Tag Archives: Colorado Landscape Designers

A Colorado Gardener’s August Checklist

Extra heat and sunshine calls for dutiful attention to watering in the month of August. Although your landscape’s lush greenery and bountiful harvests may still be your landscape’s focal point, autumn’s chill is actually just around the corner. Here is a brief checklist of landscaping tasks for Colorado gardeners this August.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Keep an eye on watering. Water trees deeply and make sure to cover root zones — don’t just water around the base. Check your flowers and vegetables at least twice per day to make sure they’re not wilting or showing other signs of thirst. Remember, it’s best to water in the early morning when it’s hot outside.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Support top-heavy plants. These will need to be staked to prevent toppling or breakage. To accomplish this task, choose sturdy stakes and use soft, flexible ties that will not injure stems. Remember, the main purpose is to keep flowers and fruit off the ground to prevent breakage. There should be a gap between the stem and stake for airflow.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Prepare for fall. Start deadheading and removing dead or diseased foliage. It’s best to keep up with this now to save yourself extra work when cooler weather hits. If you plan to grow a cool season vegetable crop, now is the time to prepare the beds and start seeding.

Traditional Landscape by Far Hills Landscape Contractors Statile & Todd

Source: Statile & Todd via Houzz

Keep up with the harvest. Leaving produce on vines attracts insects. Avoid inadvertently feeding pests by checking for any vegetables or fruits that are ready to be picked.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Assess your landscape for changes that should be made. So much is in bloom in August, making this an ideal time to see how your landscape will function and look aesthetically. Make notes about plants or landscape features you might want to replace or add. Decide if your hardscaping design still matches your outdoor needs, so you can use the colder months to plan any changes.

Attending to your landscape can be a lot of work, especially in August, but we can help. Contact us at Lifescape Colorado to learn more about the garden maintenance services we provide.

Is Your Garden as Green as You Think?

A Colorado garden can look and feel like a natural haven, but many landscapes are not as earth-friendly and sustainable as they appear. Your gardening practices, such as the types of plants you choose and the details you focus on, can make a huge difference on your garden’s environmental impact. Here are some tips for making your garden a little bit greener.

Industrial Landscape by Seattle Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Exteriorscapes llc

Source: Exteriorscapes llc via Houzz

Incorporate drought-tolerant plants. Drought is such a common issue in Colorado, but you can conserve more by reducing your garden’s need for water. One way to do this is by choosing drought-resistant plants. These include many colorful growths native to our state, as well as other eye-catching plants, such as the yucca.

Mediterranean Landscape by Santa Barbara Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Donna Lynn - Landscape Designer

Source: Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer via Houzz

Water plants the smart, sustainable way. Reduce water waste by watering early in the morning before temperatures start to rise. This can be accomplished by watering low to the ground, using soaker hoses or low sprinkler systems and installing a smart irrigation controller.

colorado landscaping service

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Create your own compost. Put yard waste into a compost pile rather than throwing it away. Most kitchen scraps, with the exception of meat products and dairy, can be added to compost. After everything breaks down, you’ll be left with a nutrient-rich compost to add to your garden soil. Many plants don’t require much more fertilizer than dark, rich compost.

colorado landscaping service

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Control pests, naturally. Many common garden pests can be controlled without spraying plants with harmful chemicals. Instead, use horticultural oils and let helpful bugs, such as ladybugs and spiders, live in peace in your garden. You can also create inviting habitats to attract particular types of native birds that feast on harmful insects, such as bluebirds. These natural pest control solutions cost little in time and money and can prevent chemical contamination.

Mediterranean Landscape by Woodland Hills Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Shirley Bovshow

Source: Shirley Bovshow via Houzz

Use sustainable hardscaping. Omit solid paved paths in favor of permeable pavers, pea gravel or natural mulch. These features allow rain to flow down into the soil throughout your garden rather than being lost to evaporation.

For help creating a more sustainable garden, contact us at Lifescape Colorado. Our experts understand the special requirements for growing and maintaining a green and sustainable landscape.

5 Reasons to Include Kale in Your Garden

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense plants you can introduce to your garden; and many people enjoy growing it for these very benefits. However, kale also holds interest for many gardeners beyond its culinary properties. Here are five reasons to consider adding kale to your Colorado garden.

Traditional Landscape by Lemont Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Premier Service

Source: Premier Service via Houzz

Kale adds a burst of color. Ornamental varieties offer hues of green, red, pink and white. However, you don’t have to stick with these types to get color. You can find culinary kale in shades of blue-green and red.

Landscape by Shelburne Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Paintbox Garden

Source: Paintbox Garden via Houzz

Kale also adds texture. You can choose from frilly leaves, smooth leaves and curled leaves or mix and match different types. Varying plant textures break up boring lines and can add visual interest to your landscape.

Traditional Landscape by Shelburne Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Paintbox Garden

Source: Paintbox Garden via Houzz

It’s easy to plant and grow. Kale is a cool-season crop planted from seed or transplants in late winter/early spring or late summer. It prefers a lot of sunlight in cool weather, but also tolerates semi-shade in warm weather. One of the most important considerations for this plant is the soil, which should be rich in nutrients.

