Tag Archives: colorado landscape maintenance

Solve Water Runoff Issues with a Dry Creek Bed

Water runoff can be a problem in your landscape, but you don’t have to settle for a boring solution. You can create a realistic-looking dry creek bed with large rocks, stones, plants and more that will artistically funnel water runoff, making it look like a river.

Solve Water Runoff Issues with a Dry Creek Bed

Source: Lifescape Colorado

When beginning to design your dry creek bed, look to nature for inspiration. Some ideas to create a realistic look include creating a winding pathway for the water to run, similar to a river. Fill it in with a mixture of native rocks and appropriate plants, such as ferns and mosses up the sides of the banks of the river bed for a natural feel. You can even incorporate tree roots if digging exposes them during the construction process.

Creating a dry creek bed on your land is a very technical project that may require the help of a professional. This is because you will want to be sure the dry creek bed will be able to handle the expected water flow and have the correct width, depth, and pitch.

Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

Ultimately, the dry creek bed needs to help solve your water runoff problems, but it may help solve other landscape issues as well. You may find that the dry creek bed helps stabilize a slope in your yard and keep water away from your home’s foundation as well.

If you are looking into building a dry creek bed in your yard, contact Lifescape. Lifescape can assist with landscape design, landscape architecture, and construction as well as landscape maintenance, water management, and more.

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Even with water restrictions and water conservation efforts, it is still possible to enjoy a beautiful water fountain in your yard. Here are some practical water saving ideas for a water wise fountain:

Practical Water Saving Ideas with a Water Wise Fountain

Source: Lifescape Colorado

  • Install your water fountain, especially those with long, shallow pools, in a shady area to minimize evaporation, as warm water evaporates quicker than cool water.
  • Decrease wind evaporation with strategically placed plants and fences or barriers around the water feature.
  • If you can choose a water feature that cascades down rather than sprays up, do so. This will help conserve water by minimizing evaporation.

Some other practical water wise tips for fountains include:

  • Minimize surface area of the fountain as well as splash and overspray from fountains to decrease evaporation.
  • Choose a bubbling fountain, which can recirculate water as it flows down the sides of the vessel.
  • Install a fountain such that it waters surrounding plants.
  • Place permeable plants and materials around fountains so water can be absorbed into the ground.
  • Supply your fountains with runoff or recycled water.
  • Place a decorative rain barrel under a set of rain chains to create a “fountain” from the water collected.

Let’s say you already have a water fountain installed on your property, and you’re looking for ways to make it conserve more water without replacing it. Some options include adjusting the spray to no higher than four inches, decreasing water levels to reduce splash, only turning fountains on at certain times such as when you are entertaining, and being sure there are no cracks or leaks in your fountain.

How do you conserve water in your landscape? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Frigid Colorado Temps Wreak Havoc on Landscapes

The November snowstorm in Colorado was one of the most severe since the Halloween freeze of 1991.  In 1991, Denver saw a dip from a high of 71 degrees on October 27 to a record low of 7 degrees on October 29. In 2014, Denver went from 64 degrees on November 10 to a record low of -13 degrees on November 12, making it the third largest temperature decrease ever recorded in the area. Even more interesting is the fact that all three record-breaking drops have occurred in the last 12 months.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

These temperature swings have taken trees off guard, resulting in brown and frozen foliage. Some trees also went winter dormancy at a weakened state while other plants were at the risk of fatal frost damage.

There are several ways homeowners and landscapers can battle harmful frost.

  • Choose plants that are tough, durable, and proven to thrive in colder climates and your particular region.
  • Prevent planting in frost pockets or areas of your garden where cold air flows and pools. Additionally, place any plants that are more tender in the sunniest spots of your garden.
  • Do not apply any nitrogen-rich fertilizers at season’s end because this will make plants softer and more exposed and apt to frost damage.
  • Insulate soil at the base of trees, shrubs, and plants. Bare soil will not hold heat on its own. A thick layer of mulch or other organic matter can be used to trap in heat, protect roots, and prevent freezing.
  • Avoid dry soil. When soil loses all moisture and becomes dry, it releases heat more rapidly. Thirsty trees, shrubs, and plants will then become stressed and are more prone to frost affliction. When conditions turn dry, winter watering can help to protect trees, shrubs, and plants from falling victim to detrimental freezing.

