjoy the addition of fresh-cut sprigs for your kitchen recipes.

Roses. No list of aromatic plants would be complete without a nod to roses. Examples that thrive in Colorado include two native varieties, such as Rosa woodsii and Rosa acicularis as well as species that have adapted to our climate, like Rosa Sydonie and a climbing rose called Paul’s Himalayan Musk. Roses are typically higher maintenance, so hire a professional maintenance team if you aren’t a consummate gardener.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Other beautifully scented flowering plants include chocolate daisies and creeping phlox. Of course, many conifers release a lovely scent when warmed by the sun, as do sweet aslyssum, bouncing bets, honeysuckle, and wisteria.

Would you like to design and grow a garden that integrates aromatic plants into your landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado and schedule a consultation. We are here to assist you create, cultivate and maintain an extra-sensory landscape experience.

Designing Landscapes & Gardens with Stone

Water features are one of the most desirable elements you can incorporate into your landscape, but they’re typically designed for water sourced from a well or municipal water facility. Ironically, your Colorado landscape may not be equipped for the “real” water that needs to find egress during and after storms, or during the melt, keeping your foundation, walkways, and outdoor common areas free of pooling water.

Interested in Designing Landscapes & Gardens With Stone? Create a Dry Creek Bed

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

A dry creek bed is a functional and artistic way to use beautiful stones and rocks – from your own property or elsewhere – to design drainage ditches that look interesting year-round and serve a purpose when needed.

Use the following tips to begin planning your design, then get in touch with Lifescape to integrate the engineering touches and materials to ensure your creek bed drains water effectively.

  1. Study water. The more you understand how water moves, the better chance your creek bed will function, so it diverts water intentionally while providing substantial visual interest via the stones and landscaping you use. It’s a great excuse to get out there on a crisp fall day and hike to your favorite river or stream for observation. Do take notes!
  2. Think about shape and size. Water rarely moves in a straight line in nature. Rather, it meanders as it follows the lay of the land. Begin thinking about how your land is shaped and how it slopes. This will give you an idea of how your creek bed should be laid out. Then consider how much water runs through the area via your roof gutters, potential flood scenarios, during a hard rain, etc., to determine the best width and depth. Use at least a 2:1 ratio.
  3. Start collecting your rocks. Rocks are the staple ingredient and there are many types to choose from. Typically, the bottom of your bed will use smaller river stones and the edges will use larger rocks and perhaps even a boulder or two. You can dot the middle with attractive larger stones of your choice, always taking water flow into consideration.

For more information on designing your Colorado landscape, contact Lifescape Colorado for details.

Can Your Dog Dig It? Pet Inspired Gardens & Landscapes

Dogs have long been man’s best friend and both interior and exterior designs can take the Dog of the House into consideration. If you’re planning a Colorado landscape design for a new piece of property or are ready to re-vamp your existing landscape, consider adding landscape and hardscape features your dog will dig.

Dog Inspired Gardens and Landscapes

Design for the breed. Dog breeds emerged as humans custom-bred their canines for looks and personality. Consider your dog’s personality when planning your landscape. Is your dog a digger? Will he stay out of water? Does she prefer to spend a good deal of time outdoors, “guarding the fort?” Plan for a landscape that accommodates these traits with boundaries to keep a digger off the lawn, bridges, and sloped sides with water features for a comfortable but stylish house.

Safety first. Your dog’s safety is a primary consideration, second is the safety of your garden! It’s always a good idea to have some portion of the yard that is securely fenced with plenty of room for Fifi to walk and play a bit. It can keep her safe from the weekly landscape maintenance team or from finding a rogue gap in the perimeter fence when you’re not at home. Fences also protect your herb and vegetable gardens from digging and/or chewing.

Photo via  Huettl Landscape Architecture via Houzz

Water features. Add a dog-specific water feature to gain a fountain and watering hole in one. If you have a pool or pond, install a safe walking bridge, a fence, and/or sloped edges so dogs will stay out or can get out when you aren’t around. Even the most water-friendly dogs can struggle if they can’t get a good foothold when their swim is over.

Use Non-toxic plants. Be careful of the plants and flowers used in your landscape. Some of them, such as azaleas, amaryllis, and daylilies can cause problems. Consult this list of Plants to Keep Away From Pets if you have a dog prone to chewing foliage and blooms. On the flip side, plants like burdock, peppermint, astragalus and milk thistle are attractive and healthy landscape additions.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

For more advice on landscaping your home or selecting a landscape that is pet-friendly, consult with Lifescape Colorado for more information.

Landscape Illumination: Modern Light Designs for Gardens

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Much of the information about landscape lighting involves twinkly lights, lanterns, and other fixtures that are decidedly traditional in appearance. Where does this leave the modernist? If fairy lights aren’t your thing, we have plenty of ideas to design landscape illumination for modern gardens with nary a twinkle in sight.

Ideas for Designing Landscape Illumination for Modern Gardens

One of the most noticeable features of modern landscape lighting is that the lights are more integrated with the landscape rather than standing out as individual fixtures. You’ll observe plants that seem to glow from within, seemingly source-less ambient lighting and perhaps even sculptures, containers, or other accent features that include lights as an intrinsic part of their design.

Lighting for Safety. Your first consideration, especially for the dark, snowy and icy months is to illuminate your property for safety. Use sleek built-in lighting for walkways and stairs and provide overhead lighting at entrances and porches to help them stand out. Consider using recessed lights in your awnings or overhangs, rather than traditional wall-mounted fixtures. To accommodate for the snow, you’ll also want to include sleek light posts that will shine above the snow to outline driveway(s) and walkways.

Features that Glow. The advent of LED and/or solar lighting has created a wealth of landscape sculptures and artwork that have built-in luminaries. Look for landscape features that are designed to glow, like these garden pots. Their spherical shape and radiant glow are striking once the sun sets and add a decidedly modern and eclectic feel.

Focus on downlighting and uplighting. Perhaps one of the best ways to minimize fixtures and optimize your lighting effect is to use a combination of down- and uplights. Downlights can be used for safety but also add a little cone of light to warm up darker pockets or corners of your landscape. Thoughtfully placed uplights or spotlights make it look as if your trees, shrubs, and other landscape features have a glow of their own.

Contact the design team at Lifescape Colorado when you’re ready to complement your landscape with a modern lighting design.