Adding compost to the top 12 inches of your garden soil will help give kale a good start. For extra convenience, you can grow kale in pots as part of your container garden. This allows you to move the plants to a more shaded area when the weather gets hot.

Rustic Landscape by Topsham Kitchen & Bath Designers Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS - Atmoscaper Design

Source: Robin Amorello, CKD CAPS – Atmoscaper Design via Houzz

It can withstand cold. Weather can be unpredictable in Colorado, and near-freezing temperatures can occur unexpectedly in the spring or fall. Kale won’t mind a frost, and ornamental kale can even handle a below-freezing drop down to 20 degrees.

Traditional Landscape by Chicago Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers The Brickman Group, Ltd.

Source: The Brickman Group, Ltd. via Houzz

Kale keeps on giving. One of the best benefits of growing culinary kale is that once it’s established with many leaves, you can start picking off the lower ones to consume. This plant will continue growing and providing you with additional nutrient-packed greenery for the duration of its growing season.

If you’re interested in adding kale or other plants to your garden, let Lifescape Colorado do the work for you. Contact us today to learn more about the many landscape and gardening services we provide.

Indian Paintbrush

If you’ve spent any amount of time gazing at our beautiful Colorado landscape, no doubt you’ve noticed a couple fiery spots of color dotting the hillsides and valleys from March through September. If so, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted stands of Indian paintbrush (Castilleja ssp).

Upon closer examination, the Indian paintbrush is a small to medium-sized plant with stalks of linear leaves topped by bright red bracts. Fortunately for you, these Colorado plants are easy to add to your own landscape and will thrive happily year after year.

colorado landscape architect

Source: Weather Pics

Looking For a Colorful, Drought-Tolerant Perennial? Meet the Indian Paintbrush

There are over 100 species of Indian paintbrush, but one of the most common and best adapted to our climate is colorful Indian paintbrush (Castilleja angustifolia). This perennial plant prefers dry, loamy soil and plays host to a wide range of pollinators, making it a great plant for backyard designs. Colorful Indian paintbrush grows between 4- to 22-inches high on average.

Here are some other interesting characteristics to note:

colorado native plant

Source: Grow Native

It’s considered hemi-parasitic. Indian paintbrush intertwines its roots with other plants to leach nutrients and water. However, this relationship doesn’t do any damage to unsuspecting neighbor. Consider planting stands of blue gamma grass or sage brush nearby to help the Indian paintbrush thrive.

They don’t have red flowers. That gorgeous red color we so often admire is actually bracts, or specially modified leaves, as opposed to flowers. The plant’s true flowers are actually smaller, slender green growths hidden amongst the bracts.

colorado landscape designer

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

You’ll attract pollinators galore. Because the Indian paintbrush doesn’t have any branches or strong stalks for birds to perch on, they are a favorite food source for hovering pollinators like butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. In fact, they are a preferred nectar source for broad-tailed hummingbirds and a favorite host for Fulvia Checkerspot butterflies, both of which are common in Colorado.

Are you interested in introducing the Indian paintbrush into your garden? Lifescape Colorado’s landscape maintenance team can do it for you. Give us a call at 303.831.8310, or contact us online.

Create a Sustainable Backyard Getaway

Virtually all private home landscaping was sustainable up until the post-war era when everything became “revolutionized.” This included the pesticide and herbicide boom, expansive green lawns, genetically modified plants with no ability to re-seed themselves and so on. Fortunately, we’ve all learned a little lesson about moderation, and now the pendulum is swinging back to a more sustainable pace.

You can enjoy this swing by taking steps to create a sustainable backyard getaway. The byproducts of your efforts will be cleaner soil and groundwater, a healthier ecosystem for your family, improved air quality and a safe place for birds, bees and other wildlife to thrive.

A Step-by-Step Approach to Sustainable Landscaping in Colorado

colorado landscape architects

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Distinguish specific areas. Keep your backyard as versatile as possible by designating specific areas for sitting, relaxing, dining, cooking, swimming, gardening and/or whatever other interests you and your family share. Make sure one area has enough privacy, so you can still feel like you’re “retreating” even when other areas are occupied.

Farmhouse Landscape by Wayland Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers a Blade of Grass

Source: a Blade of Grass via Houzz

Keep water conservation at the forefront. Water is our most precious resource, so it must be at the forefront of virtually every landscaping decision you make. Plant a xeriscape, use deep watering practices to encourage healthy root growth and use succulents in containers for color.

Mediterranean Landscape by San Marcos Landscape Contractors DeMaria Landtech Inc

Source: DeMaria Landtech Inc via Houzz

Add clover to your lawn. Can you shift the way you view your lawn? In addition to sucking up a fair amount of water, lawns tempt well-meaning people into using toxic synthetic fertilizers. Instead, add nitrogen-fixing clover to your lawn. You can kiss your fertilizer goodbye and enjoy a lush green lawn three out of four seasons. If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, trade your lawn in for drought-resistant groundcover.

colorado landscape architects

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Provide shade and plant a shade garden. Adding a shade structure with a well-planned shade garden can work wonders for creating a cool and private respite on a hot summer’s day. You can also add a birdbath or water feature for extra ambient pleasure.

Are you ready to design your own sustainable retreat? Give Lifescape Colorado a call at 303.831.8310.