Tag Archives: Colorado landscaping

Gorgeous Drought Tolerant Landscapes

Does the term “drought tolerant landscape” conjure images of barren, rocky yards with a lone flowering cactus? You’re not alone. This is why clients are amazed when we’re able to execute a lush, colorful and interesting Colorado garden design, while adhering to green and sustainable water-wise landscaping principles.

We know the proof is in the proverbial pudding, so here are four examples of gorgeous gardens that incorporate drought-tolerant landscaping techniques.

Source: Coates Design Architects Seattle via Houzz

Patio oasis. By implementing natural rock and stone accents paired with plants that don’t require a lot of water to remain green, you can design a patio oasis. To accomplish this with your own patio:

  • Use pavers. You can choose pavers in a variety of colors, sizes and materials, such as natural stone, to become an artistic, as well as a functional foundation for your patio.
  • Plant a variety. Use a combination of drought-tolerant plants and trees of varying heights and widths to feel surrounded by foliage.

Source: Boxhill Design via Houzz

A sprawling work of art. There’s nothing drab or boring about this sprawling desert landscape full of beautiful colors. The Desert Museum Palo Verde adds vibrant green at and above eye-level. Below, you can see the rich purple hues of Babylon Verbena and bright bursts of red from Blue Elf Blooms. This landscape is proof that sustainable garden designs should never sacrifice visual interest.

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Source: Stepables

The illusion of a lawn. Giving up the lawn is one of the most difficult sacrifices for homeowners making the switch to a water-wise landscape. Using plenty of water-wise plants combined with drought-tolerant groundcover can ease your pain. Use low-maintenance ornamental grasses at varying heights and plants like Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis), which is a gorgeous lawn substitute.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Enhance corner sections. You can reduce your lawn square footage and save dramatically on water bills by cutting out the corner sections of your grassy areas and replacing them with water-wise plants. This way, you get the best of both worlds and it will make for a more visually interesting landscape to boot.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to augment your Colorado garden design with gorgeous water-wise plants, grasses and groundcover.

How to Design a Drought-Tolerant Landscape

If you live in Colorado, you’re no stranger to drought conditions. These past years have been dry ones and municipalities are becoming more rigid regarding non-essential water use. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to design a drought-tolerant landscape in Colorado that can yield a lush and interesting look with minimal water consumption.

Here are a few tips for designing a sustainable landscape that can weather the dry years, as well as the Rocky Mountains’ extreme temperature variations and soil conditions.

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Evaluate site conditions. Patience is a virtue for landscape designers. Use a season or two to evaluate your site, noting which areas tend to get the most and least water, as well as sun and/or shade. By evaluating your landscape, you can make better choices about which plants should go where. For example, the more moist areas of your yard — around downspouts or at the base of slopes — can be used for plants that require more water. You can save sandier, dryer patches for drought-resistant plants.

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Source: Thomas J. Story via Sunset

Amend your soil where needed. If you aren’t sure how a particular section of soil will react with water, dig a hole at least 12-inches deep and fill it with water. If the water drains immediately, you’ll need to amend it with organic materials, such as compost or leaf mulch. If the water pools and stays put for 30-minutes or more, you’ll need to add sandier soil amendments to increase porosity.

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Source: Norm Plate via Sunset

Replace or reduce your lawn. Lawns are not considered drought tolerant. Consider replacing your lawn, or a good portion of it, with colorful stone and ornamental plants. Ornamental grasses will provide a burst of green, while requiring significantly less water than a lawn.

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Source: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Add color with drought tolerant plants. Our high-desert landscape is bursting with native color. You can achieve the same by planting native, drought-tolerant plants such as:

Once established, these plants can survive on rainfall and snow melt alone.

Would you like professional assistance designing a drought-resistant Colorado landscape plan for your property? Contact us at Lifescape Colorado for more information about our services.

The Environmental Benefits of Eco-Friendly Xeriscaping

Many people mistakenly believe that a xeriscape, or drought-resistant, landscape means sacrificing greenery and color for a bland and dry garden. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Lifescape Colorado provides xeriscape services in Colorado that yield colorful landscapes with year-round interest. Best of all, this eco-friendly choice conserves water, which is very critical in arid climates.

Here are five environmental benefits of eco-friendly xeriscaping.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Water conservation. The first and most obvious benefit of a xeriscape is that it requires very little water. This is essential in an era plagued by low rain and snow fall. In a well executed xeriscape, you can reduce water usage by as much as 70 percent! The less you depend on water to enhance your landscape, the better. The good news is that drought resistant plants thrive in low-water environments and can still provide green foliage and colorful blooms.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Preserve native plants. Oftentimes, indigenous plants are shoved out of the way in order to make way for plants that don’t do nearly as well in their new environment. Most xeriscape designs will highlight native Colorado plants or plants from a similar environment that can thrive from season to season with minimal care.

