Tag Archives: Colorado Landscape Designers

Proper Shrub Maintenance for Colorado Gardens

Shrubs are not only sustainable options for a healthy garden, but they also add long-term beauty to Colorado landscapes. However, without proper maintenance, even the hardiest of shrubs may succumb to disease. To keep your shrubs healthy and beautiful for many years to come, consider the following garden maintenance tips below.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Young or newly planted shrubs require regular watering until they’re fully established. This helps them form a strong root system, vital to health and longevity. Native shrubs are better adapted to our drought-prone climate. Nevertheless, these low-maintenance plants still need to be watered. Many newly planted shrubs require a thorough soaking at least once a week throughout the growing season. You should continue watering through the fall until the ground freezes, especially your evergreen shrubs.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water the soil throughout the root zone. Overhead watering is more wasteful, and sometimes water left on foliage leads to sun scorching. Soil amendments and fertilizer should be applied according to the needs of each specific type of shrub. If you don’t know your soil’s pH level, have it tested and amend it as necessary for your shrubs. Some shrubs prefer more acidity than others do.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Pruning is important for aesthetic reasons, as well as for shrub health. Avoid pruning haphazardly or at the wrong time. Shrubs that flower in early spring can be pruned as soon as they stop blooming. If you prune too early, your shrubs might produce fewer blooms. Shrubs that bloom in the summer should not be pruned until winter after they’ve become dormant or in very early spring before you see them greening.

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Both new and established shrubs will thrive better if you remove old, damaged or diseased branches so healthier branches can receive more airflow and sunlight. You should also remove branches that are tangled or are rubbing against other branches.

Good shrub maintenance takes some time and effort. If you’d rather leave the hard work to our experts at Lifescape Colorado, just contact us today, and we’ll get started. We offer a variety of garden and landscape services that can keep your shrubs looking healthy and beautiful.

Wavyleaf Oak

There are roughly 400 species of oak tree (Quercus), all of which are native to the Northern Hemisphere. Oak trees are revered for their lush foliage, their ability to adapt to severe soil and climate conditions and their stalwart personalities. It’s impossible to live with oaks and not fall in love with their beauty.

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Source: Western Explorers

While many oak species do well in our Rocky Mountain climate, only one is considered a Colorado native plant — the Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii), which is also referred to as a scrub oak. Over time, this hardy hillside-loving survivor has hybridized with other shrub oak species to yield the Wavyleaf Oak (Quercus undulata).

Wavyleaf Oaks are persistent survivors. They thrive in arid climates above 4,000 feet and are found as high as 10,000+ feet. These hybrids have given botanists something to talk about as their inter-breeding habits have yielded virtually unclassifiable subspecies.

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Source: Western Explorers

On average, these oaks grow as low as four feet and as tall as eight feet high. They have broad green leaves, ranging from one- to three-inches in length. Because of hybridizing, their leaf patterns can have deep lobes, shallow lobes or no lobes at all. The Wavyleaf Oak bears fruit in the form of acorns. So, between the leaves and acorns, they have become a favorite food source for mule deer, elk and big horn sheep. They also attract porcupines and rabbits, both of which enjoy making a meal of their inner bark. Additionally, dense branches and foliage provide respite and protection for all kinds of birds.

Landscapers love these trees because they’re virtually pest free and their dried leaves can be mulched and used in plant beds to repel slugs, grubs and other pests (never use their green leaves for mulch as it can inhibit plant growth).

Contact the team at Lifescape Colorado and learn more about how native plants can help enhance your landscape design.

Hardscaping Haven: Build a Garden You Can Live In

Why design a garden to look at when you can build an outdoor space to live in? Thoughtfully designed Colorado hardscapes allow homeowners to relax outdoors year-round. By analyzing your landscape, evaluating the most common wind directions and watching where water drains on your property, we can identify which areas of your outdoor space will be optimal for year-round enjoyment. Afterwards, we can design the necessary hardscape features to facilitate the process.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Design a patio for a nice transition. Your patio is a great place to start. If you’re starting from scratch, we can help you determine the best size and shape for your patio, based on the proportions of your usable geography. If you already have the foundation in place, we can start looking at what features would make the patio more user-friendly every season. Perhaps a retractable sunshade for the summer months or a covered area for the winter is the best option.

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A raised deck space. A simple, but incredibly useful hardscape feature is a raised deck located off a bedroom or family room. Just a handful of square feet can yield a closure-optional space for you to sit down in and enjoy a change of scenery. Add a simple container garden or water feature to transform your deck into a private sanctuary.

