Tag Archives: Colorado landscaping

Key Elements of a European Style Landscape

Key Elements of a European Style Landscape

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Anyone who has traveled to Europe likely has fond memories of quaint outdoor cafes, cobblestone streets, and romantic, lush gardens. Europeans embrace warm seasons by taking many activities, especially eating and socializing, outdoors, and the garden designs reflect that. If you want to bring the European aesthetic to your Colorado landscape, here are elements to consider.

The European Patio

Alfresco dining is quintessentially European, and one part of a patio should be designed with meals in mind. The primary elements to include are table and chairs, an awning or other feature to protect the area from the sun, and decorative accents that reflect a European country’s style. If your area is large enough, consider creating several dining and entertainment areas suitable for different occasions. This patio has a casual sitting area, a bar and a more comfortable area that is semi-enclosed.

Tiers and Slopes

Like gardens in parts of our state, many European gardens are built on sloping landscapes. Your garden design can be adapted to enhance and protect slopes while offering European aesthetic to the land. The stone walls and strategically placed plants shown here reduce soil erosion while adding lush color and texture to the landscape.

Water Features

Fountains are found in village squares and residential patios and gardens throughout Europe. Large or small, fountains and other water features provide romantic old world charm to any European style landscape. Along with a traditional fountain and a spa, this landscape’s water features include a pool with flowing water.

Showy Blossoms and Romantic Lush Greenery

Most European countries boast climates which, at least in spring and summer, encourage lush, green gardens and greenery along with showy flowers and shrubs featured strongly in the European garden. Despite the often overly dry conditions in our state, we can achieve this lush look by choosing Colorado native plants and adding colorful container arrangements like those used for this amazing landscape.

If you’d like to make your European garden ideas come to life, contact us at Lifescape today. Our professional design crew can help you from start to finish.

5 Container Gardening Mistakes to Avoid This Winter

Winter gardening in Colorado isn’t impossible, but it will require a few changes on your part. If you don’t want your landscape to look like a bleak midwinter snowstorm, container gardening is a wonderful way to enjoy winter interest on your patio and around other areas of your yard.

container garden

Keep your container garden going this winter with a few of these helpful gardening tips. Source: Lifescape

You can even enhance your container’s visual impact by adding some inanimate seasonal and/or holiday cheer. However, before you dive into your next project, there are a handful of container gardening mistakes you should keep in mind. Here are five you’ll want to avoid this winter.

  • Buying pots that aren’t suited for our climate. Make sure you purchase pots that can handle freezing temperatures without cracking or falling apart.
  • Filling and planting the container in the wrong spot. A full container is a heavy container and moving it can be back-breaking work. Place your containers where you want them, and then fill them with rich organic soil that will help nourish plant roots all season long. If you want to keep your containers mobile (recommended if the containers aren’t sheltered), purchase containers with wheels or buy small platforms on castors to make the move easier.
  • Not paying attention to each plant’s individual needs. In an effort to plant a beautiful and proportional container garden, it’s easy to forget that different plants have different needs in terms of sun, soil and water. Make sure to grow plants that have similar needs, so they remain collectively healthy.
  • Over/under watering. First, make sure your containers have ample drainage holes, so you don’t have to worry about root rot. Then, pay attention to each plant’s watering needs. Most containers need to be watered everyday or every-other-day.
  • Neglecting fertilizer. Fertilizer doesn’t last as long in containers as it does in the ground. Therefore, containers need to be fertilized more frequently.

Lifescape Colorado specializes in customized holiday container gardens for the winter and holiday seasons. Contact us today to plant, maintain, or spruce up your winter container garden.

Enhance Your Driveway with Smart Lighting Solutions

Driveways form the gateway to your home, guiding guests to your front porch and the entrance to your home. But, is your driveway doing it all it can to make the most of this important role? In addition to a stunning design that complements your property’s layout and your home’s architecture, we recommend including a thoughtful lighting plan.

driveway

Source: Lifescape Colorado

In addition to the immediate safety benefits of assisting guests as they make their way to your front door, these driveway lighting ideas will also highlight attractive hardscape and landscape features after the sun goes down.

Take a walk. Reading ideas in print is one thing; seeing them in action is another. Go ahead and take a walk around your surrounding neighborhood and make notes as you create your own wish list.

  • DO provide lighting to guide cars safely around curbs and landscape borders.
  • DON’T make your driveway look like an airport landing strip.
  • DO use a variety of lighting sources at different levels.
  • DON’T use excessive wattage that can distract neighbors or visitors.

Place lights at the entrance. Your driveway should be illuminated at its entrance points, as well as garage doors and any other entrances that lead from your driveway to landscaped pathways, gates, stairs, front doors and side doors.

