Tag Archives: Colorado landscaping

Shady Garden Plans

We all love a little sunshine, but during mid-summer days, a shady garden plan is essential for making the most of your outdoor living space, as well as for enjoying plants that are less tolerant of direct sunlight. The following tips can help you create a Colorado landscape design that balances sun and shade.

Traditional Landscape by Far Hills Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc.

Source: Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc. via Houzz

Start with the shade you have. Lot orientation, existing trees and architectural features already provide a certain level of shade. Depending on how involved you want to get, you can create a garden plan that’s season specific, or you can create a more well-rounded plan that will provide visual interest for the whole year. If you like the idea of changing areas of your garden plan on a seasonal basis, working with a professional landscape company will make your job a lot easier.

Contemporary Landscape by Bainbridge Island Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Bliss Garden Design

Source: Bliss Garden Design via Houzz

Watch your landscape throughout the year, and specifically through the warm weather months. You may find that a particular area enjoys a good deal of shade already, which makes it a prime spot for adding a small patio, a cozy seating area, or perhaps a water feature for an outdoor heat retreat.

Traditional Landscape by Bolingbrook Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors

Source: Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors via Houzz

From trees to ground cover. A garden plan that aims for shade and shade-tolerant plants, should include plants ranging from tall trees to barely-there-ground cover. For example, a beautiful and fragrant Witch Hazel tree (Hamamelis virginiana), which grows about 15-feet tall and provides winter color, can be your primary canopy. Below this tree, you can grow plants and flowers ranging in all shapes and sizes, including Hosta (18-22 inches), False Speria (12-14 inches) Bethlehem Sage (12-inches) and a shade-loving ground cover of your choice. The different plant heights, colors and widths are a picture unto themselves.

Traditional Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Source: Glenna Partridge Garden Design via Houzz

Don’t forget the soil. Your shade garden can only be as healthy as the soil its planted in. Make sure you’ve amended your soil with organic components. Water won’t evaporate as quickly from a shade garden. Your soil should be well-draining so roots don’t rot in standing water.

Would you like some assistance adding a shade garden to your Colorado landscape plan? Contact Lifescape Colorado today for assistance designing your dream outdoor space.

Grow a Thriving Vegetable Garden This Summer

There’s something so satisfying about planting a garden, watching it grow and harvesting its delicious fruits to feed your family. From a single tomato plant in a container to a quarter-acre vegetable garden, there are all kinds of ways your family can enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables all the way through early winter. Best of all, you can feel 100 percent confident that the produce you consume is pesticide- and herbicide-free.

Here are a few tips for growing a thriving Colorado vegetable garden this summer.

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

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Start with the soil. One of the reasons conventional produce lacks the nutrient content of its organically-grown counterparts is that commercial soil is overused and devoid of nutrients. Provide a great foundation for your vegetable garden by amending the soil. In addition to enhancing nutrient and beneficial microorganism content, you’ll also increase the soil’s ability to retain moisture, which will help you conserve water. Using raised beds is the easiest way to build your soil exactly how you want it for higher, healthier yields.

Contemporary Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Aloe Designs

Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Choose the right veggies. Just like your other landscape plants, each vegetable has its own preferred climate, water needs, etc. Heirloom vegetables, as opposed to their hybrid descendents, are often your best bet. Consider varieties like the Navajo Yellow Melon, Jing Orange Okra and Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie.

Rustic Landscape by Vancouver General Contractors Rob Kyne

Source: Rob Kyne via Houzz

Understand the importance of timing. Your garden won’t thrive together all at once. Different plants have different maturity times, so you’ll want to schedule your planting and/or harvesting accordingly.

Traditional Landscape by Sterling Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction

Source: SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction via Houzz

Learn companion planting. Some vegetables do better than others in the garden. Companion planting is a great way to take advantage of dynamic combinations like:

  • carrots, celery, cucumbers and radishes
  • cauliflower, cabbage and lettuce
  • asparagus, basil, parsley and tomato
  • corn, beans, cucumber, melon, parsley, pea, potato, pumpkin and squash

 

Conversely, some veggies do not do well when planted together such as:

  • broccoli and tomatoes
  • carrots and dill
  • potatoes and squash
  • beans and onions

 

Learning about these relationships will enhance your garden’s yield.

Are you interested in growing a sustainable Colorado vegetable garden this summer? Contact Lifescape Colorado today, and we can assist you with your landscape’s design and implementation.

Popular Outdoor Design Trends for 2014

Who determines what’s trending and what’s out in the world of landscape design? In the case of the most popular outdoor design trends of 2014, we’re taking our information from the American Society of Landscape Architects, and there’s no arguing their survey statistics. ASLA has their pulse on the heart of landscaping trends across the country.