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Fire pits and seating areas. Extra seating areas are always appreciated. They let you enjoy different areas of the garden for different purposes and activities. A section of pavers can be combined with a fire pit or chiminea and extra chairs to create a magical post-sunset hangout spot. Your patio is another place where an outdoor fireplace is desirable.

Traditional Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Lifescape Colorado.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Walking paths. Don’t feel like braving the hottest or coldest days on the streets? Hit the pathways of your own garden or backyard and you can still get a dose of Mother Nature, as well as a bit of exercise. You’ll benefit from the elemental protection of your landscape design.

Give Lifescape Colorado a call so our design team can get started on designing the hardscape of your dreams. With the right features and aesthetic appeal, you’ll want to spend every waking minute of the day outdoors this season!

Prepare Your Colorado Garden for Winter

In the late fall — when temperatures drop and plants go into dormancy — is the perfect time to prepare your Colorado garden for the long winter ahead. All steps taken now will give your landscape a better chance of flourishing with fewer pests and disease next spring. Here are four important steps that should not be overlooked.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Clean up your landscape. This helps prevent pests and disease from over-wintering. Concentrate on first removing and discarding all diseased or pest-ridden plants and debris that have fallen to the ground. Next, inspect your plants and trim off diseased parts. Pull up dead annuals, and make sure you remove old stems and other plant parts from your vegetable garden. Plant debris that show no signs of disease or pests can be placed in your compost pile or worked into the soil.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Keep watering trees and shrubs. As long as temperatures remain above freezing, you should keep to your current watering schedule. This moisture will aid your trees and shrubs as they head into dormancy.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Tend to your perennials. Most perennials that have little winter interest can be and should be cut back. Evergreens and ornamental grasses should be left alone as they’ll provide nice color and texture through the winter season. Perennial beds can be treated with a layer of fresh organic mulch to give them extra protection against fluctuating winter temperatures.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Protect vulnerable plants. Most hardy plants and shrubs can withstand the cold, but some may need a little help. For example, small evergreen shrubs will benefit from a wind blocking structure, while roses and bulb beds will appreciate a layer of organic mulch. Small trees may need barriers to protect them from wildlife. When in doubt, err on the side of caution with plants, and remember that you can always contact Lifescape Colorado to care for your garden year round.

At Lifescape Colorado, our professionals can get your garden ready for winter and flourishing by next spring. Please visit our maintenance page to learn more about our landscape maintenance services.

Top Benefits of Growing Shrubs in Your Garden

Shrubs are an instrumental part of every garden’s ecosystem. They provide shade, improve soil stability, enhance air quality and create habitats for all types of wildlife. Of course, shrubs and small trees are also beautiful to look at, especially when you choose varieties that add seasonal interest to your landscape.

Top Benefits of Growing Shrubs in Your Colorado Garden Design

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Lower your energy bills. Planting shrubs in the right location can lower your energy bills in both the summer and winter months. In order to benefit year-round, you’ll need to plant deciduous shrub or trees that do well in our climate, such as Purpleleaf Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea), Kelsey Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Kelseyi’) or Goldflame (Spiraea x bumalda), all of which add interest with colorful branches, leaves, seasonal blooms and fruit.

You can plant them in front of your eastern and western-exposed windows to provide shade and reduce your dependency on cooling systems. In the winter, deciduous shrubs will shed their leaves and your home will benefit from passive solar heat gain.

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Create wildlife habitats. We frequently share tips for establishing bee, butterfly and bird-friendly landscapes. Most of the time we’re usually talking about the food, pollen and nectar from these plants. However, shrubs also provide homes. They’re great for nesting, cooling off, burrowing underneath and/or escaping from less agile predators.

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Borders and privacy. The aesthetic value of shrubs is one benefit that can protect you from an unattractive view. Use shrubs wisely and your neighbor’s junkyard will cease to exist when you’re enjoying your morning coffee on the patio. You can also use shrubs to grow a living privacy boundary and to separate one area of your yard from another.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Increase your resale value. Landscaped properties have a greater value than their bare counterparts. Established trees and shrubs are particularly appreciated because it can take some time for them to reach a mature size. Households that have established landscapes appreciate home values 5 to 20 percent higher than those that don’t.

Contact Lifescape Colorado today and benefit from a sustainable garden design that optimizes the growth of shrubs, trees and other native plants.