Tag Archives: Colorado landscaping

Benefits of Porous Permeable Pavers for Your Colorado Landscape

We love being able to drive around in our cars, but the resulting asphalt covering our country from coast to coast isn’t necessarily doing us any favors. Luckily, the past 30 years have seen huge developments in storm-water management, and today, you can choose from several different environmentally-friendly permeable pavers. Below, we’ll highlight several of the most prominent porous paving options.

Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is slightly coarser than standard asphalt and allows water to filter through instead of directing it towards storm drains. Underneath the asphalt is an open-graded stone bed, averaging between 18 and 36 inches deep. Because of the deep bed, water is able to filter through to the soil below and doesn’t rise into the asphalt above.

If you’re looking for an attractive paving option that is eco-conscious and cost-effective, porous asphalt is both. Attractive and long-lasting, porous asphalt typically shows little damage after as many as 20 years. What’s more, it’s a breeze to install, doesn’t hold as much heat as conventional asphalt, and replenishes the water table.

Dry-Laid Pavers

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Source: Houzz

Dry laying involves installing stones or pavers over a bed of sand and gravel. The openings between the stones or pavers allows water to easily pass through to the beds below. We especially like the look of growing grass or moss between the cracks — use urbanite, or recycled concrete, to solidify your sustainable patio.

Crushed Stone/Gravel

Have a garden in need of walkways? Decomposed granite or gravel loosely packed on top of leveled soil provides a visually appealing platform for rainwater to filter through the stone. This inexpensive option, when coupled with shrubs and flower beds, enlivens an elegant landscape.

Grass Pavers

Yet another form of permeable paving, grass pavers have a unique appearance in that they will resemble the surrounding lawn or landscape. Grass-paved patios and driveways are formed by filling open cells with dirt and then planting the cells with grass seed. Grass pavers are ideal for residential driveways because they can withstand heavy loads.

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Source: Houzz

Our professionals at Lifescape love offering water management and irrigation services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Don’t Hide Your Driveway, But Make it Stand Out

Exactly what you see when you look at a stunning driveway relies on a balanced configuration of hardscapes and softscapes. It’s simple, really — hardscapes consist of walls and fences, while softscapes revolve around shrubs, ground covers, ornamental trees, and flower beds. Together, these elements work to create an unforgettable first impression for visitors. But in addition to looking good, a driveway also needs to be functional and durable.

lifescape-driveways

Source: Lifescape

Hardscapes

Walls and fences greatly enhance the design possibilities for your driveway. Stone or brick walls can either run next to the driveway for its entire length or approach it perpendicularly at the entrance. Walls that meet at the entrance can be further elevated with an elegant arch or personalized gate.

Softscapes

Whether you’re looking to accent your driveway’s entrance, the length of the driveway itself, or both, softscapes can be used together with walls and fences to foster a focused and creative design. You must also consider where you intend a visitor to focus their attention and which focal points you’d like to incorporate.

If you’d like the focus to be on your property, line your driveway with colorful annuals to draw the eye inward. Or, if your landscape is dominated by straight lines, you might not want to showcase an even straighter driveway. Elements such as water features and garden arbors can be complimented by curved driveways lined by flower beds, shrubs, and ornamental trees.

lifescape-driveways

Source: Lifescape

While employing hardscapes and softscapes to enhance your driveway can increase the value and curb appeal of your home, we recommend exercising caution when it comes to landscaping your driveway’s entrance. Flower beds placed dangerously close to the road can be trampled by feet or bike wheels, and well-kept shrubs and flowers have even been known to disappear over night. However, a driveway is a major component of your landscape, and the benefits are worth the risk and effort involved in its design and construction.

Have an idea for your driveway’s design you’re not quite sure how to implement? At Lifescape, landscape design and maintenance is our specialty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Create Visual Appeal & Control Water Runoff with Dry Riverbeds

Taking a second look at something that appears ordinary at first glance can lead to exciting new discoveries. Now that it’s getting warmer, properly managing the water from summer showers is more important than ever. While many landscape architects do plan and build drainage ditches as dry creek beds, they often fall quite short as functional and beautiful elements.

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Source: Houzz

In many areas, too much water can have dangerous and unsightly consequences. As water runoff continues to disrupt our storm systems, it can ultimately lead to ocean pollution, land slides, and slope destabilization. So, instead of relinquishing control of what happens to your water, consider making a positive impact on the Colorado landscape with a visually appealing dry riverbed.

