It may come as some surprise to you that part of the reason you like eating outside is because it’s also good for you! That’s right — when the weather is nice, you can feast at a backyard picnic and experience health benefits at the same time. Some of our favorite memories are of family outings to the park with ducks quacking, sun rays shining, and baskets full of yummy food. So, if you’re looking for more reasons to take your lunch break outside, here are just a few:
- Get your fill of vitamin D. Vitamin D works wonders for the human body. It boosts the immune system, increases heart health, improves some skin conditions, and is said to help prevent bone diseases. You can find it in many foods and in sunlight! UVB radiation from the sun is converted into the vitamin by a form of cholesterol in your skin.
- Lift your spirits. Ever heard of cabin fever? Studies show that people who live in areas with limited sunlight are more susceptible to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Spending even an hour outside can make a huge difference in maintaining a healthy mood, and our design professionals can help plan and construct an outdoor living area you’ll love spending time in.
- Boost concentration. Recent studies say children with attention disorders can experience increased focus if they spend plenty of time outside. To help persuade them to take their playtime in nature, you can devise kid-friendly areas like sand boxes and outdoor art easels.
- Stay active with help from the outdoors. After you relish in a breezy afternoon snack, take advantage of the weather and go for a stroll with the dogs and kids, take a bike ride, or skate a few laps around the park. Both your legs and your spirit will thank you!
Dining outside is something your whole family should be able to enjoy, and a great patio should be able to offer you the right setting to do so. For help updating or creating a wonderful, functional outdoor living area, contact Lifescape today.
Summer isn’t quite the same without lounging for hours while the kids splash around in the pool or play outdoor games. Gardens are the perfect locations for easy outdoor games — little to no skill is needed, and games are a great way to gather the whole family for some fun in the sun. To help you properly welcome the summer season, we’ve put together a neat selection of outdoor games for your family and guests to enjoy:
- Lawn Chess. A larger version of the original board game, lawn chess is constructed by mowing squares onto the lawn or using plastic or wooden board pieces and markers. We love that chess encourages problem solving, strategy, and gamesmanship. So, put on your “thinking caps” and be prepared for some healthy competition!
- Horseshoes. Horseshoes is an all-American classic that happens to be a fantastic workout. Players take turns throwing two horseshoes at a stake in the ground. The goal of the game is to get the horseshoes as close to the target as possible, even so that they completely encircle the stake (called “ringers”). Horseshoes is played on a court 46 feet long by 6 feet wide. However, if space is limited, the game will work with a much smaller court. The points system is simple — a shoe 6 inches or closer to the stake is 1 point, 2 points are scored if both shoes are closer to the stake than the opponents, and ringers are worth 3 points. The game continues until 40 points are scored.
- Croquet. For croquet, all you’ll need is a flat, closely-mown lawn area, a set of 6 cast iron hoops set in the ground, 4 balls, and mallets. The rules take a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can host a garden party and teach all your friends how to play!
If you’re ready to make your outdoor spaces not only beautiful but functional as well, Lifescape offers the design and landscaping services to suit your needs and more. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Does your landscape need a new look? Are you tired of seeing the same colors — green in spring and summer and brown in winter and fall? Or, are your evergreen shrubs getting more out of control every year? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are ready to take steps towards an updated landscape design. Whether you’re working on a budget or looking to make a sizable investment, you can use these tips to add to the curb appeal and overall value of your home.
Understand your landscape. This might go without saying, but it’s important to know the topography of your landscape, understand the Colorado climate, and be aware of your specific soil type. Your yard has its own unique microclimate because of the sun and shade different areas receive. The four categories of microclimates include:
- Full Sun.
- Partial Shade.
- Deep Shade.
The ultimate goal is to help ensure water drains properly in your landscape and moves away from your home towards other areas of your landscape.
Consider the function of your yard. Do you have children who will be playing in your yard? Do you have dogs? Setting up different spaces to house different activities will help you make the most out of your yard. Don’t forget about walkways to connect the various spaces.
Strategically place plants. Plants have a number of functions — aromatherapy, the priceless bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and beautiful colors are just a few. With plants, you can define your outdoor spaces, block any unpleasant views, and maintain barriers.
Consider details to create a cohesive landscape. Everything from your pool to the patio furnishings contribute to the colors and textural details of your landscape. Think about when certain flowers will bloom and if their scents will complement one another.
Safeguard your natural resources. Choosing the right plants for your Colorado landscape and intelligently handling rainwater will result in a healthier landscape in the long run.
If you’re getting tired of your existing landscape, it might be time for an upgrade. Contact Lifescape today to schedule a consultation.
For many, the sun is an old friend and a dangerous foe all at the same time. We love to go on holiday to sunny islands and sip cocktails by the pool, but we also know just how important it is to protect yourself during the hottest hours of the day. And it’s not just you! Your landscape needs protection from those rays, too.
The heat of the sun coming from the west strains all but the most rugged varieties of native plants. During the Colorado summer, you need purposeful shade to protect your landscape from the western sun. Large trees, shade structures, and native plants can all be used to help you enjoy your outdoor areas all year long.
For those running low on time, quick and easy shade options are true lifesavers. Shade sails are made from UV-resistant, heavy duty cloth cut into triangular pieces and provide shade and attractive, geometric shadows. The shade sails attach to contact points on your exterior wall, and you’ll need a professional to help with the installation. Retractable awnings are equally effective — they can be installed in as little as a day and can be both opened and closed.
Shade trees are practically a no-brainer when you’re in the hot zone, and bigger is better. Trees can positively alter the whole microclimate of your landscape, but they aren’t easy to install. A licensed landscape architect is needed to hand-select the right variety and avoid damage to your home and injury to workers.
The downside is they can take months to construct, but we think shade structures and pergolas are well worth the wait. Your permanent shade solution can be custom-designed to match your home’s existing style, architecture, and building materials. For optimal protection, beams and rafters should run perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Keep in mind, the closer together the rafters are, the more shade you’ll be able to enjoy.
Rushing to make last minute changes to ready your landscape for the season? We can help! Contact Lifescape today to schedule a consultation.
With so little time to spare in our everyday lives, we need a good reason to devote hours every week to something new. But, gardening is an ancient human tradition — one that can benefit your health, connect you with nature, and give your family an incentive to spend more quality time outside. Looking to lessen your carbon footprint? It’s time to turn off your TV and start embracing the dirt beneath your hands and feet. Here are our top 5 reasons to start and maintain a garden:
- Eat healthy food from your own backyard. Not only can you enjoy fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before, but you can rest easy knowing exactly what you’ve put into your garden and what you’ll be getting out of it. Additionally, fresh vegetables are known to be up to 50 % higher in nutrients than their non-organic, imported counterparts.
- Save money on produce. The cost of produce continues to rise, but you won’t have to worry about that anymore. Be prepared to pay a mere pittance of what you used to for organic fruits and vegetables. Seeds cost between 3-10 cents apiece, and you can store beets, apples, onions, and squash during the winter months.
- Have fun while exercising. You can burn up to 400 calories during every hour you spend gardening. Exercising releases endorphins, which will make you feel that much better while you enjoy your fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Learn to relax and ease stress in your garden. Gardening gives you an outlet to decompress and let your thoughts flow and wander. It’s not about wishful thinking — gardening is all about actual face time and using your hands to create your very own bounty!
- Help kids learn about the environment and responsibility. It’s been proven in multiple studies that garden-based learning improves academic performance, especially in the fields of math and science. Involving children in the garden gives them invaluable skills like problem solving, independence, and team building.
Lifescape can help get you started on the right path with your garden. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.