If a plant suffers from frost damage, don’t automatically give up on it! After a thaw, try pruning out damaged growth, applying fertilizer, creating gaps to remove frost pockets, and re-firming ground soil around plants. If treated properly, some plants can survive and show re-growth come summer.

Is your Colorado landscape looking a little limp after the most recent record-breaking frost? Our team here at Lifescape would love to help bring your landscape back to life and prepare your yard for a beautiful, colorful, and lush spring and summer season. Contact us online or by calling (303) 831-8310.

Design Your Hardscape with Visual Interest

Hardscapes can be just as awe-inspiring as the plants that surround them. While the purpose of a hardscape is largely functional, it can be designed to significantly enhance the look and feel of a landscape.

Once the location and traffic patterns have been decided, the focus can be turned to creating a pleasing combination of textures and tones. From mixing materials to interplanting, there are several design strategies for making hardscapes more attractive.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Here are some creative paver, stone, and gravel design ideas for turning hardscapes into works of art.

Soften concrete pavers with green in between. Grass or other foliage joints can instantly add aesthetic value while creating commanding contrasts for a dynamic design.

Traditional European garden elements can be reinvented in a contemporary setting for a striking effect. A sleek allée of pollarded trees becomes a bold focal point in this elegant modern landscape.

Naturally interesting rock formations can become decorative points of interest to break up hardscapes. A moss garden turns this corner into a charming display of nature’s finest carpet. A naturalistic free-form boulder planter will blend in seamlessly while adding sculptural appeal.

Garden beds can be cleverly incorporated into hardscapes to create a cohesive and engaging design. This unexpected succulent bed leverages a curve to bring more green to the scene. A modern courtyard is punctuated by narrow garden beds that make for chic accents in the hardscaping.

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Even steps can be an opportunity to customize and enhance a hardscape design. Blue fescue and colorful perennials turn these paver steps into a garden in themselves.

Create your own unique blending of materials. A stunning modern-style hardscape design employs gravel, thin pavers, garden spheres, and interplantings. A simple yet striking design takes advantage of a few different materials to create textures, patterns, and pops of color.

Our team here at Lifescape would love to help you remodel your Colorado landscape with a custom design that features artful hardscapes, beautiful beds, and other personalized features and touches that express style and improve quality of life. Contact Lifescape online or by calling 303.831.8310 to set up your consultation.

Grow Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch from the Yard

If your aim is to achieve better tree health and form, mulching is one of the best practices you can adopt.

What is Mulching?

The act of mulching involves placing materials over the soil surface to help reduce water loss, prevent erosion, and reduce weeds. Mulched trees are healthier and more resistant, and you’ll end up spending less time fighting common tree problems.

There are many different kinds of mulch with the two major types being organic and inorganic. Inorganic mulch is not recommended because it does not improve soil structure or provide nutrients. Organic mulch, on the other hand, improves soil quality and fertility and decomposes naturally. Wood chips, pine needles, hardwood, softwood bark, leaves, and compost mixes are all considered acceptable types of organic mulch.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Tips for Growing Brilliant Trees with Natural Mulch 

  • It’s crucial to forego laying down your organic mulch until the area has been fully rid of any lingering weeds. After weeding, make sure the layer of mulch is thick enough to prevent future growth.
  • You’ll need to replenish your mulch several times a year. This practice will help maintain the ideal 2 to 3 inch depth optimal for better mulch performance.
  • Don’t over-pile mulch against the trunks or stems of plants and trees. Doing so can stress the stem tissues and can lead to the development of disease, insect problems, and girdled roots. Also, if mulch is piled high on the trunks of young trees, rodents may inhabit the area and chew away the bark of the tree.
  • If finer mulch is blanketed too thickly, the penetration of water and air may be reduced.
  • Specific plants will benefit from different kinds of mulch, so do your research before choosing a mulch.

    Source: Pixabay

    Source: Pixabay

Improper mulching materials and practices can result in damage done to your property. Always remember not to go overboard with mulching, as too much can be harmful to your trees. However, with proper methods, the health and value of your trees will skyrocket!

Do you need some guidance with growing brilliant trees on your landscape? Contact Lifescape Colorado today to schedule a consultation.