Use a dry riverbed as a fresh new focal point or within the existing landscape to strengthen its overall appearance. To make the riverbed design look great, make sure its shape and materials complement the style of both your house and property. For example, a contemporary home and landscape is best suited by straight and geometric lines, whereas a rustic or traditional look might go well with informal and natural curves.

Knowing how water moves around your property is an important early step in constructing a stellar dry riverbed — you’ll want to make sure yours can properly funnel excess water. For a stone choice, we recommend keeping it local and choosing something indigenous to where you live. Once you’ve found the perfect shape and materials, the end result will be a realistic, artistic, and useful design element.

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Source: Houzz

If your goal is to conserve water, you’ll be celebrating in no time. A dry riverbed replaces turf, which in turn dramatically reduces the need for watering. The addition of a dry riverbed also brings a plethora of stimulating new elements to interest children and sustain their play for hours. These irresistible elements include insects and other wildlife, sand, mud, rocks, sticks, leaves, and plants.

If you’re looking to take your landscape from drab to dynamic, contact Lifescape today. Our professionals are experts at landscape design and architecture, fine gardening, water management, and more.

Healthy Landscapes Begin with Healthy Soils

Happy plants and trees grow from healthy soil, and even the smallest of changes in soil composition can impact plant growth. Both organic and non-organic soils have benefits that make each suitable for a variety of environments. Even still, many soils require further soil amendments such as mulch, compost, and manure to develop a rich environment in which vegetation can thrive. In Colorado, common mulch materials include wood chips, pine needles, straw, lawn clippings, and more.

soil texture

Source: Shutterstock

Organic Soil

The scientific definition of organic soil is “of, related to, or derived from living matter.” Typically, it consists of worms, microorganisms, decaying plant material, and many other things. Soil is comprised of three main particles — clay, silt, and sand. Loam is the ideal soil, containing equal parts of all three particles. Loamy soil is beloved by gardeners for its ability to retain moisture and promote adequate drainage.

Non-Organic Soil

Non-organic soils don’t contain any nutrients or organic matter, which allows them to retain a neutral pH and remain free from contaminants. In many fields of horticulture, a sterile soil is key and can be achieved by using non-organic soil and soil amendments. Another benefit of non-organic soils is that they can be controlled much better than organic soils, which makes them popular for use in hydroponics as well as in moisture retention.

soil texture

Source: Shutterstock

Soil Amendments

In Colorado’s semi-arid climate, materials called soil amendments can be added to the soil to better its quality. Especially with sandy soils, soil amendments help increase water and nutrient holding capacity. When you really want to find a solution, you have to dig a little deeper. Soil amendments work best when they are thoroughly mixed in with the surrounding soil. Keep in mind that soil amendments and mulches are not the same thing — mulches are placed on the soil’s surface to inhibit weed growth and moderate soil temperature. Over time, organic mulches will decompose and be incorporated into the soil. The end goal of both mulches and soil amendments is to improve the soil.

For help bringing your soil, plants, and trees to optimal health, contact Lifescape today.

From Conceptual Design to Budget, Working with a Professional Landscape Architect Reduces Errors

From Pinterest boards to wikiHow, it’s no secret the internet world loves DIY projects. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump to do just any project by yourself. Landscape and interior design are very different, namely because landscape design presents challenges and detours that simply don’t exist in controlled environments, like your home. Landscape design requires a specific skill set, and as your landscape evolves, so will its maintenance and care. We want to share our tips on how to find a landscaper so you can transform your property into the star of the neighborhood.

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Source: Lifescape

Establish which type of landscaper best suits your needs. There are three basic types of landscapers. You’ll find that your landscape vision might require just one or all three of these types of professionals.

  1. Landscape architects have advanced training and degrees and can develop complex, comprehensive plans for hardscaping, water use, and drainage, as well as exterior structural modifications and garden design.
  2. Some landscape designers have advanced training, while others may not. These professionals can best help with the aesthetic and horticultural aspects of garden design.
  3. Looking for someone to carry out the plans devised by your architect or designer? You need a great landscape contractor!

Determine your budget. It’s a good idea to establish a budget before you reach out to the pros. A spending plan will help save you and your landscaper frustration as the project progresses, and knowing what you can spend helps you create a more realistic vision. The good news is a stunning landscape design can increase the value of your home by up to 15 percent, so keep that in mind when formulating your budget.

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Source: Lifescape

Doublecheck licensing and potential candidates’ references. Some projects such as decks and walls require certifications, especially for certain safety elements. If the job and area call for certification, confirm that your pro has the proper licensure. It’s also a smart idea to check references and make sure a candidate’s past clients were happy with the outcome.

Want to make your yard stand out from the rest? Contact Lifescape today to schedule a consultation.