Tag Archives: Colorado landscaping

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Wouldn’t it be great if you had the perfect soil for your garden? Few gardeners do. If you have sandy, dry soil, we have some solutions for designing, growing, and planting in these conditions.

When it comes to designing a landscape with sandy, dry soil, you can find inspiration in desert or beach environments. These are sparsely planted and have a lot of the soil visible so the plants all get enough nutrients and can be properly maintained with limited resources. Plants often include drought-tolerant plants and succulents. Water features are kept to a minimum to reduce water evaporation.

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Succulents are great for sandy landscapes. Source: Pixabay

Paths, such as slightly elevated wooden boardwalks, may be added to prevent the sandy soil from being disrupted by feet and the soil from entering your home. Other hardscaping elements such as gravel, boulders, and stone pavers, walls, and sculptures help fill in the sparseness of the plantings and offer a modern look.

If you have the opportunity to install permeable pavement for hardscapes or driveways, sandy soil is one of the best materials for helping to promote drainage through the pavement. The permeable pavement allows water to filter through the soil below rather than turn into runoff.

Optimum Gardening Solutions for Sandy, Dry Soil

Add pavers and gravel to help sandy gardens have more of an appeal. Source: Lifescape Colorado

While sandy soils are great for drainage, they can also be a challenge because they may not hold water and nutrients well enough to suit some plants. For this reason, the best plants are ones that can thrive in dry, nutrient-poor soils.

Here is a do-it-yourself soil test to determine the composition of your soil if you’re unsure. All soils can be amended with compost and organic materials, such as leaves, to help it build up nutrients and be better suited to whatever you want to plant.

Contact Lifescape with your questions on landscaping with sandy soil.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Every yard has some undesirable features that leave owners searching for creative solutions. A small landscape that needs more privacy or an unattractive element such as an air conditioning unit that needs to be hidden are just a couple common problems we hear about. Luckily, there are many ways to address these issues.

Let’s begin with hiding the air conditioning unit. You could simply fence it in with fencing that matches an existing fence or other element of your home or exterior. Second, you could build a decorative structure to enclose the unit as well as offer additional storage space for garden tools.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Hide the air conditioning unit with a nice fence that also serves to provide storage. Source: Houzz

If you’re undergoing a large renovation anyway, you can choose to locate all outdoor utilities and storage in one attractive closet enclosure that can fit seamlessly into your landscape. Another option is adding architectural or vegetation screens around the unit to visually hide it. Finally, design your landscape such that it doesn’t draw attention to the unit with a pathway or feature that draws the eye away from it, for example.

Next, let’s talk about increasing the privacy of your landscape even with a small yard and close neighbors. The go-to solution is a privacy screen or wall, but there are so many options to think about. We like solutions that incorporate plants or vegetation, such as a row of planters with tall grass-like plants, screens covered with climbing plants, and the strategic placement of hedges to increase privacy.

Hide the Imperfections of the Yard with Garden Accessories

Keep your garden and space private with a privacy wall. Source: Lifescape Colorado

When it comes to privacy screens and walls, you can really get creative with the side that faces your yard. Screens with geometric patterns add a stunning visual element, while adding an oversized chalkboard or a climbing wall for the kids can add a fun twist. A simple horizontal wood privacy wall creates a modern vibe when paired with bamboo. You can even play with lighting effects by choosing translucent glass or plastic panels that filter sunlight for your wall.

What are your concerns about your landscape? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Names Lifescape Project as 2015 Home of the Year

Lifescape has added yet another accolade to their growing list of awards and praise with their work on the “Mountain Modern” project. The home, an 11,500 square foot retreat in Evergreen, Colo. owned by Kirk and Grace Eberl, was named as the 2015 Home of the Year by Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine.

Mountain Modern

Mountain Modern

Before Lifescape was contacted to help with integrating the landscape into the homeowner’s vision of the house, much of the hardscape was completed by the homeowner and architect, David Barrett.

“We wanted a house that rose out of the land like a tree,” Grace told Colorado Homes & Lifestyles

Moutain Modern

Moutain Modern

Lifescape helped make that come true. When Lifescape came onto the project, they helped blend together the architecture of the house with the rest of the landscape. What the blending of the two visions created was a softened ruggedness of the hardscape that transitioned seamlessly back into the natural surrounds of the 160-acre property.