Source: Urban Botanics via Houzz

No fertilization required. Hopefully, by now you’re using organic fertilizers rather than their synthetic fertilizing counterparts. While you may choose to amend the soil initially to give new plantlings a boost, once established the plants will do well on their own with little need for soil amendments.

Source: Urban Botanics via Houzz

Reduce pesticide use. Because native plants are adapted to their environment, they are not as susceptible to pests, which reduces your need for pesticides.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Help local wildlife. Much of our Colorado wildlife depends on native plants as a food source. Conversely, our native plants rely on wildlife to assist with pollination and seed distribution. By dedicating at least a portion of your landscape to native plants, you’ll benefit from all the birds, butterflies and other wildlife your garden will attract, and they’ll benefit from you!

Contact the professionals at Lifescape Colorado to design your eco-friendly xeriscape today.

Easy Steps to a More Water-Wise Garden

Here in Colorado, we’re no strangers to drought and water restrictions, and this is why water conservation is important to many gardeners. During the driest, hottest seasons, a beautiful garden may seem impossible to achieve, but this is not true. A few smart changes can make your garden both water-wise and beautiful.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Replace the Lawn

Turf requires a lot of water to stay healthy and green. You’ll save significantly on water if you remove traditional grass and replace it with a lawn alternative. Use any kind of hardy, drought-resistant groundcover or choose one that looks similar to grass, such as Cara panza.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Choose Drought-Resistant Plants

Like the lawn, replace thirsty plants with water-wise plants that handle dry periods easily.  Most varieties native to the area are suitable, since they have the capability to thrive in our climate.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Keep Plants Healthy

Healthy plants require less water than sickly plants. To keep plants healthy, make sure your soil is in good condition. In most cases, this means that it’s nutrient-packed and well-draining, but holds enough moisture to keep plants happy.

Plants also do best when fertilized and kept in a weed-free, pest-free landscape environment. Don’t neglect this maintenance!

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use Mulch

Mulch prevents weed growth near plants and prevents water from evaporating quickly from the soil. Using mulch will reduce the need to water as frequently.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Use Smart Watering Techniques

Anytime you water with a hose or with an overhead sprinkler, you’re wasting water. Choose drip irrigation instead. To maximize your savings, install a Rainbird Smart Irrigation Controller. This device will take the guesswork out of when to water and how much to water.

Also, invest in a rain barrel. You’ll help save an important resource and make plants happy.

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Source: Arterra LLP Landscape Architects via Houzz

Plan Your Layout Wisely

The thirstiest plants should be grouped together and separate from drought resistant plants. Hydrozoning is another step to minimize water waste.

Let Lifescape Colorado help you discover the best water-wise plan for your garden landscape and care for your landscape maintenance needs. Visit our website today to learn more.

Fabulous Water-Wise Perennials for Colorado Gardens

As you begin to plan your spring garden, don’t neglect the power of growing native plants. There are multiple benefits to prioritizing native plants in your garden. They’re hardier and are able to withstand hot dry summers and freezing winters. They also require less water than non-native counterparts and will also attract birds, bees and butterflies to enhance your outdoor environment.

Sustainable plants are also a great choice, as they require zero to little watering for up to three years once established. Before you make your final selections, evaluate your landscape and identify which areas have well-draining soil and which areas get the most sun. These are the optimal locations for your drought-tolerant perennials.

Here are some suggestions for fabulous water-wise perennials that will keep you smiling year after year.

Houzz

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Jupiter’s Beard. This cheerful plant grows between 2- to 3-feet tall and 2-feet wide. This species (Centranthus ruber) has deep-pink blooms, while Centrathus alba has white blooms. They grow on upright stalks with blue-tinged leaves and will bloom from spring all the way through fall with regular deadheading. Butterflies love them!

Houzz

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Candy Tuft (Iberis sempervirens). Have a tumble of boulders you’d like to adorn? Meet Candy Tuft. Growing no more than 12-inches high, these crisp white blooms sit atop verdant green mounds of foliage. They look beautiful sitting between earthen gaps in rock formations or creating foreground interest in planters and edgings.

Houzz

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Western Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis). This lush and delicate grass-like foliage combined with beautiful blue-purple blooms makes it hard to believe Western Spiderwort does so well in our arid climate. It’s a beautiful addition to your meadow or wild grass garden and will bloom from spring to early summer. It attracts butterflies, but is deer resistant.

Houzz

Source: Jocelyn H. Chilvers via Houzz

Purple Mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum). This will look wonderful right alongside your Western Spiderwort, a wildflower garden or mixed-borders. Purple Mullein grows about 2-feet high and will spread just a little more than a foot. It’s a biennial with a relatively short spring blooming season. However, it does self-sow without taking over your garden bed.

Looking for the right Colorado native plants to enhance your sustainable, water-wise landscape? Contact the design professionals at Lifescape Colorado for more information.