Mark direction changes. Do you have a curved or U-shaped driveway? Make sure you install light fixtures that illuminate any new features, elevation changes or direction changes that may take a first-time guest unawares.

Use a variety of fixtures. Ground lights are popular because they’re less intrusive and provide a cleaner look. We also recommend using appropriately placed driveway post lights that can brighten up your landscape when the ground is covered with snow.

Lifescape Colorado is offering an 8 percent discount to customers who sign contracts for hardscaping improvements between Nov. 2014 and Feb. 2015, so schedule an upcoming hardscaping project and take advantage of these incredible savings today.

Select the Right Trees for Your Garden

Spring gets all the credit as nature’s “planting season.” Thus, many new gardeners are surprised to learn that fall is one of the best times of the year to grow trees. While it’s true that trees shed their leaves in the fall to store energy and prepare for winter, below the ground, their roots are still hard at work growing longer and stronger.

By planting trees and bare-root plants in the fall, you can protect them from heat stress and potential drought conditions. These roots will continue to grow all winter long, which means they’ll be more than ready to reward you with vibrant foliage next spring.

denver landscape architect

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Tips For Choosing the Right Trees for Your Colorado Garden Design

The following tips will help you select the right trees for your landscape. You can also work with a professional landscape designer to ensure that the best trees and shrubs suited for your site conditions and overall landscape are planted.

denver landscape architect

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Ask yourself, “Why?” Ask yourself what you want your trees to do. Do you want it to flower? Provide shade? Grow big and tall? Remain relatively small? Add annual interest? Conversely, what do you not want it to do? Are you prepared to clean up messy fruit droppings or leaf falls? Knowing what you want out of your tree will help guide you to the best species.

denver landscape architect

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Short- or long-growing. If you want trees to provide shade in your garden, you’ll probably want to select a faster growing tree. However, keep in mind that faster growing trees are usually shorter-lived. Longer-growing hardwoods may require more patience, but they’ll reward your family with a long life and plenty of shade.

denver landscape architect

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Pay attention at the nursery. Once you’re ready to tree shop, take the time to inspect future trees before bringing them home to plant. You’ll want to look for trees with:

  • Attractive branch structures.
  • Undamaged trunks. If it’s already wrapped by the nursery, unwrap it so you know what you’re buying.
  • Zero insect and/or insect-related damage on leaves, their undersides and bark.
  • No signs of discolorations or sunken bark that indicates disease.

As always, Lifescape Colorado is happy to help you select the perfect trees to grow and thrive in your landscape design.

Why Fall Leaves are Your Garden’s Best Friend

Are fall leaves getting the best of you? Sounds like it’s time to put them to work in your favor. Dried, dead leaves are one of Mother Nature’s best fertilizers. Without them, our forest floors wouldn’t provide the same quality of rich, loamy soil needed to nurture buried seeds. In fact, without leaves, moisture would evaporate more quickly and pests and diseases would have a better chance at gaining access to tender new shoots.

Traditional Exterior by Fairfield General Contractors Tallman Segerson Builders

Source: Tallman Segerson Builders via Houzz

While they may feel like the enemy at times, in truth, fall leaves are one of your garden’s best friends. Here are some important facts to know about fall leaves.

Traditional Landscape by Wheat Ridge Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

They’re jam-packed with nutrients. Trees roots worked hard all spring and summer extracting nutrients from the soil to feed their trunks, branches, stems and leaves. Those leaves are now full of phytonurtrients that will be recycled back into the soil for the next generation. Phytonutrients also feed earthworms and microbes that improve soil quality.

Modern Spaces by Wheat Ridge Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Leaf mulch is economical. In a Houzz article, Therese Ciesinsky talks about her town’s “leaf collecting day.” Residents blow fallen leaves into the street and a municipal truck comes along to vacuum them up. She writes, “What I see being vacuumed up are dollar bills, the money these homeowners will spend next year on lawn and garden fertilizers, mulch and bagged compost.” Instead, use a mulching lawn mower to gather and mulch leaves to use for your spring and summer gardens. Doing so can put hundreds of dollars back into your pockets.

denver landscape architect

Source: Gardeners

Organic matter improves soil structure. Our Rocky Mountain geography is comprised predominantly of sandy, well-draining soil. While this is suitable for our most hardy native plants, your landscape’s soil will appreciate the structure provided by additional organic matter from leaf and kitchen compost.

Are you planning on removing fallen leaves from your landscape? The Lifescape Colorado maintenance team will be happy to remove fallen leaf material and compost it for you. Contact us online or give us a call at 303.831.8310 today.