Mountain Modern

Mountain Modern

Senior Designer LeAnn Ostheimer, who took the lead on the project for Lifescape, was the tip of the spear when it came to selecting the foliage and landscaping material, as well as designing the pathways, garden patios, landscape lighting, driveway, and boulder outcroppings. Her work with blending the native meadow adjacent to the house with nature was instrumental in bringing the homeowner’s vision to life.

For more information on the project, or to find out how Lifescape can your dream home vision come to life, contact Lifescape today.

Designing Intimate Outdoor Rooms for Homes

Having a yard is great, but how do you make it feel cozy? Maybe you have a small backyard and aren’t sure what to do with it. You need to divide up your landscape for different uses or features. One great feature to add to your yard is an outdoor living room, where you can relax, dine, or entertain.

Designing Intimate Outdoor Rooms for Homes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

You can approach your outdoor room just as you would any indoor living space. You will need furniture, flooring (even if it’s just grass), a style, color scheme, etc., not to mention plants and perhaps a water feature. If you’re struggling to decide on a style, French garden style is a classic choice that suits just about any space. This is because of the symmetry and order of the style.

Some hallmarks of French garden style are geometric shapes, boxwood hedges, well-manicured shrubs, neat garden beds, lavender and stone. If you have a small courtyard, this style would translate very well.

One way to combine an intimate outdoor room and lots of plantings is a pocket garden. If you’re short on lawn area, make your outdoor room feel just as lush by adding dense groupings of planters to create an urban jungle. You can even use mirrors to make the space feel larger. Another small space strategy is to choose a simple neutral color palette and make use of every square foot, such as using built-in benches on a balcony.

Short on budget? You need little more than a picnic table, some string lights, and climbing plants to create an inexpensive outdoor entertaining area.

lifescape colorado outdoor living

Source: Lifescape Colorado

Need more ideas for your small yard? Consider adding some lighting to extend your use of an outdoor room to night time. Add a new outdoor area rug to pull your seating area together or refresh an existing one. If you’re laying pavers, align them diagonally to create the illusion of more space. Especially in a small space, choose properly scaled furnishings and avoid clutter.

What are your suggestions for creating an intimate outdoor room? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Water Saving Tips for Water-Wise Landscapes

Summer is almost here, and with the warmer weather comes concerns about saving water in the Greater Denver area. Landscapes can use a lot of water, but we like to look at ways you can reduce your water usage while still enjoying a beautiful yard.

Water Saving Tips for Water-Wise Landscapes

Source: Lifescape Colorado

You can begin by educating yourself about how much water your landscape needs. You may be over watering and not realize it. For instance, you only need to run your irrigation system three days a week during the summer and water mature shrubs twice a week. Additionally, plants with strong root systems can withstand periods without irrigation.

Soil that is covered by mulch stays cooler, and cooler soil temperatures mean less evaporation and more water retention for your plants. So, be sure to lay down a layer of mulch about two to three inches thick for optimum cooling.

Drip irrigation systems can also help deliver water more efficiently to your landscape than traditional irrigation systems. Through drip irrigation, water is applied just at the root of the plant. Other benefits of drip irrigation include disease prevention, reduced weed growth, water and time savings, and less work and maintenance.

Drip irrigation is just the beginning of the new water saving technologies that are available to homeowners today. Irrigation controllers operate based on local weather data that tells it when and how much to water. Soil moisture sensors automatically water when low soil moisture is detected. Rainfall shutoff devices turn off when it rains and takes the rainfall into account when it comes to watering needs.

If you are considering an irrigation system, you will want to familiarize yourself with the different types of sprinkler systems to find the best fit. In general, look for an irrigation systems that uses large drops of water near the ground rather than sprays or mists because they are more efficient and have less evaporation.

Source: ©iStock.com/MariuszBlach

Source: ©iStock.com/MariuszBlach

We already mentioned drip irrigation systems as being most efficient, but rotor irrigation systems are also efficient because they apply water at a slower rate than spray systems.

Contact Lifescape for more water saving landscape tips.