We wanted to share some of their findings to help inspire your Colorado landscape design. Here are some of their findings in no particular order:

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Create a variety of outdoor spaces. If you look at the results of the survey, you’ll see that:

  • 94.2% of those surveyed said that gardens and landscaping are the most important feature
  • 92% put emphasis on their outdoor living spaces, like exterior living rooms, kitchen/dining areas and patios
  • 75.8% have made space for outdoor recreational areas

 

These statistics reveal that some of the best designed landscapes are those that accommodate for a range of relaxation, vegetation and activity. Even if you can’t complete these grand plans all at once, you can work from space to space, completing them as your time and budget allows.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Outdoor lighting matters. It might surprise you to know that 98.3% of responders listed outdoor lighting plans as being a very important part of their landscape design. So often, homeowners place little or no thought into their lighting design and how it will affect both the aesthetic and functionality of their outdoor space. We’ve written about the importance of lighting many times before. This feature is a critical component of nighttime safety, as well as the key to creating the right ambiance for each of your outdoor areas.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Low-maintenance, native plants. We’re thrilled to see that low-maintenance landscapes (95.4%) and native plants (84.5%) were the most popular landscape elements for 2014. Not only will low-maintenance and native plants make your life easier, but they will also help you conserve more water. Native plants can withstand our extreme Rocky Mountain climate, while benefiting local wildlife populations.

Lifescape Colorado is a full-service landscape design, build and maintenance firm. Please contact us to implement these trends and more into your Colorado landscape design.

5 Reasons Organic Gardening Matters

Are you interested in practicing a gardening technique that doesn’t involve toxic fertilizers and pesticides? Do you want to grow a landscape that conserves one of our most precious resources? If so, it sounds like you’re interested in designing a sustainable landscape in Colorado.

If that’s the case, we want to share five reasons why organic gardening is so important to the environment.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Enjoy a holistic perspective. When you study organic gardening methods, you’ll realize every aspect of your garden is connected. Healthy, organic soil nourishes more than plant roots — it also sustains healthy bioorganisms underground, which feeds other animals as well. Healthy soil keeps toxic chemicals out of our groundwater supply and air. As a result, your organic flowers will be safer for pollinators, birds and other insects to feed on.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Conserve water. Organic farming isn’t just about maintaining a chemical-free landscape, it’s about building a healthier environment overall. Water conservation is a large part of sustainable gardening methods. You should grow drought-tolerant plants and use healthy watering practices as a part of your organic approach.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Keep glyphosate out of the environment. Glyphosate, found in traditional weed-killers like Roundup, is an endocrine disrupter (it alters the natural hormone balance in animals and humans). It’s so heavily used in Big Ag — especially with corn crops — that this herbicide is now found in our soil, air and water. The less chemicals you use and the more organic products you buy, the less glyphosate will be released in the environment.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Healthier Life. Sure, organic diets mean a healthier diet, which can result in weight-loss. However, those endocrine disrupters we mentioned above — the ones found in pesticides — are also called “obesogens” because they disrupt our body’s weight-loss hormones and have been linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes. The less you ingest, the better.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Enjoy a nutrient-rich diet. When sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables are put against their industrial-grown counterparts, they win hands-down in terms of nutrient content. Remember that herbicides and pesticides can block nutrient absorption, so you can see why organic foods are better for your health.

Lifescape Colorado would love to convert your existing landscape into one that’s sustainable and great for both your body and the environment. Contact us to get started today!

5 Ways to Conserve More Water in Your Colorado Garden

A fundamental part of maintaining a sustainable landscape is to minimize your impact on the Rocky Mountain water table. Water-wise landscaping in Colorado begins with a good plan, but you must maintain these conscious steps year after year to experience your garden’s full potential. The following five tips can help you conserve more water in your Colorado garden.

Beach Style Landscape by Sterling Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Princeton Scapes Inc

Source: Princeton Scapes Inc via Houzz

Choose water-wise plants. Except for a few shade-tolerant annuals and perennials, there’s really no excuse for not growing water-wise plants. Native plants have adapted to our low-water environment, and still have all the beautiful green foliage and blooms you’ve come to appreciate in non-native counterparts ill-suited for our dry climate.

Modern Landscape by Oak Harbor Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Root Design & Landscape

Source: Root Design & Landscape via Houzz

Water deeply. Gardeners are usually content with 15-minute daily watering schedules set on their timed irrigation. Unfortunately, this frequent “shallow” watering yields plants with shallower roots, which require more water. Instead, practice “deep watering,” which requires less water in the long run. Plus, you’ll encourage strong and healthy root growth deep in the ground and save water while you’re at it.

Traditional Landscape by Denver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Ivy Street Design

Source: Ivy Street Design via Houzz

Create a xeriscape plan. Xeriscaping is a smart landscaping technique that carefully analyzes your site, including its geography, orientation, drainage conditions, sun exposure, etc. A xeriscape designer will then choose plants that suit a particular area’s conditions. Of course, a xeriscape is also drought-resistant. A well-designed xeriscape will require very little watering once plants are established.

Contemporary Landscape by Vancouver Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Aloe Designs

Source: Aloe Designs via Houzz

Do the finger check. If you’re an avid container gardener, do the finger check before watering. You may find your plants require less water than you think. The first two to three inches of soil should be dry before you even consider whipping out that watering can. You can use this same tactic for flower and plant beds as well.

Eclectic Landscape by Belmont Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Kristen Rudger Landscape Design

Source: Kristen Rudger Landscape Design via Houzz

Switch groundcover. Get rid of that lawn, or at least large portions of it. Lawns are major water consumers. You can augment your lawn with alternative green and/or colorful drought-tolerant groundcover.

Contact Lifescape Colorado if you need assistance enhancing your Colorado landscape. We can assist you with planning, building, planting, as well as year-round maintenance for stunning outdoor living spaces.