Tag Archives: Colorado xeriscaping

Colorado Landscaping Tips

While the summer solstice has passed us by, our state’s magnificent wildlife continues to abound. There are still a couple more months before the weather shifts into fall and winter mode. You can use this opportunity to design and execute a few ideas percolating in your visions lately while keeping your Rocky Mountain location in mind.

colorado landscaping services

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Colorado Landscaping: Design by Geography

Where you live in Colorado plays a large part in your landscape’s design and function. The wrong layout will result in struggling vegetation, an unreasonable demand for water and using excessive amounts of energy and labor to make things work. On the flip-side, an intelligent landscape design will yield an attractive outdoor palate with relatively minimal effort on your part.

colorado landscaping service

Design by Lifescape Colorado

The Great Plains. Normally, we think of the Great Plains as “out east.” In truth, 40% of our state is comprised of the same geography that stretches from Colorado’s eastern region through Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma. Temperature fluctuations are vast, water is minimal and a high-mineral content produces alkaline soil. Fortunately, drought-tolerant plants do well here and the arid climate keeps pests and diseases at a minimum.

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

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Postcard Colorado. Otherwise known as the Front Range, this is the region of our state that comes to mind for most of the U.S. It’s a landscape filled with steep mountain slopes, white aspens and lots of snow. As a result, landscaping in the front range requires an experienced hand. Working with a landscape designer and maintenance team will help you determine which plants will thrive the best in our climate.

xeriscaping service in denver

Design by Lifescape Colorado

Out West. From plains and mountains, we move down into the desert where xeriscapes are a must. Without a xeriscape approach, desert landscaping requires large quantities of irrigation. Stick with plants that do well in exceptionally dry climates and keep in mind that broad-leafed trees and shrubs will require irrigation.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to design a geo-centric plan for your landscape today.

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.

Prairie Winecups

Native perennials hold a position of honor in many Colorado landscapes, and at Lifescape Colorado, we encourage you to add these hardy plants for their beauty and drought tolerance. Callirhoe involucrata, commonly known as Prairie Winecups is one of our favorites. Here’s what you should know about this attractive flower.

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Source: Heisch, Randy via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Prairie Winecups boasts dark green stems covered by rounded hairy leaves, which provide a striking backdrop for the cup-like magenta flowers. These blooms generously dazzle the landscape from early spring and throughout the summer.

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Source: Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

As this herbaceous plant typically reaches heights of only 6 to 12 inches and spreads out along the soil, it works beautifully as a perennial groundcover. You can expect the stems of each plant to amble out approximately three feet horizontally.

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Source: Flaigg, Norman G. via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

In the wild, Prairie Winecups are often found growing in open, rocky areas and in the sunniest spots surrounding quiet glades. You’re less likely to spot them in full shade, as they prefer a lot of sunlight and warmth. While not particular about soil type, this perennial does prefer the soil’s pH to be slightly acidic.

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Source: Wasowski, Sally and Andy via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The same growing preferences naturally apply when introducing these to a cultivated landscape. Prairie Winecups feel at home anywhere with exceptional drainage and sunlight, whether this is out in the center of the garden or as edging near sunny walkways. Like many native plants in Colorado, this perennial can handle hot, dry periods making it appropriate for use in xeriscaping. Once established, this plant is very low-maintenance, requiring neither deadheading of blossoms nor pruning – unless you wish to do so for aesthetic purposes.

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Source: Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Winecups may be planted from seed or cuttings. If you search garden centers for this flower, other names you may encounter are Buffalo Rose and Purple Poppy Mallow.

At Lifescape Colorado, we bring landscapes to life. For more information about Prairie Winecups, other recommended plants and our landscape and garden services, please contact Lifescape Colorado today.

Panchito Manzanita

Panchito Manzanita (Arctostaphylos coloradoensis) is a Colorado gardener’s dream plant. It’s evergreen, low-growing, and thrives in our dry climate. And an added bonus is that it’s a Colorado native plant, originating in the Uncompahgre Plateau near Grand Junction. Panchito Manzanita is a natural hybrid of two other native plant species, Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) and Greenleaf Manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula).

If you’re looking for an evergreen shrub that’s ultra low-maintenance, and is not a juniper, Panchito Manzanita is for you.

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Source: Plant Select

You’re in luck!

Until relatively recently, Manzanitas were difficult to propagate. Landscape designers and enthusiastic gardeners were relegated to Manzanita envy while hiking or visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens. Fortunately, dedicated nursery enthusiasts were able to create the ideal environment for wide-scale Arctostaphylos propagation, and they’re now available via most local nurseries and plant growers.

Growth rates

It will take your Panchito Manzanita about three to seven years to grow to its full height (12- to 24-inches) and width (18- to 48-inches).

Watering requirements

One of the greatest threats to this species of Manzanita is root rot from overwatering. It will require slightly more watering than normal to be established. After that, it requires very little watering and is xeriscape-friendly.

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Source: Lot Lines

Soil and sun

These plants require well-drained soil. If you’re natural backyard consists of the crumbly, granite-based soil our area is known for, you may not need any soil amending at all. However, if you have natural clay or a poor draining yard, you’ll need to make some changes before you plant your Panchito Manzanita. This plant loves full sun, but it can also handle partial shade.

Aesthetics

Everything about these Colorado native plants is attractive. The broad leaves are a deep green and can turn a deep red or purplish in the fall. The stems are also a vibrant reddish-purple. In mid-spring, expect to see an abundant burst of small white and pale pink flowers.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to learn more about incorporating Panchito Manzanitas in your landscape design. We offer full-service landscape design and maintenance services.