Tag Archives: colorado landscape maintenance

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.

Cheerful Spring Container Gardening Designs & Ideas

Are you itching to start your spring planting? We understand, but you’re rolling the dice this time of year since we’re still too far out from the official start of spring; future snow storms and freezes are a given. The good news is you can still put those green thumbs of yours to work by creating container garden designs and layouts that will add early spring cheer to your porches, plant beds, and patios.

Tips for Achieving Beautiful Container Garden Designs and Layouts

Container gardens are becoming quite the rage. They are versatile, easy to manage, and portable. That latter quality is especially desirable in a climate where having the wherewithal to move containers in and out, depending on the weather report, allows you to enjoy early and late landscape interest when the rest of your neighborhood is surrounded by a sea of winter grays.

Use these tips to create cheerful spring container gardens, even while the snow flies.

Keep containers consistent. It’s easy to get carried away with the myriad of container designs, textures, and colors out there. However, if you go too crazy, it can look like a big mish-mash, rather than a well-designed landscape arrangement. Try to keep your containers consistent, especially within the same grouping, so the plants and blooms remain the same.

If, on the other hand, you have a few prized containers that you want to show off, consider keeping a pot or two empty altogether this year, or plant them with a single tree, grass varietal, or other plants with upward movement, so the plant and container aren’t in competition.

Use a color wheel. If you aren’t naturally creative or artistic, choosing your flowers and plants can be daunting. Grab a color wheel, and use it to assist you. Complementary colors lie directly across from one another on the wheel, and analogous colors lie side by side in groups of threes.

Skip the groupings altogether. If you’re planting your containers in a pinch, forget the idea of using multiple plants in the same pot, and keep it simple by using one plant per container.

Photo: Lifescape Colorado. via Houzz

Then, when you have a minute, you can play around by grouping the containers together to create monochromatic or colorful displays and to yield the variations in height that will make your container garden more interesting. Looking for new ideas for your containers this year? Call on Lifescape, and our design team will be happy to create and maintain your container gardens for you.

Essential Tips for Incorporating Water Sounds Into Your Garden

A well-designed garden is a balancing act. You want to balance landscaping selections with water availability. You will balance color, plant heights, and seasonal interest. Hardscaping installations are balanced with plants to create focal points and functional spaces. In most cases, landscapers get so focused on the visual aspects of their garden that they forget how a garden can please the other senses as well. Incorporating sounds into a garden is a wonderful way to enrich your outdoor experience.

Ideas for Incorporating Sound Into Your Garden

Thinking of your landscape as a soundscape will be particularly satisfying for those who live in more urban settings or near noisy neighbors. By adding sounds – or working with natural materials to buffer sounds – your outdoor spaces will feel more like a wild sanctuary and less like an urban garden.

Harness the wind. Think about how certain plants respond to wind. Aspens rattle and click, tall grasses whisper, ornamental trees may sigh, and a stand of conifers may mimic the sound of ocean waves. Pay attention to how wind moves on your property, and then plant trees, shrubs, and grasses accordingly to make the most of it.

Think about your ground cover. The way a foot falls on concrete is much different from the way it falls on soft bark, mossy ground cover or gravel. Analyze how your family, guests, and pets move in your outdoor spaces. What do you want to hear? What do you not want to hear? These thoughts can help you design walkways, stairways, and pathways that contribute to your outdoor soundscape.

Design water elements that produce the sound you want. The sound of water flowing through a fountain or mock stream will be very different depending on the type of pump you use, the container the water flows into, and the objects in that container. For example, place a rock at the base of a waterfall, and you’ll hear the roar of the water with a brighter splash. Take it away, and the effect is entirely different. Design water features, so they yield the sound you desire.

Lifescape Colorado takes a well-rounded approach to landscape design. Contact us to schedule a consultation, and we’ll show you what a difference incorporating sounds into a garden can make.

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.